My cousin Herb and his father before him had a small leather goods company that made high-quality attache and brief cases for men. Schlesinger Brothers was founded in 1919 and stayed in business until about ten years ago when in was bought by Tumi. The cases Schlesinger built had fallen out of favor with most men preferring soft-sided bags with straps they could throw over their shoulder.
One weekend I was with Herb, he was my father's age and more of a father to me than my own, and he talked about closing his factory which he had relocated from Camden, NJ to a small town called Berlin, NJ.
"In the old days," he remembered "men would come in and apply for positions. We didn't look at applications. We didn't background check. We didn't ask for their employment history. We didn't care that they 'interviewed well.'
"We gave them space on a bench, leather, wood, nails, hardware and tools and we told them to make a bag. If the bag they made was good, we hired them."