Southsider Voice correspondent
You don’t have to travel far on the Southside to find a business owned by one of the four Mascari brothers, just visit Fountain Square, Perry Township, Beech Grove or Wanamaker.
“We said that nobody would hire us; we had to do our own thing,” said Frank Mascari, who owns Spalding Jewelry, 701 Main St., Beech Grove.
Frank has been in business for 34 years, and Gus Mascari has operated Bovaconti Jewelers for five years in Fountain Square. The name came from their great-grandfather’s former grocery store at 460 S. East St.
Tom Mascari went into the auction industry and has owned Mascari Auction & Real Estate Co. for 40-plus years. Mike Mascari took over Mascari Cleaners, which is more than 60 years old, from his father, Gus Mascari Sr. Mike remains the owner, but the operations are in the hands of daughter Angie and son Mark, both of whom see community interaction as the key for small business sustainability.
“We do get involved in the community, especially at high schools,” Angie Mascari said. “The Little League, the band, anything right here in our community we try to be a part of.”
When discussing the entrepreneurial spirit that the brothers exhibit, Frank credits his father. “My father was self-employed all his life, and I think we were just raised that way. I think that’s where it came from.”
Frank was 24 when he bought Spalding Jewelers. His business spring boarded him to a seat on the Indianapolis City-County Council.
“I was so young I was like, ‘I’ll give it a go,’ ” he said of the business. “It was a learning process. I feel like I know quite a bit about the jewelry business now.”
While being your own boss is appealing, Frank admits there are some downsides to owning a company.
“It’s tough to create a retirement plan; you just have to work till the end. That’s really the only drawback to being self-employed. Otherwise you get to be your own boss.”