Look Who’s Become the Life of the Party (Poster) —Cagle
YET ANOTHER sign that the apocalypse is upon us...
A former PI amigo dropped a line to mention that he’d heard a funny piece on Howard Stern recently. It seems a somewhat forgotten victim of dubious distinction is in the process of quietly rebuilding her life, by teaming up with her fiancé on a specialty printing Website, called originalpartyposters.com.
The company, based in Chats-worth, CA, provides all-occasion posters, predominantly 24x36˝ and 36x48˝ sizes, for celebrations from birthdays, holidays and anniversaries to baby and bridal showers, and corporate events. Originalpartyposters.com also provides ancillary party needs, such as invitations, thank-you cards, place cards and photo albums.
The proprietor is none other than Mary Jo Buttafuoco who, in 1992, was shot in the face by Amy Fisher, the “Long Island Lolita,” who had been having an affair with Mary Jo’s husband, Joey Buttafuoco.
Fisher spent seven years in the pokey and saw several made-for-TV movies relating her tale cranked out, including an Oscar-worthy effort by Alyssa Milano. The Buttafuocos, meanwhile, moved to California, then split in 2003.
While Mary Jo has endured facial reconstructive surgery and is trying to make it in the printing world, her former hubby is having a hard time staying out of lockup. He’s been in jail several times, including earlier this year following a parole violation.
Be thankful it’s Mary Jo who’s in our industry and not someone like, say, Lorena Bobbitt. In a price haggle, no one would ask her how much she could slash off the top end.
Wouldn’t want any flashbacks, right?
RELATIONSHIPS MATTER: I’m cynical and untrusting. I’ve been known to shove Girl Scouts when they try to charge a premium above $3.50 on their thin mints. No one takes me for the fool...
But at a Mitsubishi event in Houston back in the spring, I was floored to hear printers speak, over dinner, about the importance of an equipment salesperson and his/her ability to make or break a deal. Every printer at the table said if they found the sales rep to be reprehensible—or they just don’t like ’em—then no dice.
WOW! I nearly fell off my chair, except that at least one printer was eyeing my dessert. So I didn’t.
How could any business decision be based upon the person who sold you the goods? Whatever happened to buy the steak and not the sizzle?
You’d figure the reputation of (a) the company’s goods and (b) its level of service would be the main traits sought by printers. After all, salespeople come and go. Why let a lout break a good deal?
Ken Kodama, Mitsu’s vice president of sales for the sheetfed division and our table mate, didn’t turn a hair at the revelation.
“The industry is still pretty much filled with mom-and-pop shops; there’s still a lot of consolidation going on,” he said afterward. “It’s different for the bigger companies, where the decision to buy is made by committee.”
Business is business, and I still don’t understand how people can walk away when the sales guy is a jerk. Whether it’s a choice generated by the board of a $100 million printer, or a father and son operation raking in $1.5M, the best gear, quality service and quickest ROI should rule the day.
But that’s your call, not mine.
FAMILY MATTER: Franchise businesses sometimes get a bad wrap about not being a good corporate neighbor. Ideally, all businesses are proud members of the communities in which they operate. Some pay lip service to the notion, while others get out from behind the desk and make a difference.
Eileen Rogers is a do-er and not a say-er. Rogers, president of the Allegra Print & Imaging franchise in Scottsdale, AZ, is improving the lives of the less fortunate who are part of the Homeward Bound transitional housing program. Homeward Bound enables homeless families (and families with children who have suffered domestic violence) to obtain long-term housing and escape the cycle that has perpetuated their suffering.
In 1999, Rogers started an annual collection of diapers and other baby goods for Homeward Bound. To date, she has reeled in more than 333,000 diapers and nearly $234,000 in cash donations. And, in recognition of her efforts, Homeward Bound has bestowed Rogers with the 2007 Family Champion award.
The honor is given to those “who have dedicated themselves, through visionary thinking, strong leadership and generous financial support, to the success of Homeward Bound and to all the possibilities of what the organization means to families and the greater community.”
Kudos to Eileen for lending a big hand—and a dry bottom—to her town’s smallest citizens.