On growing up in South Carolina and his first job:
I had job opportunities when I was ten and thirteen...even if it [was] shelling beans. Even when I did that, I noticed that the store was busy. I remember the first phone call I made on a brand new phone we just got. It was back to that store. I said, "May I speak to the owner? I'm Lou. I'm one of the kids outside that helps you. I noticed you're very busy inside the store. Do you need some help? Can I work in the store?" He says, "What's your name again? If you are coming here tomorrow, come in and see me."
Right away, I was working in the store. I remember taking over the vegetable area and the stock was selling out like crazy. He said, "What are you doing? Giving this stuff away?" I said, "No! I'm giving them a good deal, which they think they're getting." It's not the way I sell design services. It's just being at the right place at the right time and getting the opportunity and seizing the moment. I think that that's key.
(Above: St. John’s University – 101 Astor Place, designed by The Switzer Group)