Samuel Botero & E. Sztankoczy
I was born in Budapest Hungary. My family moved to Viennafor political reasons namely, escaping the Communist Government which had not only expropriated all our family holdings, but actually threatened my family with worse.
Life was far more agreeable in this beautiful city. I attended the "Akademie der bildenden Kunste Wien" , otherwise The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in a youth program. This idyllic moment ended when my mother's husband was chosen to join the Clevelan Orchestra. He was a pupil of Bela Bartok and a sort of child prodigy in his day. We move to Cleveland, whereI continued my art studies first at the Cooper School of Art, then at The Cleveland Institute of Art, affiliated with Case-Western Reserve University. After graduating, I soon realized that painting pictures would not get me very far financially, the odds against fame and fortune being very great in that field. I started working in window display which soon led to interior design work. Due to some projects for a developer of residential homes, I wound up designing some bank branches for a regional bank. The developer and the banker liked my style. One day they approached me with the idea of opening a hight end retail fashion store in a mall they owned. Being the adventurous sort and getting a turnkey deal, I jumped at it. I learned quickly that I knew nothing about business. Fortunately I knew so little, I didn't know to give up and close. Keeping at it, finally after several years, I became a success. Retail glory paled after a while. I wanted to do something more creative and interesting. I also wanted to try New York, a city I grew to love on my numerous buying trips.
Acquaintances I made in New York eventually led to an introduction to Samuel Botero. He was looking for someone to assist in his business. My background in both business and the arts was a natural, so I started working for him in 2003. After several years I became a partner in the firm. Today we are expanding our horizons into a showroom for specialty limited addition furniture designed by Mr. Botero and myself and home furnishing accessories found on our travels. It is to be called Samuel Botero et Cie.