Housewares gender gap and succeeding in sales as a woman in a male dominated industry – Global Amici – EP28

What you’ll learn:

On today’s episode, our guest Stacey Reid the VP of sales at Global Amici talks about how low overhead cost can be a big manufacturing advantage, how to leverage relationships with sales representative groups and retailers and most importantly how to succeed in a male dominated industry as a women and overcome gender discrimination in the workplace.

About our guest:

Stacey Reid is a third-generation salesperson from Cleveland Ohio. She grew up immersed in consumer products business world. For the last 28 years, Stacey has worked for big brands, Fortune 500 companies, and entrepreneurial startups in the Housewares and Specialty Food industries (Le Creuset, Clad and Calphalon, and more). Currently, she is Vice President of sales with Global Amici.

Key takeaways from this episode:

  • Global Amici’s path to new product lines (kitchen accessories, pet accessories, private label, and branded products)
  • Why it’s more cost effective small-to-medium sized companies to use a 3PL
  • Global Amici stats (company size, warehouse size, sales rep group sizes, etc.)
  • How to use low overhead as a pricing and manufacturing strategy
  • Discount, off-price retailer channels—TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Marshalls, Burlington, Tuesday Morning—as a thriving wholesale retail channel for pet and kitchen accessory products
  • The housewares home décor business shift to online (Amazon & dot com) and off-price
  • Global Amici’s breakdown of successful dot com businesses
  • How to prevent third party selling and grow online by dropshipping
  • Sexism in the workplace: navigating the male dominated housewares industry
  • Stacey’s advice to women entering the industry as a salesperson + her take on how to be successful and break the gender gap and glass ceiling
  • Stacey’s advice to young women professionals: why becoming a master or industry expert in one category—electric, cookware, or tabletop—will make you more marketable and bring more career success in the long-run
  • Stacey’s big family wake up call that changed her perspective on life and work
  • Life and parenting advice to businessowners from two successful entrepreneurs
  • Stacey’s one piece of advice to building a strong work culture full of diverse women and personalities
  • Top 3 tips for young professionals on the path to growing a business career
  • Top Takeaway habit to make you a better version of yourself

Podcast Transcription

Announcer: Welcome to the Page 1 Podcast, a twice weekly podcast featuring a variety of guests and thought leaders on topics ranging from channel strategies to tariffs, influencer marketing, best-in-class product launches, and all the details about how to accelerate your eCommerce sales with the big box retailers, or what we call rCommerce. Now here’s your host, Luke Peters.

Luke Peters: Thanks for joining us on the Page 1 Podcast. I am your host, Luke Peters. This is the podcast where I bring you the best and brightest leaders to share consumer product sales and marketing strategies that will help you grow your business. I’m the CEO and founder of NewAir Appliances, where I cut my teeth selling products online, and now I’ve started Retail Band, where I hope to help other brands succeed in product launches, influencer marketing, and B2B online sale strategy. And right now, I’m offering a free evaluation of your online sale strategy. If you’re interested, find me on LinkedIn, or email me at luke@retailband.com. We can talk about opportunities with influencer marketing, or just look at your digital strategy, how you’re doing with Amazon, HD.com, lowes.com, wayfair.com and you know, hopefully provide a lot of value for you. So again, find me on LinkedIn or email at luke@retailband.com.

Luke Peters: So in this episode you are going to learn from Stacey Reid, VP of sales with Global Amici, on what it takes to succeed as a woman in a male dominated category of mass retail sales. We’ll talk about how low overhead can be a big advantage, how to leverage relationships with rep groups and retailers and as stated how to navigate a male dominated industry as a woman. Stacey, thanks for joining me today on the Page 1 Podcast.

Stacey Reid: Thanks Luke, I’m happy to be here.

