Ruth got his start getting his neighborhood friends to assist him haul mattresses and 70 years back driving a delivery truck. Now, health issues are forcing him to shut down his Gerard's Furniture store.
"I am going to continue functioning. I got to deliver all this furniture."
This is the second time that Ruth has had a going-out-of-business sale. Twenty-two decades back, when he turned 65, Ruth brought to help the stock is sold off by him.
"So I came back."
Paradoxically, the firm that assisted him in 1996 back with all the retirement sale is currently assisting him with this sale.
Like he always did, ruth, 87, still does business. His shop does not have a site. "I really don't text and I don't email," he said. "Just been a few years ago we got a computer for bookkeeping."
Gerard's has a focus on luxury furniture created with premium leather.
"All that stuff on the world wide web, it's like going to the ships. It is gambling. You do not understand what you going to have," he said. "Some of the leather is seconds, some of it is rejects."
Ruth began working in the furniture industry during his senior year in Baton Rouge High at Lloyd Furniture Co., then at 1126 North Blvd.. After graduation, he attended LSU, then joined the Coast Guard during the Korean War.
He returned with the furniture store to his job and also to Baton Rouge.
He had been a salesman in Hemenway's, Ruth got into hydroplane racing. He was a catalyst for your Tom Cat Baby, a ship with a Corvette engine which won the most prestigious and dangerous Pan American race Lake Pontchartrain in 1958.
With Lewis Gottlieb, Ruth became friends through the boat races. Some teams were backed by gottlieb.
Ruth got a call from Gottlieb, 1 afternoon. The proprietor of Simon Furniture Co. had died and his children were not interested in taking over the enterprise. Can Ruth be interested in owning a furniture store?
Gottlieb told him to check the store out, and when he had been interested, he'd help him fund the deal.
"It was a great store, and I knew I could do some good on the market," Ruth explained. The problem was money. His wife along with ruth, Selma, had just had their second child, and he only had a couple hundred dollars after paying the hospital bill. However he'd have a $10,000 life insurance policy he bought from a member of the Red Stick Kiwanis Club.
"Mr. Gottlieb told me to deliver him that insurance policy to the bank," Ruth said. "He told me'You're going to make it."
The Furniture of gerard started in 1530 Foster Drive in 1966. There were three employees: the Ruths and a bookkeeper. During the afternoon, Ruth sold furniture. In the find more information evenings, he also delivered the things he sold.
At that time, the trend in furniture was Mediterranean- and Spanish-style furniture. A successful Atlanta furniture salesman visited Gerard's Furniture and advised Ruth he needed to get a few of those things in the store to ensure it is successful. Ruth told the guy he didn't have the money to purchase the furniture, so he got them to ship three suites of furniture to Gerard's on credit and called a Virginia maker. "That cranked business up," Ruth explained. "We sold out the hell of the furniture."
A couple of years after, Ruth discovered about a store.
The Florida Boulevard place of the Furniture of Gerard opened around 1975. The store won national acclaim for the completeness of this selection, which included fabrics, art, furniture, rugs and accessories. 1 area is filled with George Rodrigue prints. His son Larry includes a bunch of original Louisiana art and prints in another part of the store.
To round out the selection Ruth visits with the furniture markets in North Carolina each six months to find items.
"Baton Rouge has ever been recommended you read interested in good taste and standard furniture," he said. "The people who purchase nice furniture want to sit inside, want to feel this, and when they have any knowledge in any way, unzip it and see what's inside it."
Through the years, Ruth has had health issues, including cancer and diabetes. He had been diagnosed with lung disease. That led the store to shut after meeting with his wife and four children.
"I got outvoted," he explained. The choice was made to liquidate the organization, because his children have professional jobs.
"I never got rich, but I was able to raise four children, send them all off to college -- and not need to pay any associations or attorneys to get them out of trouble," he said.
Despite his years in business, Ruth stated he chose to close the store.
"My family would go crazy trying to figure out everything at the furniture store," he said.
He also made a point of helping his children and eight grandchildren find items in the store to help decorate their own homes.
Plans are to spend the upcoming few months promoting of the stock off . The shop will close, when all is gone.
Since declaring he was shutting down his organization, Ruth said he has seen a increase in clients. 500 people showed up at the shop the day after it was announced he was shutting.
"It's been rewarding."