Posted on May 12 2016
When my grandfather, Michael Kosof, started Michael's in 1954, he knew everything had value to someone. I remember driving with him in NYC when I was a little girl... and besides the notorious and nauseating starting and stopping of his driving (you know what I mean, the drivers that ride the break--he was one of those) he was always on the lookout for a treasure that someone else had discarded. I fondly remember cruising the streets, stopping at various "trash" piles of furniture, and watching him uncover gems-he saw the beauty in everything and he was always right. We would take home something he picked up and work on it in his workshop. Under his care, the item would transform into a true find. He would tell me... "one man's trash is another man's treasure. You just have to be willing to see it." He was an extraordinary man with a true vision who taught me there is value in everything.
His father and grandfather before him had the same gift. They were entrepreneurs, visionaries, both charismatic and creative. My great-great grandfather, Simon, was a merchant and furrier. He opened a store called “Cast Off Clothing & Furs” on the lower east side of Manhattan at the end of the 19th century. Here the family sold the clothing and furs no longer valued by their uptown clientele. The respect for finding value in everything has been passed down from generation to generation in the Kosof family.
Michael loved what he did. He loved that he was able to provide women with beautiful items they may not otherwise be able to afford. He loved that he was part of the recycling movement before the world knew the importance of recycling and he loved that his business allowed everyone involved the opportunity to come out on top.
He was a true entrepreneur and visionary. He saw the world through a different lens and I am grateful to have had him as a role model.