The Alhambra Coin Center was founded in 1975 by my father and uncle, and remains a close-knit family business today despite its significant growth over the last 40 years.
I was about 8 years old when my father starting bringing me in to work with him on Saturdays, sorting pennies and the like. In my teen years, I decided I hated coins and wanted nothing more to do with them -- I had "real" jobs in other fields (the coin world is not the real world, let me assure you), expeditiously climbed the corporate ladder, and was generally bored out of my mind.
Throughout my fairly ordinary careers outside the shop, one constant remained: every Saturday I would work with my dad at the shop, driving 35 miles each way when I went off to college. I came back to work at the family's coin shop full time for "just for a little while" in my mid 20's. A couple years and some soul searching later, I knew that this was the place for me and devoted myself to learning as much of the business as I could.
So it is that I find myself in a bit of an awkward place right now; when people ask how long I've been in numismatics, the answer is technically some 20+ years, but I'm hardly the expert that that length of time should signify. Not a novice, yet a long way from a true numismatist, I'm squarely in the middle of the coin field and beginning my higher education in earnest.