Way back in 1955, my wife, Norma, and I started Bill Brown Sales. We lived in a co-op apartment in Skokie, Illinois, and in order to support the financial cost of launching the business, I spent the day working to sell products/components from OEM component manufacturers to OEM lighting customers throughout Middle America.
My territory, using Chicago as a base, was North to Minnesota… East to Altoona, Pennsylvania… West to Denver, Colorado… and South to Florida, Louisiana, and Texas.
I had no money, so my car was my transportation… and I put a mattress in my station wagon that had no heater, because I didn’t have enough money to make a down payment on the car, and in the negotiation with the dealer I took out the heater, which also impacted the defrosters and etc.
I worked at the Skokie Post Office from 5:00 p.m. to midnight, as the post office was close by and I also had a box there to get my mail, in order to have a more business-like appearance.
Norma and I were truly partners, and as I look back on it now… I think of the time and energy we put into this “launch” and truly it was one of the foundations of our marriage that not only were we in love… but that each of us contributed to the business and towards being role models for our children.
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