Number of employees you oversee: 10
Brief background about your education: Associate degree, Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon.
How did you find your current role? I became chief operating officer for Marla June’s Clothing in 2005, when I changed my career from advertising to store owner. We opened our first store in Pendleton, Oregon, in 2005. We then opened the Kennewick store in 2014, the Boise, Idaho, store in 2015 and Walla Walla store in 2016. Our family corporate office moved to Kennewick in 2015.
What does Marla June’s Clothing offer that you can’t find in an online shopping experience? Personal service. Our No. 1 priority is customer service. We want to be your personal shopper and we use our knowledge of our fashion lines and accessories to assist you to find the fashions that best meet your needs.
What do you wish Tri-Citians knew about the local retail market? The local retail stores provide great selection and personal services. Local retail businesses are great supporters of community events and organizations. We contribute local jobs, payrolls and sales tax to the local cities. Always hopeful local customers will choose to come in to support their local retail store before shopping online.
What will be the hottest accessory or item for winter? Our unique jewelry from Brighton, Uno de 50 and Diana Acuesta, scarves, unique jackets and cute, comfy and stylish boots!
What are your professional goals for the coming year? Continue to better understand ways and means for me to communicate with our customers to learn their wants and needs.
What is one characteristic that every business leader should possess? Have honesty and integrity to make decisions that are in the best interest of your customer and associates each and every day.
What is the biggest challenge facing business owners today? For local brick-and-mortar retail stores, being able to provide great customer service and products to have customers choose to come into the store versus shopping online.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position? You will face a lot of challenges. You must have passion and believe in yourself and your store to persevere. Passion…My energy and passion will affect the stores’ productivity, not the other way around.
Who are your role models/mentors? My husband. He is and always has been supportive and very knowledgeable about business, people and how to make our business successful.
How do you keep your employees motivated? We show our associates appreciation for their results often. Our associates are a key to our success. They treat our stores like they are owners, and the customers see how dedicated they are and how much fun they have serving them.
How did you decide to pursue the career that you are working in today? I was in TV advertising for a number of years. I loved fashion and had always wanted to open a women’s retail clothing store. I worked with my husband who helped me pursue my dream and we developed my first store. The love of fashion, my customers, my passion and the support from my husband has made Marla June’s a successful business for 15 years!
How do you measure success in your workplace? Customers who have a great shopping experience and say they have fun shopping at Marla June’s.
What is your leadership style to be? Lead by example. I work in the stores each day and communicate to our associates what our vision is and how we can achieve it.
How do you balance work and family life? Owning your own business is definitely a full-time job! You are always in the past, present and future. Luckily, I have always had the support of my family, and I love what I do.
What do you like to do when you are not at work? Well now that I am older and an empty nester, my husband and I enjoy being home, popcorn and Netflix!
Best time management strategy? Prioritize and make a list of your priorities and rewrite your list!
Best tip to relieve stress? Gratitude and a hot bath! Don’t focus on how stressed you are, but how lucky you are!
Most-used app? Google Maps to find places.
Favorite book, TV show, movie? Well I only have time to read a book on vacation…mostly motivational books. Favorite TV shows are “Million Dollar Listing,” “Chrisley Knows Best,” and “Yellowstone.” Movie: Always “Pretty Woman!”
Do you have a personal mantra, phrase or quote you like to use? Fashion, fun, friends...fabulous! Work hard, play fair, LOVE BIG!
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