On July 26, 2016 I celebrated 40 years in the apparel industry. I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by.
I had just completed my second year at Monroe Community College when the opportunity arose. Kidding with my older brother Angelo one day, I told him to have his boss hire me for one hundred thousand dollars a year and I would promise to revolutionize the business! The next day he came to me and said his boss wanted to interview me and was I interested. Sure I’d listen. All went well and Hickey Freeman offered me a position as sales trainee and certainly not for the aforementioned $100,000 salary. No, they offered me $7,500 a year as a starting salary, which even back then was “small potatoes.”
Having been accepted to a few good Universities out of state, I had a decision to make: higher education or a potential career start. I chose the latter, thinking I’ll give it a six month try to determine if I want to stay or continue with my education in mathematics. Now 40 years later, having been blessed, I am still at it and still loving it with the same bright-eyed enthusiasm I was suited for 40 years ago. I’ve met some really great people (and some not so great) along the way, nurtured many of those relationships into lifelong friendships and traveled throughout the entire U.S. and Italy.
I found that the quality of the business relationships you develop is in direct proportion to the quality of your business life. The same can be said of life in general! It sure is the case for me!
When I got through my first 6 months I still had concerns about this being a career course or not. Sometimes I still wonder if it’s the right career choice!
There have been, and continue to be, great highlights and moments that have helped shape my career, but if I had to single out any one with the most impact, it has to be my son, Matt, joining me back in 2006. He has been with me ever since. He has taken my passion and made it his own.
I am the youngest of six boys and the only one of my siblings who has continued in the family tradition of tailored clothing. My father, Omero, my grandfather, Giovanni, my great-grandfather and his father before him all were tailors in Italy when tailoring was not the glamorous job it is today. I’m sure that they are all in heaven together, proudly jumping up and down seeing Matt and I continue in the family tradition.
I’ve set and achieved many goals and objectives along the way that helped carry me to the point I now am in my career and life, none more important than setting similar goals and objectives with the development of Matt’s career. He’s well on his way, the sixth generation Piccone, passionately weaving a career in tailored clothing. Yeah, I’ve done it my way, with passion … with my everlasting message to you: