Rockville, MD – July, 2020
When David (Schiffy) Schiff, founder and CEO of The Schiff Group was 15, he was a lot like so many teens across the country who were star-struck by the band KISS. He worshipped the band and their whole show. The music. The smoke. The pyrotechnics. And the costumes. Man, those costumes. It was all so very dazzling to his young impressionable mind.
That was the beginning of how he came to love and eventually meet the band and become friends with guitarist Paul Stanley. Little did he know that was in his future back then.
In his early 20s Schiffy worked for a time as a roadie for touring rock bands and got to see them live. Including KISS. “It blew me away,” says Schiffy. “I had a smile on my face for a week. Even though I hadn’t met them, I had SEEN them. It was wild.”
As time passed and Schiffy’s career took off, KISS was always part of his life’s soundtrack. Bands are like then when you grow up with them.
Then, in 2017, something extraordinary happened.
“I got a call from a friend of mine at the Wentworth Gallery that Paul Stanley was having an exhibit. I knew I had to go. And that’s when I bought my first Paul Stanley painting called The World Downunder.”
Stanley had become widely known in the art world for his bold, colorful style and brush technique. And Schiffy was really captivated by his work.
Several months later Wentworth Gallery was exhibiting more of Stanley’s work. Again the phone rang. Again, Schiffy was compelled to go. While at the exhibit, Schiffy purchased another of Stanley’s paintings and this time got to meet the artist, take some photos and talk. “I can’t tell you how exciting it was. I mean it’s not every day you get to meet your teen rock and roll idol. Much less buy his art.”
Then something else happened that was completely unexpected. Stanley gave Schiffy one of his guitars. Yes, gave it to him as a gift. “I was blown away. I kept thinking ‘this can’t be real’”. But real it was. After chatting for a while, Stanley invited Schiffy and his daughter Kira to dinner. “It was a lovely experience. As we talked, I gave Paul one of my Schiff Group Challenge Coins and asked him if I could commission him to paint it.”
Stanley really liked the logo design and agreed to paint his own artistic version of it. So when Schiffy got back home he sent him all the information through the gallery and Paul’s manager. Several months passed and Schiffy was getting a bit nervous. Did Paul forget?
“That’s when I got the video,” said Schiffy.
It seems Stanley likes to communicate via short videos. In the video Stanley says, “Hey Schiffy. I love your logo. I love how the circle works. I’m gonna make it really great.” Then – nothing. More time passed with no word.
“Every one of my friends and my colleagues kept saying, you’re never going to get it. You know, just forget about it. And then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the gallery calls me up and said, ‘where are you right now?’ And I said, I’m actually driving home from work. They said, well get home because we’re outside your door and we want you to see a present that we just got.”
Upon arrival Schiffy saw the package. And he knew what it was. Eyes wide as saucers, he was speechless and just grinned from ear to ear like a little kid. “It was amazing,” he said. A day later, Schiffy received another video from Paul thanking him for being patient with him.
It was a life-changing moment for Schiffy.
“Paul has been a champ. He is a super nice guy. He was very cordial and very sweet to my daughter. And he is a consummate professional. I feel honored and grateful that he was kind enough to take time out of his schedule to paint my logo. It’s something I will treasure forever and will always remind me of when I was 15 and dreamed that anything was possible.”