On the other hand, I did get to chat with Mara Urshel and she is one of the lovliest ladies I have ever had the pleasure of speaking with!! Mara worked for Saks for 20 years before taking on the incredible task of running Keinfeld's. Mara travels all over the world in search of gowns to dazzle brides from everywhere. From New York to Rome, Milan, Paris and London, Mara sees thousands of dresses every year in order to find the almost 2000 styles in the store. I asked her what she looks for when buying. "I try to cover all profiles" she told me, "from destination, to country garden, to over the top". There is a broad demographic in age, size and culture. Believe me, Mara has it all covered! The dresses range from $2000- the sky's the limit! Whatever your budget, there is a dress for you. I wanted to know about what Mara looks for in hiring a new employee- which she almost never has to do! "I look for enthusiasm, passion, a love of people and a thirst for learning about the industry and the gowns." " Someone who listens, has a presence". Of course, as I said, everyone moved to Manhatten with the store, so hiring is not one of her frequent tasks. Talking with the brides, getting on the floor and sharing information, helping the employees- even with their personal lives- those are some of her daily duties. "We are a big company, but a family company" " We have an open door policy". When I asked Mara about the show she said "when TLC approached us it was the right match. The show is a lot of fun and amazing for business". The crew is very low key and it is easy to forget they are there. Mara, like all the rest of the staff, really enjoys the show and the brides that they help. Thanks, Mara, for giving me your time and your insight. It was an extreme pleasure to speak with you and to visit your store.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
KLEINFELD'S- FROM THE TOP
I didn't get to speak to Ronnie Rothstein this trip, but he is, by all accounts a "great boss". He must be, because he has very loyal employees and a flawless operation at Kleinfeld's. From the moment you walk in the store, you feel the love and the dedication of this man's passion for brides. I would love the chance to meet him- maybe next time.