Pearl's Purple Poodle Parlor
Excerpt from Pearl's Party...and you're invited [(How Much is) That Doggie in the Window?] My late mother's unique business idea and how she started on the pathway to success.
Author of Pearl's Party...and you're invited, a memoir of a flamboyant mother
Available in paperback and on Kindle
Billie Tekel Elias grew up in Philadelphia. Her parents divorced when she was young and she grew up with her artistic, business-minded, Auntie Mame-like mother. Her father was a Chemistry professor at a local university. After graduating from the top all-girls high school in Philadelphia, she spent her college years at Columbia Engineering, followed by graduate school at Stanford. She began to travel extensively in the 1970s, including a 9-week European backpacking adventure, two cross-country motor trips, and a self-directed family sojourn to the Yucatan Peninsula.
Her career as an engineer, first with the world's largest paper company and later with an international money center bank, spanned seven years. Not aspiring to give the corporation the best years of her life, she quit her career to wander around Africa for a couple months. With the entrepreneurial spirit she inherited from her mother, she was determined to start her own business that would include lots of (tax-deductible) travel. She launched her own costume jewelry import business and now counts 40 countries and 5 continents as places she has visited.
Marriage and the birth of her child put her wanderlust on hold. Billie shifted gears again, embarking on a new venture, working from home as an educational toy consultant. This enabled her to grow a toy business alongside her growing child, and to take time to play with him. It turned out that high quality and prolonged interactions with a parent spurred the intellectual development of her child, a recent graduate of MIT.
Writing a book marks Ms. Elias' fourth "career."