A billion years ago, I had another life. I worked in the film industry in Los Angeles as an assistant to a director. HOW I became his assistant is a comical story involving the classic combination of “right place/ right time”.
I was working at his production company so I already knew how to use the complicated phone system and all the major players at The Studio. I also had observed him “letting go” several assistants so I kinda/sorta knew what I was getting into. It wasn’t supposed to be a long term gig so it is amusing that I ended up working for him for almost six years. (FYI: 6 years in Hollywood is like 30 years at a regular job.)
While it was not required of me to look posh and put together at work it certainly helped. My biggest problem (aside from my awesome wide hips) was TIME. I had zero free time to shop. I literally worked from 8:00am to 8:00pm – and that was when we weren’t in production. If we were prepping or filming I was easily on the job 14 – 15 hours a day. I was also forever “on call”. So even if I wasn’t in the office I knew that my pager could beep or my cell phone would trill at any hour of the day. It often did.
When I discovered the Spiegel catalog my world got so much better. I remember seeing one of their commercials with the amazing tagline: “For the woman who has everything but…time.”
(video from RetroJunk.)
The catalogs were massive door stoppers. I remember it was like two catalogs in one. One side was clothing and then when you flipped it over and turned it upside down it was stuff for the home.
The first time I ever lived by myself was that first year I lived in LA. I had an empty studio in Los Feliz (exactly one block away from The Dresden Room).
After every paycheck I would pick something out of the catalog: a pair of wide legged trousers, a bath towel, wine glasses. Soon I started to look the part of a Hollywood assistant and I had an apartment that was lovely to come home to.
When I left LA to take care of Millie in Alabama I no longer needed to shop at Spiegel. I didn’t really need to shop anywhere. Everything that was connected to my crazy and fast-paced life faded away.
I was surprised to find out that Spiegel was still around, that it had never gone away. Gone are the days of super thick catalogs. Now the company relies on the web.
The company started in 1865 and in 1905 they mailed their very first catalog. The company has ebbed and flowed in the decades that followed and has survived some pretty big hits. They are revamping the style of their clothing and focusing on great affordable clothes. They are really excited about the direction of the Ultimate Outlet. (yup, they even have clothes for plus sized gals.!)
I think it is great that something that was such a helpful part of my life is still around and thriving.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions and anecdotes are mine.