After 70 years in furniture business, his business is currently shutting down.
Ruth got his start receiving his neighborhood friends to help him haul mattresses and 70 years back driving a delivery truck. Now, health problems are currently forcing him to close down his Gerard's Furniture store.
"I am going to keep on working. I got to deliver all this furniture."
This is the second time that Ruth has had a going-out-of-business sale. When he turned 65, Ruth brought to help him sell the stock off.
Paradoxically, the firm that assisted him in 1996 back with all the retirement sale is currently assisting him with this sale.
Ruth, 87, still does business like he did. His shop doesn't have a website. "I don't text and that I do not email," he explained. "Only been a couple of years ago we got a computer for bookkeeping."
Gerard's has a focus on American-made furniture created with premium leather.
"All that stuff on the internet, it is like going into the boats. It's gambling. You do not understand what you going to have," he explained. "Some of the leather is seconds, some of it's rejects."
Ruth started 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.
In 1953, he returned with the furniture shop to Baton Rouge and to his occupation.
"I was making $35 per week in Lloyd Furniture, then I got an offer from Hemenway's Furniture on Plank Road," he explained.
He had been a salesman in Hemenway's, Ruth got into hydroplane racing. He was a catalyst for the Tom Cat Baby, a ship with a Corvette engine that won the most dangerous and prestigious Pan American race on Lake Pontchartrain in 1958.
With Lewis Gottlieb, president of City National Bank, Ruth became buddies through the ship races. Some teams that were racing were endorsed by gottlieb.
One day, Ruth got a call. The proprietor of Simon Furniture Co. had died and his children were not interested in taking over the business. Would Ruth be interested in owning a furniture shop?
Gottlieb advised him to check the shop out, and if he had been interested, he would help him finance the offer.
"It was a great shop, and I knew I could do some good over there," Ruth explained. The issue was money. Selma, ruth along with his wife, had just had their second child, and that he needed a couple hundred dollars after paying the hospital bill. But he did have a $10,000 life insurance coverage he bought from a member of the Red Stick Kiwanis Club.
"Mr. Gottlieb advised me to deliver him that insurance coverage to the lender," Ruth said. "He told me'You're going to make it."
The Furniture of gerard started at 1530 Foster Drive in 1966. There were three employees: the Ruths and a bookkeeper. Throughout the afternoon, Ruth sold furniture. In the evenings, he delivered the items he sold.
At that time, the trend in furniture has been Mediterranean- and Spanish-style furniture. A successful Atlanta furniture salesman detected Gerard's Furniture and told Ruth he had 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 buy the furniture, so he got them to send three suites of furniture on credit to Gerard's and phoned a Virginia maker. "That really cranked business up," Ruth said. "We offered out the hell of the furniture."
A few years after, Ruth discovered about a shop.
The loan was really large, it had to be split between CNB and St. Landry Bank in Opelousas.
The Florida Boulevard location of the Furniture of Gerard opened around 1975. The store won acclaim for its completeness of the choice, which included furniture, artwork, fabrics, rugs and decorative accessories. 1 room is filled from the 1970s with George Rodrigue prints. His son Larry has a bunch of original Louisiana you could try here art and prints in another area of the store.
To round out the selection Ruth and the major furniture markets visit in North Carolina each six months to find items.
"Baton Rouge has ever been interested in great taste and traditional furniture," he explained. "The people who purchase fine furniture want to sit in it, want to feel it, and if they have any understanding at all, unzip it and see what's inside ."
Recently, he was diagnosed with lung disorder. That led the shop to close after meeting with his wife and four children.
The choice was made to liquidate the organization, because his kids have professional occupations.
"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 from trouble," he said.
Despite his years in business, Ruth stated he chose to shut the shop.
"My family would go mad trying to figure out everything at the furniture store," he said.
He made a point of helping eight grandchildren and his children find items in the shop to help decorate their houses.
Plans are to spend promoting off all of the stock . The shop will you can check here close when all is gone.
Ruth said he has seen a increase in clients since declaring his business shut down. The day after it was announced he closed, 500 people showed up in the shop.
"It has been rewarding."