As we raced through the bone chilling October weather, on the streets of New York City, each pulling an extra-large fifty-pound suitcase filled with our beautiful exotic skin handbags, our hearts were pounding with excitement and hope that our collection could one day be sold at the iconic 5th Avenue Henri Bendel store. We quickly secured our place in the endless line at the annual Open Call. This was a Bendel event where new designers showcase their products to their buyer. You would not think that the words “Move forward please” could be so exciting but those words signaled we were next in line. We looked at each other as we began to climb the five long flights of stairs pulling the awkward and heavy suitcase. Of course, Peggy stumbles and almost takes out Judy in the process! Like a good friend she helped me and made sure I could continue onward. We entered a room filled with long tables and the buyers waiting for you to display your product. Our excitement became nerves as people all around us were being rejected. Just our luck, our suitcase zipper jammed! Take a deep breath we whispered and at the last moment the zipper opened and we had one minute to show our collection. As we quickly placed each handbag on the table the buyer asked us questions. Judy answered the questions and then the only words we both heard were “YOU’RE IN”!  We rushed to make a swift exit outside the building in order to shout in celebration that we made it on Fifth Avenue! It was a sight to behold…two women from Cleveland, Ohio living their dream! How did we do in New York? The saga continues!!!