|Retire? Me? Never!|
I spoke to Nathan Gold over the phone and we agreed to meet the next morning in person.
"I’ll send my car around at 7 a.m." he said. "It's a silver four-door Mercedes, Dick. Do you think you will recognize it?"
I told him I didn't think there would be many cars fitting that description outside my Toronto hotel at that time in the morning!
As it turned out, Nathan came along so we could chat on the way out to inspect his clothing factory north of the 401 .
"I'll get my chef to whip us up some breakfast," he said. Which he did.
He was then 75, and looked amazingly fit and young for a man who had retired to a condo in Florida but got bored so he came back to Canada and started up a whole new business again. He retired in 1967 for the first time, Canada's Centennial Year, he was 55. That retirement lasted seven months before he was itching to get back into the saddle.
"I went into the fashion business almost as soon as I arrived from Poland at 14 years of age in 1926. I went from operating a sewing machine in a sweat shop to owning 10 clothing factories."
By age 55 Nathan thought he had had enough, sold the factories, headed south to his Florida condo, "And within three days I was bored".
Nathan saw a chance to get back into business by buying a 50 percent interest in a 10 store chain employing 90 people. It was called Brody's Town and Country Limited, Over the next 20 years the chain grew to become 209 stores coast to coast and employing 1,300. Sales for 1991 are expected to reach $90 million.
All of this is of academic interest to Nathan Gold because at 79 he decided to retire again. He sold his 50 percent interest and retired again to his condo in Florida.
When we spoke on the phone in January 1991, he said he was once more
bored with retirement and was coming back to Toronto to start "something completely different”.
"I haven't decided what it will be yet, but I have already opened my office and can't wait to get started. I'm too young for this retirement business."
His secret to success?
"It's simply a matter of letting the other guy worry while you're planning your next move."
Would he do it again?
"You betcha! Definitely. I enjoyed the fashion business. It's a good business to be in and my advice to young people today is to get into the clothing trade. It is always going to be with us. And it's interesting.
"Maintain a positive outlook. I always have. Hard working young people can do very well in this industry."
I asked Nathan Gold to let me know what his next venture is going to be. Whatever it is it will become another success for him.
When we first met in 1987 Nathan said he was planning a book on the clothing industry in Canada. I do hope he finds time to write it and includes several chapters of his own interesting life.
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