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Eye for Winners: How I Built One of America's Greatest Direct-Mail Business
     

Eye for Winners: How I Built One of America's Greatest Direct-Mail Business

by Lillian Vernon
 
Lillian Vernon built her mail-order business from her kitchen table to a multimillion dollar operation. This is her story: how her family fled Nazi Germany; how she grew up as an immigrant in America; her travels, marriages, & children. But mainly this is the story of one determined woman & the business she built — relying largely on her gut instinct & her

Overview

Lillian Vernon built her mail-order business from her kitchen table to a multimillion dollar operation. This is her story: how her family fled Nazi Germany; how she grew up as an immigrant in America; her travels, marriages, & children. But mainly this is the story of one determined woman & the business she built — relying largely on her gut instinct & her eye for winners. Also includes informative sidebars covering management strategies, negotiating tips, practical guidance on how to secure a bank loan, crucial advice about marketing & merchandising — everything the beginning entrepreneur needs to know about starting a business.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Vernon, one of the nation's best-known merchandisers, here presents an ingenuous self-portrait. Born to wealth in Germany, her family fled Nazi persecution, settling first in Holland, then briefly in Palestine, before arriving in New York City, where they built their fortune anew. After she married, to make extra money for her growing family she began a mail-order business at her home in suburban New York. For many years she ran the entire show, relying on her "golden gut" to select the products, which are primarily aimed at the middle-aged wife who works outside the home. Successes include the "Hurry Door Knocker" for families with only one bathroom and crocheted snowflakes for a Christmas tree; the average order totals around $50. How does Vernon account for her success? A single-minded devotion to business and a lot of hard work. Unfortunately, the book seems to have been written in haste and includes some confounding contradictions: e.g., she claims alternately two primary residences. Yet as the unselfconscious disclosures of a terribly ambitious woman, the book has the power to absorb readers. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Vernon offers a step-by-step, how-to book on creating your own mail-order business wrapped snugly inside a larger autobiography detailing a great American success story. Readers can follow her from Nazi Germany to the United States, through two marriages, to the rapid growth of a mail-order business that started with an ad in Seventeen. At times, Vernon the writer is as entertaining, engaging, and straightforward as her own Lillian Vernon catalog. Writing as clear as this in a book about business is a treasure in itself; a lesser writer could put readers to sleep with details of the monogrammed belts and bags and the quest for precious Christmas ornaments and other baubles. Vernon gives us an attractive mix of the best of sound business advice with a compelling personal story told from the heart and delivered concisely. The reader learns what it feels like to have a passion for business. Recommended for all public libraries.-Randy L. Abbott, Univ. of Evansville Libs., Ind.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780887308185
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/01/1996
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.95(w) x 9.52(h) x 0.98(d)

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