We all have people who inspire us. Some inspire our spiritual side. Some inspire us with their creativity and ability to believe in their dreams and trust they will find their way. We all hear about the people who are successful because they do what they love. To me, that is the “build it and they will come” mentality. NOTHING is that easy. I find it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice to “do what we love.”
So, who inspires me? Well, I have a list of women who I have seen accomplish their dream, build successful businesses and still exhibit great humility and appreciation of employees and customers alike.
My first inspirational woman in the retail business is Frances Gravely of Vietri. What she and her sister accomplished with their mother is amazing. When they began over 25 years ago, they had a vision to bring back home to America a handcrafted dinnerware style that was not the norm at the time. Think the perfection of fine bone china vs. the imperfection of hand perfected dinnerware. Who would think something like that would work? Who would defy the odds and become one of the leading tabletop collections? Obviously, they did, and they worked hard for that “overnight success.”
Second, I find Conni Reed of Consuela. Those handbags just keep kicking butt! Why? Because Conni does not sit on her laurels and say, “why, yes, I created the most popular tote, bag, etc. and now I’ll sit back and enjoy.” No, she constantly “gets it” and keeps reaching for more. Like me, she spent years in the corporate world. It’s hard leaving a steady paycheck for a dream. But, dream she did and now she and her incredible staff (I’m partial, they are as cool and hip as her collection) just keep creating and inventing a new path in the handbag venue.
Last, but not least, is Beatriz Ball of Beatriz Ball. I so love this collection of tabletop serving pieces that I can’t imagine anything as magnificent in the industry today. And, she has created this from a vision, an idea, a passion and she still loves getting ideas and suggestions from her customers. I greatly admire her, even though she did tell me she has a love/hate relationship with neighborhood deer!
While these women represent what I think is the best of my industry, there are many other women who inspire me on a personal or spiritual level. But, I hope any young woman with a dream will look at these women and see they CAN achieve and can accomplish, at any age, what they were meant to do to live a complete life with no regrets. Enjoy your dreams, enjoy your accomplishments. I do every day and these women remind me I can do even more with my dreams.