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  • I came here from Beirut, Lebanon, in 1976 when there was Civil War.

  • I can't in York because I see it in a movie.

  • I was 23 years old and I have $400 in my pocket.

  • I watch TV to learn English.

  • On in the morning, I learned how to say eggs and wish a friend of mine.

  • He had a factory for handbags and he offered me a job at that time.

  • I don't know nothing about handbags, but I learned a business first.

  • After four years, I decide to open my own factory.

  • I'm here and I'm Alex, and we're the owners of Pietro handbags in New York City.

  • We're in the heart of Chelsea and one of the only factories that still exists in the city.

  • When my dad started, they have money for a baby sitter, so I spent a lot of childhood.

  • Here's in this factory, but I still have all my figures.

  • I still have everything I want to go into architecture originally, But one day I had an epiphany.

  • I just couldn't walk away from this business that my father built from scratch.

  • The next day, I showed up to the factory like that.

  • I wouldn't work here.

  • Designing is a combination of my father and I.

  • We just come in and we start piecing things together.

  • Being in New York City year, inspired by everything.

  • There's so many walks of life, you know.

  • You go on the train and they see a woman wearing one handbag with shells as to others that are on the other shoulder.

  • So it's like you try to figure out How could I make her life easier?

  • Nowadays?

  • The craft is very difficult to come by.

  • For a lot of our employees.

  • It's been passed down generation generation that's just dropped it on top.

  • So we do tours for F I T students Per Parsons for Pratt on, we introduce him to the art of making handbags about 2015.

  • We really started seeing a big decrease in sales because so many stores and little boutiques are buying from us started going out of business.

  • I have to keep the factory going.

  • I don't want to send them my employees to the employment because I don't have so I was like, really got to double down and shift.

  • Our focus is selling direct to consumer by driving business to our website.

  • It's very easy to get lost out there.

  • I mean, everybody has a website nowadays, so we really gotta make our presence known way started marketing online to help people find us on the Web, and I still learn that part of the business every day.

  • This last year, almost 20% of sales came from the website, which is the most we've ever received, and the majority of traffic came from Google.

  • My dad retired in June.

  • He has not collected a paycheck in almost a year now and he's still with me every day, working 70 80 hours a week.

  • I'm his employees now.

  • He's my boss to an extent.

  • I always tell him you did it.

  • You did what every immigrant want to do.

I came here from Beirut, Lebanon, in 1976 when there was Civil War.

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