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Vera was the third of four children born to Fanny and Meyer Salaff who encouraged each of their children to find a passion and follow it – in her case drawing and painting. Her father gave her 50 cents for each sketchbook she could fill with her drawings as well as taking her to The Metropolitan Museum of Artevery Sunday.Ultimately, each of the Salaff children chose a creative career path. After high school, Vera attended art school at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and enrolled in classes at the Traphagen School of Design after graduation.Her first job was as a fashion illustrator and then a textile designeron Seventh Avenue in New York. Shortly afterwards, she left to design fabric and murals for children's rooms.
Vera met and married Austrian George Neumann whose family background was in textiles.The two moved into a small studio on 17th street where they decided to merge their career backgrounds and began their company, Printex. They built a small silkscreen printing press to fit on their dining room table which was only large enough to produce linen placemats. These were then cured in their kitchen oven.
They were soon joined by their friend Frederick Werner Hamm, a recent German immigrant who also had a background in textiles. Hamm used his sales skills to secure their first order from the department store B. Altman.The company outgrew the apartment and moved into a larger one, which soon became too small, so they moved into a large derelict 1810 Georgian Mansion near the Hudson River in Ossining, NY.
Walter Erhard worked alongside Vera and created 50% of the designs. His position was Art Director and later became a Vice President as well. He and Vera traveled the world to study and photograph other cultures and their artwork to give them ideas to use in designs. As well, Walter Erhard took thousands of photos in his travels and well as purchased folkart, some of which was on display in the Vera studio/showroom (now available for sale online).
Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe were some of her huge group of fans.