By Linda Wisch-Davidsohn
Even though my children are more than “grown up,” they never cease to amaze me.
I have taken the liberty of writing about the four of them in other articles — so perhaps you have a sense of whom they are and what they may be like.
I have great rachmones for oldest children. “In the olden days” we were supposed to be the example setters and possibly even pieces of clay for our parents to shape and form. By using my own parenting tools, I learned that children have the ability to shape themselves — given the correct guidance and parameters — and by following their dreams.
Amy Doty is the eldest of my four offspring. She was a tiny little girl, who spoke at 6 months (yes, the word was “light,” and her personality is all about that). She was speaking in coherent sentences and walking by the time she was 9 months old. She had a smile that would light up a room, and a giggle that was so unmistakably hers that she was nicknamed “Princess Gigglehead” by a preschool teacher. Amy also had a mischievous streak — as the eldest of Reuben, Jordana and Ethan. I never forced them to get along — they just did — knowing that the alternative was kissing and making up — Yuck! Who wants to kiss your brothers? Amy loved to sing and dance and would often accompany her father on some of his singing gigs. I’m telling you, the girl had rhythm.
One of her favorite things to do was to play “beauty shop” with her great-grandmother, the late Betty Wisch. Nana would visit our home, and Amy would examine her fingernails and say, “Nana, it’s time for a manicure.” Amy would get a warm bowl of soapy water placed on a clean towel, and set her utensils close by. It was a great bonding time for the two — and Amy was not yet a teenager. The payment would be 1 million kisses and a 25-cent tip. Both were happy with the arrangement. My late grandmother was very vain, and always had a lipstick and tweezers at the ready so that Amy could complete the process.
Perhaps some small seeds were planted then. In addition to Amy’s beauty skills, by the age of 10 or 12, she was also a veteran TJP telemarketer — as most of the Wisch kids were. She sold New Year greetings and subscriptions in both Dallas and Fort Worth. A few more seeds were planted.
Amy attended Akiba Academy for eight years, and then went on to Westwood Jr. High and Pearce High School. At Pearce, she decided to participate in their work-study program — and was placed at TGI Fridays and a retail store in the old Prestonwood Mall. I thought that all Jewish girls should work retail, and not the restaurant business; however, I was not surprised as she made her way up the Friday’s corporate ladder — opening new stores and traveling the United States as a corporate trainer. Following her decade at Fridays, she managed A+ Student Staffing and later managed The Visiting Angels office in Dallas. She also was a top-notch advertising salesperson for The TJP and knew the mantra instilled in us by my late father — “Tell ‘em and sell ‘em.” — and she did.
Following my father’s death in 2002, Amy left her full-time position at Visiting Angels to join my mom, Sharon and Reuben full time at The TJP. It was easy to see that those small seeds planted so long ago bloomed into the beginning of a flowering career in public relations and advertising.
Amy, a single mom of two daughters, Shea, 13, and Jessica, 11, is indefatigable. The “beauty seeds” flowered again, and she flourished as an independent hair and make up artist for portraits, bridal events and parties. I’ve often heard the quote that is paraphrased here “if you want something done, give it to a busy person.” This would exemplify Amy, who did it all — but, wait, there’s a bit more.
Amy made a decision to add to her portfolio and return to school at night. She chose the Esthetics program at Paul Mitchell, The School. Following a grueling 750 hours of evening course work, Amy graduated last week and received the school’s Extra Mile Award in addition to her certification in facial treatments, waxing, makeup and machine facials such as microdermabrasion, ultrasound, LED, microcurrent and chemical peels.
According to Kayla Anderson, Amy’s lead instructor at the school, a spa management program is available for anyone wishing to apply. “Amy applied for the spa manager position and of course, I gave it to her right away. She was the perfect fit! As spa manager, she was in charge of the nightly appointment schedule, informing the ladies of any challenges they may need to work on and celebrating any victories they may have had! She planned class parties for different occasions. She was also in charge of the class pow-wows that were meetings we (sic) held before we took clients in order to plan for the evening. So, in conclusion, her responsibilities as spa manager were tremendous.
“Above all of that, Amy was just a joy to be around…the main reason she received the Extra Mile Award. This award is given to students that go above and beyond and lend a helping hand. Amy always helped her classmates and even myself. She always ready and willing to come to work and never lost the hunger for knowledge… which is hard to come by these days. No matter how stressed or tired she was, she was always present and always a big help … she will be truly missed in my classroom.”
Congratulations, Amy. I am so proud of you and I love you. You have set a wonderful standard for your daughters to follow.
One of my favorite quotations by the author, Napoleon Hill, reads “One of the most important principles of success is developing the habit of going the extra mile.”
Now, as your grandfather would say, “Tell ‘em and sell ‘em.”