Past, Present & Future . . .Jay: Our Responsibility to be Truthful, Transparent, and Giving, Grateful to Family and Friends By Jay Schecter
Whether it is in my personal life or my business life, I’ve always believed in the maxim: To know where you are going, you need to know where you come from. Never has this been more true than now, as we launch The AESTHETIC SENSE: goods for the soul. Karen’s and my personal journeys over the last few years have brought into very clear focus a number of things. First, connection and community are fundamental building blocks in everything we do: nothing we do is ever really done in a vacuum, and we are all essential pieces of the global community. This is one of the most basic reasons why, after almost 37 years of marriage, I wanted to partner with Karen, my true soulmate. Fortunately, Karen shares this sentiment! Together, I feel strongly that we can and will work together to be real contributing members of the global community through what we do at The AESTHETIC SENSE: goods for the soul. Our love and respect for our artists, friends, and community, both local and at large, speak to our recognition that we have a responsibility to be truthful, transparent and giving, both in our personal and business lives.
For me, however, there has been more: a realization and appreciation of something that drives this dream to fruition, namely, family. We tried to raise our children with a moral compass. I believe that they each understand what it means to bear responsibility as members of the global community and are effectively making their own journeys (with an occasional pit-stop at home), finding their way by doing extraordinary things. We are deeply grateful not only for who they are and what they are doing, but also for reminding us of the importance of family and connection. Karen and I will strive to make this business a family business in the broadest sense.
But wait, there is more! Where would Karen or I be without the connection and support as well as the direction and advice of our extended families – our parents and our sisters to name just a few? Our sisters, Allison, Rachel, Susan, and Ellen and their husbands and kids, our largest cheerleading section and sounding boards, all of whom live their lives in ways that embody family, connection, and community.
Perhaps the largest contribution to, and motivation for, this project comes from our parents. Karen’s parents, Simon (Shimmie) and Phyllis, may their memory be of blessing, played large roles in shaping how we see the world today and the need to give ourselves, to always be connected. Shimmie, always with a smile on his face, was a true mensch. He taught by example – make time for family, friends and associates (not to mention handball), and treat people honestly and fairly. The phrase on his headstone says it all: “Everybody loved him.” He was a rock and a pillar during his life and helped me recognize that a person is only as good as his or her word. His approach to life and his soulmate, Phyllis, really clarified for me my desire to work with Karen in a venture than can and will benefit many, and bring the spiritual to life.
Phyllis, who endured much through her life, was the artist (and matriarch) in the family. During her last years, Phyllis lived with us and I began to understand the meaning of strength, spirituality, and courage, and how art plays such a large role in our lives. Fortunately, Phyllis was able to experience our joy when we opened our first gallery – The Aesthetic Sense, Fine Art and Judaica. It was, in part, her encouragement that made me, years later, to become a true partner in this venture. My biggest regret is that neither Shimmie nor Phyllis are here to see The AESTHETIC SENSE: goods for the soul. But I do know that doing this with Karen, with the goals that we have set for ourselves and our business, would make them smile.
As for my parents, Alvin and Judy, what can I say? They are walking examples of how parents can and do support their children. Giving of ourselves to the community and being fair and honest are traits we learned from them; I grew up in a home in which spirituality was part of our daily lives. When we talked with them about The AESTHETIC SENSE: goods for the soul, their faces lit up and they have been our biggest backers throughout. Al and Judy always knew the importance of family connection and living one’s life as a true contributing member of our local community, as well as the global one. Their encouragement and unequivocal support helped validate Karen’s and my decision to open The AESTHETIC SENSE: goods for the soul. Karen and I are both extraordinarily grateful that they remain an active part of our lives and those of our children and are here and standing with us as we relaunch Karen’s and my dream.
So, I know I write too much (of course, having been trained as a lawyer, what else would you expect?). But I wanted to convey the forces and emotions that led Karen and me to this place at this time. Please join us and enjoy the experience and relationships we hope to engender through The Aesthetic Sense: goods for the soul.
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