Westchester County's Most Accomplished Women Entrepreneurs
Meet 28 of the county's most successful, move innovative, most respected business women.
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Operative Partner, Katonah General Store; Principal and Designer, The June Goldfinger Collection
How many people do you know who have their own store in which 90 percent of the merchandise sold—everything from jewelry and eyeglasses to shawls and shoes—has been designed by them? Meet Waccabuc resident June Goldfinger.
Goldfinger—who counts locals Ralph and Ricky Lauren, Martha Stewart, and opera singer Jessye Norman among her devoted clients—easily could have spent her life going out to lunch, playing tennis, and hosting parties in one of her five homes. Not only was she born wealthy (her clothes were handmade for her in Europe; her father was the owner of a private steamship
company), she is married to successful architect Myron Goldfinger. Instead, she is happily consumed by her passion to create beautiful things, e.g., stunning interiors, made-to-measure couture clothing, and custom shoes and eyeglasses. She frequently works 10-hour-days, six days a week.
After studying at Parsons School of Design, Goldfinger opened an architectural and interior design company in 1965 with her husband; he did the exteriors and she designed the interiors—and everything in them, from furniture and flatware to lighting and rugs. Among their many commercial and residential projects over the next two-and-a-half decades were two beachfront villa resorts in Anguilla built in the ’80s, where one night sets you back $6,000, and the second and third (and keep-on-counting) homes of super-wealthy clients around the world.
In 1992, Goldfinger launched the charming Katonah General Store (KGS) to showcase her furnishings. But when customers wanted to purchase her custom-made clothing, 18-karat gold jewelry, and even eyeglasses of her own design, she changed the store’s focus to fashion. When Ralph Lauren walked in and said he loved everything in the store, she knew she was onto something. “He and Ricky have shopped here ever since,” she says. Martha Stewart has worn Goldfinger’s clothing on TV and to the Emmys. She even asked Goldfinger to design a clothing collection for her, a project that never got off the ground; the chairman of the board of Stewart’s company nixed it.
When the store first launched, customers would spend from $10,000 to $20,000 annually, Goldfinger says. Today, that figure ranges from $30,000 to $40,000. Goldfinger estimates that an average purchase per visit runs from $1,200 to $6,000—a figure achieved quickly enough when a “perfect” long-sleeved shirt costs $860.
What’s next for the designer? This year, Goldfinger offered a collection of 12 styles of women’s clothing, including dresses, jackets, tops, skirts, and coats, to wholesalers to sell to select high-end boutiques across the country. Many sold out in one day. Goldfinger plans on offering an expanded line to be carried in even more stores in the future.
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