Commercial Interruption: My Dad On HSN


It’s 3:40 a.m. Eastern and I’m watching Marshall R. Kramer — aka my dad — suavely show off the shoe line named for  his oldest grandaughter. (The younger grandaughters have their own line: Alexa Perri.) This is the premiere hour of Mikala Shoes & Handbags on the Home Shopping Network and I couldn’t be kvelling more. The collection features high-end handwoven shoes and bags made in Brazil, many in spectacular color combinations. The line is only two years old and is in finer department stores and shoe shops across the country.

It’s nothing short of surreal to sit in my living room in University City, Missouri, a few blocks from where we lived during the Kennedy administration when Dad was a traveling salesman driving around the Midwest selling other people’s shoes, and watch him put his a-list sales skills  to work pitching his own line. He’s been in the shoe business 50 years and, at a time when most people are trying to leave work behind, he’s making one of the boldest moves of his career.

Adding to the excitement for me, I’ve been able to participate in some of it, starting with the acquisition of the UPC code and even arranging some of the shipments that had to be done by computer. The first time I saw the shoes in a department store (and knew I helped get them there) was as good as my first front-page byline.

Dad’s going to be on HSN again today and on companion network America’s Store. It’s a crazy schedule paced out over a day. They have all sorts of requirements but what a great opportunity.  Meanwhile, back to my regularly scheduled sleep.

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