I literally did thousands of UndercoverWear Parties. Each party had its own unique personality. Some of my most memorable parties were after the Boston Herald’s two-page full-color article on my “naughty nighty” parties.
Once the article appeared, the phone rang constantly. It seemed everyone wanted to have one of my parties. I booked shows every night and two on Saturday and Sundays.
I never knew where I was going or what type of environment I would be in. I did shows in lovely split-level suburban homes. 3 tenement inner-city apartments and trailers. Some places were neat and organized while others not so much. In fact, occasionally, I would politely decline any beverage the host offered for fear I would find pet hair from one of the six cats & two dogs that were running around. Yes, my parties ran the gamut.
While my parties were fun for the guests, my goal was to make sales. In the beginning I’d walk in and look around and determine what I thought my sales would be. Not surprisingly, I was often right. Then I had one party with all Dr’s wives that I just knew was going to be fabulous. I was wrong. I sold ONE $29 caftan. That’s when I realized I was actually sabotaging myself with my “guessing game.” Instead, I used my charm, wit, personality and sales techniques to ensure I worked every party in the same way. Sales increased dramatically.
When someone booked a party, I would take the address and try to look it up on a map—that’s right no GPS. One day a gal named Susan called and booked a party. She lived at Harbor Towers in Boston which was a high-rise upscale condominium complex right on the Boston Waterfront. While I was not going to get my hopes up, the address was impressive
Over the phone, Susan and I immediately connected. She was my age, 28, and her husband Dave was 100% Polish–just like WJJ. Susan was incredibly sweet. She told me she would have about 10 of her friends and that I should be there about 6:30. She also mentioned that I should simply park my car and let the doorman know I was going to her condo and that the doorman and her husband would bring in my lingerie etc. Wow a doorman! Now I was getting excited.
Suffice it to say that I was surprised to find out that Susan not only lived @ Harbor Towers but in the Penthouse. When I arrived, Susan greeted me as warmly as I had expected. Her husband Dave was equally friendly, so we instantly had a great rapport. Susan was delightful, bright, beautiful and articulate. Her husband was much more basic but very nice. Based on the fact that their apartment was gorgeous and there was a butler serving champagne and caviar (which by the way I had never tasted in my life), it was easy to see that this couple was doing quite well financially.
Susan’s friends were equally delightful, and the show was wonderful. Nine gals were there, and each bought over $100. So, my show was close to $1100! Think back –it was 1977—that was a really good show!
After more champagne, caviar, shrimp and a plethora of other fantastic foods and desserts, the attendees started to leave. I, too, was ready to go home, but Susan and Dave kept saying that Harry and Sandi were expected soon. As the time ticked away, I was beginning to feel like waiting for the last two guests was going to be a waste of time.
At about 10:30 the doorman announced that the guests had arrived and were on their way up. Harry, who was probably in his mid-thirties, arrived with his date–Sandi —a gorgeous young 21-year-old blonde.
After the introductions, Harry said to me. “Tiffany take Sandi into the bedroom and let her try on anything she wants. It was not a request; it was more like a demand. He then instructed Sandi to come out and show Harry each & every outfit that she tried on. It was at that time, that I asked for a strong cup of caffeinated coffee. It was going to be a long night
For the next two hours, Sandi tried just about every piece of lingerie I had available in her size. Of course, she looked gorgeous in just about everything. But I was getting tired and wanted to leave. To make matters worse, neither Harry nor Sandi had chosen one single item yet to buy. If time is money, my money was being spent quickly.
As the butler opened yet another bottle of champagne, Harry finally said to Sandi, “So what do you want?” Sandi answered, “Whatever you want to buy me”. I really wanted to say, “Just make a decision so I can go home”. But I didn’t.
Harry took control. He walked over to my rack and started picking out the lingerie he liked. He then handed me each piece saying, “OK Tiffany, put this aside and this aside and this aside etc. He had selected over 30 items ranging from corselets to long gowns to peignoir sets to bras and garter belts to short baby dolls.
I assumed the next step would be the elimination process. I was beginning to get the feeling that I was going to be there all night. I decided to try to be one step ahead of him and was just about ready to offer him a 10% discount to wrap this up.
Much to my surprise, Harry looked at me and said, “Ok Tiffany, how much?”
I replied, “I’m sorry Harry which pieces have you chosen?”
He said, “All of them.” Fortunately, my jaw was too tired to drop, and I controlled my urge to starting singing “I’m in the money.”
But then I started thinking, what if he gives me a check and it bounces? However, because of Susan and Dave’s relationship with Harry, I was hoping this was legitimate.
I quickly totaled his purchase and it came out to $2,200. I shared the total with him and felt morally compelled to mention the $200 discount. He laughed and said, “Don’t want it” and in fact preceded to hand me 25 $100 bills, which included a $300 tip for me. Imagine he paid me his discount!
So, my show was well over $3,000. I had a perfectly delightful time and made lots of $$$. Plus, I got to meet really nice people like Susan, Dave, Harry and Sandi. It was a great night.
But the story doesn’t end there. Fortunately, I got to see Harry and Dave again. Unfortunately. it was on the news. I found out that Susan’s father was a very famous attorney. She had divorced Dave when she found out he was selling “junk bonds”. Dave was in jail.
And Harry—far more interesting. He was an important “player” in the Italian major mob family in Boston. He had been convicted on mob crimes and also was in jail.
So, what’s the moral of this story? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe “Don’t prejudge anyone. Or better yet – laugh, live your life and enjoy your journey! I sure as heck have!!!! Thank you, Harry and Dave, for giving me one of my favorite UndercoverWear stories.
PS. The names in this article have been changed to protect……ME!