Ruth got his start at the furniture business 70 years back driving a delivery truck and receiving his neighborhood buddies to assist him haul mattresses for 50 cents an hour. Now, health issues are currently forcing him to close down his Gerard's Furniture shop.
"I am going to continue functioning. I must 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 in an outside company to help him sell off the stock.
"I went home, and after about 10 days, I went stir crazy," he said.
Paradoxically, the same company that helped him in 1996 back with the retirement sale is currently helping him with this going-out-of-business sale.
87, ruth , still does business like he always did. His store doesn't have a site. "I really don't text and that I do not email," he explained. "Just been a few years ago we got a computer for accounting."
Gerard's includes a focus on high-end furniture made with premium leather.
"All that stuff on the world wide web, it is like going to the boats. It is gambling. You do not know what you going to have," he explained. "Some of this 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., at 1126 North Blvd.. After graduation, he attended LSU joined the Coast Guard during the Korean War.
He returned with the furniture shop to Baton Rouge and to his occupation.
He had been a salesman at 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.
Through the ship races, Ruth became buddies with Lewis Gottlieb, president of City National Bank. Gottlieb endorsed some racing teams.
Ruth got a call from Gottlieb 1 day. The proprietor of Simon Furniture Co. had died and his kids weren't interested in taking over the enterprise. Would Ruth be interested in having a furniture store?
Gottlieb told him to check the shop out, and he would help him fund the offer, if he had been interested.
"It was a great store, and I knew I could do some good on the market," Ruth said. The problem was money. Selma, ruth and his wife, had just had their second child, and he needed a couple hundred dollars after paying the hospital bill. this page But he did have a life insurance coverage he bought from a fellow member of the Red Stick Kiwanis Club.
"Mr. Gottlieb advised me to deliver him that insurance coverage to the bank," Ruth explained. "He told me'You're going to create it."
The Furniture of gerard opened in 1966 at 1530 Foster Drive. There were three workers: a bookkeeper and the Ruths. At the shop, Ruth sold furniture Throughout the day. In the evenings, he also delivered.
At that moment, the most popular trend in furniture blog here has been Victorian - and Spanish-style furniture. A successful Atlanta furniture salesman visited Gerard's Furniture and told Ruth he needed to get some of those items in the store to make it successful. Ruth told the man he didn't have the money so that he got them to send three suites of Mediterranean-style furniture to Gerard's on credit and called a Virginia manufacturer. "That cranked business up," Ruth said. "We sold the hell out of that furniture."
Ruth heard about a shop.
"It cost $2 million to restore the whole construction," he explained.
Gerard's Furniture's Florida Boulevard location opened around 1975. The shop won national acclaim for the completeness of this selection, which included art furniture, fabrics, rugs and decorative accessories. 1 area is filled from the early 1970s with George Rodrigue prints. His son Larry prints at another area of the store and includes a gallery of original Louisiana art.
To round out the selection Ruth visits the significant furniture markets in North Carolina every six months to find items.
"Baton Rouge has always been interested in good taste and traditional furniture," he said. "The people who purchase fine furniture want to sit inside, want to feel it, and if they have any knowledge at all, unzip it and see what is inside it."
Through the years, Ruth has had health issues, such as diabetes and cancer. He was diagnosed with lung disease. That led him to shut the shop after meeting with four children and his wife.
"I got outvoted," he said. The decision was made to liquidate the business, Since his children have professional jobs.
"I never got rich, but I managed to raise four kids, send them off to college -- and not need to pay any associations or attorneys to get them from trouble," he explained.
Regardless of his years in business, Ruth stated he decided overnight to close the store.
"My family would go mad trying to work out everything in the furniture store," he explained.
He also made a point of helping eight grandchildren and his children find items in the shop to help decorate their homes.
Plans are to spend the next few months promoting off the inventory in Gerard's. The store will close when all is gone.
Ruth said he has seen a increase in clients since declaring he shut down his organization. 500 people showed up in the shop the day after it was announced he was closing.
"It has been rewarding."