Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Awake/Asleep Raggedy Ann

I have a cute story about this awake/asleep Raggedy Ann, I made her in 1997 before Madame was born, she was a prototype and I never did make more than this one. Once Madame came along, it ended up being her doll, that's why her hands are a bit stained and need bleaching, adds to her charm though she is dated and well loved. Well, my husband lost his job suddenly and it forced us to decide we would be open for business as own own company. It was a very rough start, the supplier gave us a $200.00 credit account and I guess......if we needed a quick delivery to the house, that would cover it, but in the heating, service and sales, that's not much credit. Our family suv was a service truck and the broken down flat bed trailer that a friend gave us, transported anything too big or too heavy. At one point it became a time to try for more business recognition, hubby had gone through SCORE (service corps of retired executives) and they helped basically for the things I needed to do, I even wrote his business plan! Anyway, it's hard to get any borrowing power for a company that has no company, no track record, no reputation.
Well, hubby wanted a service truck, a forest green, 1991, Ford, Four by Four, F150. By this time it was 1999, Madame was born and about 9 months old, her brother started school and we were picking up customers. Off to the bank we trudged.

I must say, the VP of commercial lending really wasn't excited about talking to us, he mostly dealt with me, he told me it was hard to justify a loan without a w-2, it was hard without large supplier recommendations on record, and even harder coming from a homey type couple sitting in his office asking for funds based on the argument "we are a good risk." I sent husband down to the bank with papers several times after that, requests that sounded ridiculous to me but I did it. Finally it was at the end of the 7-9 days it took to get a answer and the VP called. He couldn't make the decision alone, he had a meeting scheduled with someone else and would let us know by lunch.
I had a feeling it was a meeting with the lady that wrote our mortgage and so... enough! It was, we got the loan and hurried to the bank, Madame in tow with Raggedy Ann as her company in those awful car seats that doubled as a baby carrier.
The VP shook my husbands hand and proceeded to talk to me the entire time, he was very stoic and stuffy, and I later learned it was the nicest he'd been to my husband, I wanted the check though. Once it was in my hot little hands we left as quick as we came. I think shock set in at this point, neither myself or my husband wanted to hold the check or put it away, we just looked at it driving to two miles down the road to pick up our truck!
Yada, yada, yada, sign here, sign there, need your proof of insurance, "where is Raggedy Ann!?!" "OMG...." Back to the bank.
I waited in the car while my husband went in, the lobby had closed by this time but a teller let him enter, he was directed to the VP's office and there she was, little Annie. She had dropped in the lobby and a teller gave her to the lender. My husband and he began a conversation about their wives and the crafts that are spread about in their prospective homes everyday. Neither one of them knew what to expect arriving home everyday but they agreed, they were used to it and things like Ann made life special.
All the tellers were tittering when my husband left, hands holding their mouths, the whole nine yards. C&G Design


Nancy @ La Chambre Rose said...

What a wonderful story! I hope that being business owners has been kind to you. When my husband lost his job, just as Katrina hit and we had an additional family for six months, he finally chose to take a job in Vermont (nine months later). I sooooo wish he had started a company in Texas. Although it is never too late, nor is anything impossible, it probably won't be his choice.

I also am touched that the standoffish banker found a common ground with Raggedy Ann! My husband says New Englanders are nice, if not friendly.

tina said...

Cute story. And I had no idea how you started the business. Great job!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Looking back it is a funny story but at the time it must have been nerve racking. Maybe Annie brought you luck;)

Jean said...

Great story and Tina I had never heard this story either (about Annie). Knowing how the business has grown and done so well, I bet the bank VP pats himself on the back for making the right choice way back then.

Lola said...

A very loving personnel story. I'm so glad that Annie had a part in your success. A much loved little "girl" by millions.
Thanks for sharing with this wonderful post.

Jennifer Swan Hopkins said...

TY for sharing that story. Well if this isn't timely, I don't know what is! My husband just found out last night that his job is being eliminated and we are going to be facing the great unknown.

Too much to go into, but suffice it to say... "I hear you"!


Protector of Vintage said...

I enjoyed reading this post. Congrats on your successful family business. Raggedy Ann is, of course, very cute!!

Skeeter said...

Such a wonderful story of Ann and the Bank teller. You could put that one into a book! Congrats on the thriving business. What a nice pay off for the bank...