On Valentines Day In 1971, Bruce Cohen became a partner in Bari Jay. With a 6 month old daughter, Erica, it was a risky venture. He borrowed some money from a relative and gambled. Soon after another daughter, Susan, followed. By then, Bruce was succeeding in a business that he loved...everything was dresses, all the time. His girls used to say he was in "dress world."
Through the years both girls worked summers and other occasions at Bari Jay. This doesn't include the times when they were young and made swatch cards in their basement in order to earn their allowance.
As time went on and the girls grew up they went on to do their own thing. Susan started her career in finance with a specialty of helping other women to invest and ultimately decided to go back to school to earn an MBA in Finance. One of her favorite pastimes was attending almost every Jets home game with her dad. Erica was living in NYC and had a career in the movie business which had her constantly traveling to and from Los Angeles for 14 years. She and her dad had a common love of movies and TV and would talk endlessly about them.
In 2007 both Erica and Susan both had children and Bruce had four grandchildren; being a grandpa was probably his favorite job! Susan was working in a business from home and Erica was back in school to become a teacher. In September of that year, Bruce suddenly became sick and passed away 9 months later.
Bari Jay is Bruce's legacy. It is one of the driving forces motivating Erica and Susan and it is the primary memory his grandchildren have of him. It is a small, family owned and operated business. Susan and Erica answer phones and speak to their stores, send swatches out, order swatch cards (although it is tempting to have their kids do it in the basement), try on samples, take orders, etc.. It was their father's blood, sweat and tears that made Bari jay what it is and it is their blood, sweat and tears keeping it going.