“My first priority is family, and that has ruled my life.”
– Roz Pactor
According to Roz, fashion was her first love, and it led to retail. “At five years old, I was modeling clothes and wearing sunglasses for my Dad’s home movie camera,” laughs Roz. Later, she was also ringing up groceries as a checker after school – and that’s retail! A talented graduate in fashion merchandising from the University of Houston, Roz was sponsored by Neiman Marcus to attend a fashion school in New York, where she learned the fashion world through various internships and where she began her career at Bloomingdale’s.
“Eventually Lawrence Marcus wanted me to come live in Dallas and work for Neiman Marcus,” says Roz. Even though she says she owes her career to Neiman Marcus, she turned down the offer. “I was ready to come home to Houston to be with my widowed mother.”
Here, Roz began a 31-year career at Foley’s Department Store, and, she says, it was the favorite time of her life. “I met my husband, Alan, who was a buyer at Foley’s.” She eventually rose through the ranks to become Vice President Fashion Director.
A series of mergers and buyouts led to Roz’s being invited in 2006 to move to Atlanta to work for Macy’s; but, once again, she turned that opportunity down. Her daughters were in high school in Houston, and that was that. “My first priority,” she says, “is family, and that has ruled my life.”
Roz decided, instead, to start a fashion and merchandising consulting business in 2006 – when blogging was just beginning in Houston. Hence, “My Red Glasses,” the fashion / lifestyle blog that enabled her to fulfill her second biggest priority: supporting local designers and retailers, who would advertise on her site. Her blog expanded, and fashion and retailing led to dining, the arts and travel.
Ah – travel – which touches on her third priority – Italy! “I am full-blooded Italian, and we live across the street from the Italian Cultural Center,” says Roz with her infectious enthusiasm. Her maiden name is the Italian “Bilao.” She has been a part of taking tours to Italy since 2016.
“Each tour is made up of about 10 people, and I do all the appointments for shopping” says Roz, adding that she schedules one full day for Prada and Gucci! (Of course.)
Guests at an event at The Tradition were invited to hear Roz’s presentation about her latest trip to Italy at the time. Guests were salivating.
“I enjoy creating interest in all things Italian,” says Roz, saying that she is immersing herself more and more into that culture – taking Italian lessons and becoming increasingly active in the Italian Cultural Center. And, she says, her husband loves it!
She produced a luncheon and fundraiser at the Cultural Center, which brings us to her fourth priority – supporting select causes in Houston. Known as being a “charity dynamo,” the number one charity she supports is the American Heart Association.
“I have lost some of the most important people in my life – both parents – to heart disease,” said Roz. To fight back, Roz started the “Shop with Heart Card.” It lasts a week, from late April to May. The card is building participation every year, she says, and is great for purchasing gifts for Mother’s Day and graduation, as well as wedding presents.
Her other fundraising causes include those supporting women, children, the University of Houston Department of Retail, the Fashion Group International, and Italy! She is an enthusiastic member of Donne Di Domani – Women of Tomorrow – who sell an iconic marinara sauce only during the four-day Nutcracker Market, and all net proceeds, over $2 million over 30 years, are for charities benefiting women, children, and Italian culture.
Today, Roz is working on redirecting her blog a little. Whoever the recipient, her presentation of fashion, beauty and fine dining will be perfection (we like that at The Tradition). She is currently reveling in her number one priority – family: her husband, daughters and granddaughters. And, by the way, perhaps you’ve heard of her brother – Grammy award winner and singer, Steve Tyrell? Oh, my.
Roz is not, however, pausing her fundraising efforts. She is a powerhouse who works diligently on behalf of charities – as well as at everything she does. Houstonians are the beneficiaries.
– Linda Faulkner Johnston – The Tradition
For more information, go to www.myredglasses.com
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