Next in our series of Meet the Rent What? Staff is one of the most adored people to ever come and grace us with his incredible loving presence and extremely hardworking spirit. It is our owner and CEO Megan Duckett’s father Bill Rowe, also known by one and all as “Papa”. He comes to visit for several weeks every year, and it’s something we all look forward to every single time! Please read on to learn a little bit about this amazing man, and why we truly consider him such a valuable part of the Sew What?/Rent What? team.
When did you first start at Sew What?/Rent What?
I started working at Sew What? pretty much the first year that Megan and Adam started the business. It was 1996. I remember Maria Martinez as being one of the first employees. Megan’s mother Delice and her grandparents would travel to visit also – and they would all get put to work. No family member was safe from cutting, folding, grommeting, bagging. I think there is a photo somewhere of Grandpa Charlie installing grommets into drapes – the drapes were huge – and he was about 90. It has always been a family affair, you might say.
If you could take a vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I don’t mind where I travel to – so long as they have LINE DANCING. I like country AND western dancing.
What kind of work did you do before coming to Sew What?/Rent What?
I was a professional driver for the better part of my career – I chauffeured the chief executive for the Victorian Roads Authority. As a young man I was a mechanic and worked on gear boxes for Repco.
Do you have a special talent?
Of course! Singing – dancing – cooking white rice. But mostly dancing.
What is your favorite memory from being part of the Rent What? family?
Watching the company grow over the years has been very exciting for me – each time I come to visit I see changes and growth – new faces and old faces. Some fun memories include seeing Megan’s face on the side of the building in Times Square as part of the Dell computer campaign.
What is your favorite sports team/TV Show/Book/Movie?
Oh – no sports – not really. But I do love to watch movies – I have thousands of them collected. Too many good ones to have a favorite – but The Man with the Exploding Arm is a good one. The Grey Gardens documentary is also wonderful – such a terrific timepiece.
What are some of your hobbies?
Over the years I have maintained interest in photography – both still photography in 2d and 3d, as well as film. I used to enjoy playing and making home movies of Megan and her brother Michael when they were kids. The 3d photography hobby included being in a hobby club – and the equipment was very specialized. Megan and I would develop our own black and white still photos in the laundry room in the house when she was young. I had all the equipment. Not any more – I am a digital man – and trying to keep up with the new age times.
What project have you worked on recently that was interesting or challenging?
It was really great a few years ago – as Megan was installing and checking on drape at the Great Western Forum for Rod Stewart. So I tagged along like a good papa…. and low and behold Rod Stewart was actually there practicing! I got to watch him rehearse and then we hung drapes together (Megan and I – not Rod and I – Ha!) and it was a blast. The SW? custom stage drapes were red “Stewart Family” plaid. Those are some great memories.
Anything more about your time here at RW?
Excited to see the company grow – in just the 3 or so short years of rentals it seems to be rocketing along. Of course I don’t expect anything less. It seems to me that the entire What? team (both sewing and renting) are a pretty dedicated group of people….. I don’t doubt that the group would succeed at anything they put their minds to!
Oh – and did I mention that I taught the sewing room a new line dance? It is called “Pick a Bale” – we had a so much fun! Next time I come over I will bring another new dance to show everyone.