I adored learning Spanish in tenth grade from Miss Pardal. I also loved to write. So I concocted an idea to publish a newspaper in Spanish for my high school. The head of the Spanish department gave Miss Pardal approval for the project (she was having an affair with him, I believe), and I went on my merry little way.
About the only thing I specifically remember about the project was writing an article on Cantinflas, a Mexican comedian and stage actor who was the star of the movie, Around The World In 80 Days. God only knows why I remember that one little fact after all these years. Oh, I also remember mimeographing the newspaper. (If you don’t know what a mimeograph machine is, you’re definitely not FOF.)
My passion is dreaming up ideas and putting together the pieces to make them come to life. Sometimes, the ideas were modest, like a beatnik themed party for my thirteenth birthday. Others were more complicated, like producing a summit for honchos in the fashion and beauty businesses, or publishing a kids’ book and convincing F.A.O. Schwarz to sell it 10 minutes before the start of the Christmas season.
I’ve learned something valuable from each experience, although a few of the lessons were mighty painful (e.g. good ideas often threaten insecure, unhappy, untalented people.)
When I dreamed up FOF last March, I never imagined how many pieces I’d have to pull together to make it come to life. I am thankful for my forty years of experience. Thankful to the boss who taught me how to think strategically and connect point A with Point B, thankful to the editor who taught me how to communicate concisely, thankful even to a negative co-worker, who inadvertently taught me how to think positively.
Of course, I could never do this by myself. I am grateful to everyone who embraced this idea from the start, from store owners like Joan Shepp in Philadelphia to FOF women like Mica Mosbacher in Houston. And to a team of passionate colleagues, led by Lina, who is far from OF, but fab nonetheless.