In days of the early twentieth century, up to 1965, Chinese residents did not have many business options. They could either work in the produce and restaurant industries, or choose to open a laundry service or antique shop. When Fong See relocated to Los Angeles from Sacramento he opened a famed silk undergarment shop but his wife - a business savvy Caucasian from Independence, Missouri - convinced him to diversify and include sales of Chinese "exotica". Lettice Pruett had an eye for business, and a few years later they opened three new stores in Long Beach, Downtown and Pasadena. Leslee Leong and her cousin inherited the F. Suie One Co. from her mother, Florence (Sissee) See Leong, the daughter of Fong See and Lettice Pruett, and shares her inheritance with her cousin, writer Lisa See. See continues to tell the story of their family that is most familiar to her.
The Roots of a Family Dynasty
"Motivation and ambition paved the way for "risky" business ideas."
From Lingerie to Antiques
"Tombs and treasures fascinated those who came to meet the salesman and his goods."
A Family Affair
"Leslee Leong relates the family's history to their love of antiques."
The Marriage of Fong See and Lettice Pruett
"Leslee Leong describes the unusual marriage of her grandparents, one of the first Chinese-Caucasian bi-racial marriages."
Fong See's Younger Wives
"Leslee Leong shares the story of her grandfather's wealth between Chinese and Los Angeles and affections within generations."
Keeping the Story Alive
"Leslee Leong recollects family gatherings and the preservation of stories."