For Dorothy Roberts, Chairman of The Echo Design Group, the company has been a “family affair” since it was founded in 1923 by her parents, Theresa and Edgar C. Hyman; She grew up in the scarf business. As Dorothy recalls, “By the time I was five, I knew accessories buyers from coast to coast. When you grow up in a business like mine you hear all about it at the dinner table.”
She also worked at Echo after school and during summer vacations. After graduating from Connecticut College in 1950, she married Paul Roberts and joined her father and husband at Echo. “They gave me a clipboard – no desk. I did everything no one else wanted to do.” Dorothy’s husband, Paul, eventually became President of Echo. “My father was wonderful to Paul. Usually in family businesses there are a lot of problems, but all of us got along beautifully. Paul and I used to walk to the office holding hands.” When Paul Roberts died suddenly in 1978, Dorothy took over the presidency. “The only constants in our 85 year history are quality, fashion and design,” Roberts says. “I had to ask myself if I really wanted to go on, but when there is a lot to do, you just do it. He died on Wednesday. The following week we were back at work on the holiday line. It was good therapy.”
At Echo, everyone is treated as “family”, sharing the same high standards of quality, service and integrity instituted by Dorothy’s father, Edgar.