Decades: No Risk, No Reward

Cameron Silver explains his philosophy on spending money to make money.

I founded Decades in 1997. When choosing our location at 8214 Melrose Ave in Los Angeles, the real estate agent representing the property owner said, "Don't rent this space... there have been so many failed businesses in a row." I nervously signed the lease. Now I co-own the entire building. When I invited Christos to invest $10,000 in an off-shoot of Decades to handle modern clothing in 1999 (then called Decadestwo), it was a wise gamble. Today, the unified Decades vintage and modern business now does several million dollars a year. You can't grow a business without taking some risks.

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Retail is a lot like operating a hedge fund or playing the Wall Street game. One makes investments in "stock" and prays that you can sell said inventory at a profit... someday. Warren Buffett didn't become a billionaire by running Berkshire Hathaway strictly by the numbers. A great investor must be both strategic and a poker face gambler. If I had built Decades solely by following PNL statements, we would be out of business. Retail must be creative and sometimes you need to put some money out on the line. Fortunately, I am a good gauge of what is sellable, so while Christos is counting pennies, I am making us the Benjamins.


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