We have begun, after 50 years, the process of getting certified as a female owned and managed business. In that process we have to submit photos of the owners passports, the manager's passports, our history, resumes, and documentation after piece of documentation. It is funny because they want the first bank statements of the company and the first meeting minutes. After 50 years much of that is lost to time, flooding, moves of records, etc. So it will be interesting what we can prove after all of these years.
What many do not know is how we started. Martha began this company when she was young and unmarried in the 1960's. Martha has had, literally, two jobs in her whole life. One was working for someone else and they refused to promote her, an unmarried woman, and so she started her own company. She was still living with her mother at the time, something proper unmarried young women did in that day and age. But she traveled to sell her mirrors. The back of her station wagon often had mirrors waiting to be sold to the local gift shop or samples to show to colleges to gain a new customer.
Today I was given all of her and her husband's passports through the years so I could copy Martha's passport. I looked through, as a daughter-in-law is wont to do and marveled over how she looked in her younger years. I also marveled over the sight of my father-in-law with hair. I've known him only since his retirement from his own career. I came across a passport of my father-in-laws, he looked oh so young in it, maybe a picture from him in his 20s. Tucked in the back of that passport I found Martha's business card. The business card with her very first business address - her mother's house, on it with her phone number hand-written upon it.
I will now have to tease my father-in-law that he kept the business card of his future wife all of these years. I know she speaks of meeting her husband-to-be and talking about her business and he was "the first man" who actually expressed interest in what she made and what she sold. I will bet she gave him her business card with her phone number on it. She lived in Boston at the time and he lived in Chicago so the handwriting even shows the area code. I may be wrong in my theory, but even so, I think it is the sweetest thing he kept her original business card.
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