Teachers’ School Supply Company
Teachers’ School Supply started when I realized how unhappy I was
in my job. So my lovely and talented wife, Andrea, and I
started Teachers’ School Supply in our Los Angeles garage in April,
1987. It was a risky thing to do at the time, since I had a
house payment due and tons of bills. But I just wasn’t happy
at the corporation, and Andrea supported my decision.
It was rough going at first especially for Andrea. She worked
as a bookkeeper for an architect during the day (riding her bike 5
miles each way through L.A.’s busy streets), then coming home and
doing our books till late at night. We sold mostly crayons,
pens and markers in the early days. It was all we could
afford. For my part, I called customers, typed the invoices,
picked up the supplies from our wholesaler, packed them, and made
out the UPS labels. Our kids, Nadine and Cory, were
great. The biggest help they gave us was sitting on our laps
or pulling us out of the office to play so we could remember why we
were working so hard in the first place.
One day we had a break-in that almost ruined us. (I knew I should
have locked that door!) Somehow we survived. But we were
still small potatoes. Then my wife brought home some
information that changed everything. One of the clients at
her architectural firm was bidding school furniture. I had
never sold a chair or desk in my life, but we filled out the bid
form and took a shot. And we won! (Low overhead does it
In time we outgrew the garage and took over part of the house, then
the house next door. (I hate to commute!) We
hired some extra help and Andrea was able to quit the architecture
job and work side by side with me. (Sure was nice to be able
to look across my desk at her all day long!) In time, we
became one of the largest school furniture suppliers in California,
even winning a statewide bid to supply all the furniture to State
of California Government Offices.
In 1991, we decided to move to Washington State. This was a
scary time for us. Would you, our customers, remain
loyal? I was so scared that as the moving van cleaned out all
our furniture, I stayed behind, calling every last customer I could
sitting on the floor of our empty house.
But things worked out well in Washington. Instead of
operating out of our home and the house next door, we even got an
office, and grew to a multi-million dollar corporation . You
stayed loyal to us. I guess you like the personal service you
get from a family-run business no matter where we are.
As some of you know, Andrea is now following her dream. In
1995, with only a high school diploma in hand, she went back to
school to become an M.D. In 2008, at the age of 58, she became a
board-certified family practice doctor treating people in areas
where there isn’t much access to medical care. But she still
keeps a sharp eye on the business, scrutinizing our financial
statements, and making sure our customers and employees are happy.
So, that’s our story so far. We’d love for you to share
yours, if you want to.
Until then, it’s our pleasure serving you. Please let us know
if we can do anything more to make your shopping experience better.