Coffee Break with Bobbie Gottlieb

Founder and CEO of Two’s Company, Inc.

No doubt you’ve seen Two’s Company’s decorative items and giftware at national retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as local boutiques like The Silk Road in Bronxville. Bobbie Gottlieb started the business with her husband, Bob, in 1969 in their New Rochelle home with “ten thousand dollars and a dream,” and grew it into a global enterprise. We spoke in her Elmsford office, where the company has been based for the past four years.

Why did you base your business in Westchester?
I live here—and never considered moving my business anywhere else. I love Elmsford; it’s a great location, easy to get to. We have so much land around us—employees sun themselves on the lawn during breaks. I even have a terrace off my office.
How has the economy affected your business?
The year 2009 was down, but we made a strong recovery in 2010. We stayed the course and didn’t limit products, so we were able to come back better than companies that scaled back their offerings. It’s lucky that we have moderately priced items.
What is the most challenging aspect of running a business?

Staying current. We bring out about one-thousand new products each year, dropping about a third of the line. We have to figure out which products will latch on to trends and interest.
How has the Internet affected your business?
Many of our customers are online—we sell to web stores like One Kings Lane and Gilt Groupe.

What changes do you foresee for Two’s Company?
Many changes: what’s new this morning is old by noon.

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