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Rose was not bashful about saying that most affiliates would never pay his rates, even if he discounted them.
Jeff Rose was pursuing the dream of being an actor in 1984. Like most aspiring actors, he needed a real job. His parents were not fond of his job driving cabs so Rose decided chauffeuring limousines might be safer and ease his parents’ concerns.
His brother had a connection at Dav-El Chauffeured Transportation Network, and Rose was in the business. David Klein would become his first mentor and someone Rose views as “the Steve Jobs of the limo industry.” Klein’s methods helped build the foundation and principles that would lead Attitude NEW YORK to being named Operator of the Year by LCT Magazine in 2006.
In April 1986, Rose launched the company from his kitchen table with a single Lincoln Town Car sedan. This is a familiar starting point for so many operators now, but an uncommon way to start back then. Rose knew his attitude was about helping people deal with New York, so the name was born. Eventually he moved to a rented loft space on lower Fifth Avenue. “It was literally a corridor to someone else’s office,” Rose says. It was in that loft where he met his wife, Rosina Rubin. Rose was smitten with Rubin, but he says she didn’t feel quite the same at first. Good thing he didn’t give up. It was Rubin who one day quipped, “The limo service you can swear by….not at.” That would become a mantra for the company. The attitude began taking shape.
By 1989, Attitude NEW YORK had a real office in the meatpacking district and rented garage space from another limousine company. Rose committed to growing the company very slowly, buying no more than two cars at a time. He still believes that “growing too fast is riskier than growing slowly.” Financing vehicles instead of leasing and selectively taking on new clients through referrals and targeted marketing are still the preferred methods. His guiding principle is: “If we are the best in our market and watch our pennies carefully, it will all work out in the end.” Instead of focusing on profitability, Rose says he concentrates on doing the best job he can. By 1997, the company had a garage to call its own on 50th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues. The building eventually was bought by Kenneth Cole, who subsequently became a client.
ALL GROWN UP
With a fleet of 40 vehicles and a staff of 65, this formula for success seems to be paying off. The company has become a high-class “concierge with cars,” as Rose likes to call it. Whatever a client needs — from a good bagel to a good doctor — Attitude NEW YORK will help them find it, even at 2 a.m. Rose reports sales have not returned to the level he enjoyed in 2007 but are strongly and steadily improving. Rose embraces the potential of technology and hopes to someday install GPS systems, but has put that off until the economy improves. The company created its own software system for use in-house, but will never be the “order online” kind of service many big companies tout. Rose prefers one-on-one client service with a highly personal touch, something which appeals to its numerous high-profile clients.