I finally did summon up the courage to make the call, I had scripted this in my head over and over as the phone rang I almost hoped that she wouldn’t answer…….. she answered. I basically explained very nervously who I was and why I was calling her, I was hoping that she would bless me with all of her shoe knowledge but, that’s not exactly what I said. I was so grateful that she was very nice and most shocking to me, she didn’t seem to be surprised at all that I was calling almost like this kind of thing happens to her everyday. We spent quite a long time talking and I liked her immediately, she actually talked faster and had more energy than me, I don’t meet many people I can say that about. She suggested we meet for lunch, that I bring my sketches and we could discuss how she might be able to help educate me on shoes.
I was so excited for this meeting I felt like I was floating on air, I really don’t know what I expected but the fact that she wanted to meet was good enough for me. We met for lunch and I have to say I was stunned, she is one of those people who have a presence; one of the people you describe as larger than life. She was very tall, very thin, quite attractive and dripping in Chanel; I felt very short, unfashionable and frumpy in comparison.
She spent lunch explaining all of the places she had worked and what she had done for them; the list was impressive. In total it was almost 30 years of sales, retail, shoe, consulting and design experience. She asked me a lot of questions and looked at my sketches, she said to me “when I look at you, see your shoes and listen to your ideas I see the all American girl.” She had asked me if I had thought of finding a factory in the United States instead of Italy (which was where I had assumed Ventrano shoes would be made I mean after all isn’t Italy known for their shoes?) It had never occurred to me to even look in the United States, I thought manufacturing in America was pretty much gone. To which her reply was “that’s why you need to bring it back, bring it home. Everything runs in cycles and now is the time to bring manufacturing back to the forefront in America.” Hmm… I hadn’t even considered finding a factory in America. She said she was looking for new challenges and would be open to consulting with me, she had been helping a few other start-ups and thought this would be fun. She ended the meeting with a comment that gave me goosebumps. Something like “It’s funny that you called me now, I just left Taryn Rose and before last week I would have had absolutely no time to even meet with you let alone do any consulting so you called at just the right time.”