Luke Peters: Great. And as I just previously mentioned, I was just talking to Stacey before the podcast started here, that I have two daughters. So looking forward to learning more. One just turned 18 and one is 21. She just graduated and is a really good public speaker. So I’m looking forward to this episode and a little bit more introduction on Stacey. She’s a third-generation salesperson from Cleveland, Ohio. That grew up in consumer products for the last 28 years. She’s worked with big brands from Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurial startups in the housewares and specialty food businesses.

Luke Peters: She was director of National Accounts at Igloo Products Corp. Stacey holds a BA in international affairs from the University of Cincinnati. And Stacey, before this podcast I looked online, so I was looking at Global Amici’s website and it looks like you guys sell beautiful glassware, but can you share more about what the company does? What else do you guys sell and who do you sell to?

Stacey Reid: Sure. Global Amici was founded back in 1982 and specializes in home decor. Our core competency, in this decade is glass and metal food storage. So if you think about the flour, coffee, tea canisters that you’re having on your kitchen countertop, that’s what we do. A few years ago, we made the jump from home décor into pets, because it was very easy to take those flour, coffee, tea canisters change the graphics, change the knob, do a bone or a paw and blammo, we’re in the pet accessory business.

Stacey Reid: So we’ve got about 120 skews on the pets side, and about 450 skews on the home decor side, the Amici home side. And it’s skew intensive, but it’s a really on industry, our channel of distribution to be in. It is part of the housewares industry, but coming from gourmet cookware, this is fun and fashionable and got some flare to it. So a little bit more pizzazz than a fry pan.

Luke Peters: Perfect. Well that gives us a good picture of it. So about 570 skews total. So why don’t we talk a little bit more about the company here. How about the number of employees, and are you guys warehousing and distributing yourselves? Are you using 3PLs? And if so, how does it look on the warehouse side?

Stacey Reid: Yeah, sure. We previously had our warehouse located at our headquarters in San Diego, California. And two years ago we made the decision purely for cost effectiveness, and really I guess just an overall better fulfillment process. We partnered with a 3PL up in Reno, Nevada, and it has been a total game changer for us. I highly recommend small, mid-sized company to do 3PLs. And I forgot totally what your other question was.

Luke Peters: The total number of employees, I guess.

Stacey Reid: Oh yeah. So we’ve got about 10 people in the office. And then we’ve got a dozen or so independent reps’ groups out in the field. Remy who is the president along with his brother Tanner, the Sloan brothers, I call them, Tanner’s the CEO. And I’ll manage the sales and marketing of it. And we’ve got graphic designers, we’ve got accounts payable, customer service, one person dedicated for the dot-com business. And the other for brick & mortar. So it’s nice, and we do have a person on the ground in China as well. It’s a great size business.

Stacey Reid: You know, our low overhead allows for immediate turnaround, and we’re able to go from ideation to shelf or DC in about 110, 120 days. So we can really turn product around quickly. Plus we also are able to offer great competitive costs, whether it’d be private label or branded products. We really have become a destination or retailers.

Luke Peters: That’s super helpful, and we’ll dive more into that later. And you know, something I picked up on what you said that the 3PL in Reno has been a game changer. Is there a specific reason why? Is it just because it kind of takes a lot of the logistics out of the company so you can focus on sales and marketing or is there something else to it?

Stacey Reid: Absolutely it has to do with that focus and really comes back down to can you find good quality, reliable help. And in this day and age it’s just been harder and harder to find people who want to work or show up to work, and in warehouse shop it’s been challenging whether you need forklift drivers, pick and packers. So absolutely that distraction really took our eye off of our focus of getting products developed and out in the marketplace. So it’s just been a huge relief for us.

Luke Peters: And you guys sell into a ton of… I mean, most of the big names that you know that the listeners might recognize. I know you had a big laundry list of companies that you’re working with, but what would be your best retailer growth channel right now? Is there somebody that’s really standing out or growing for your brand?

Stacey Reid: Well, I’ll tell you. So I’ve been in the retail industry for almost 30 years. And I’ve got to stop saying that because I date myself with it. But you know, where I grew up in the age of specialty stores and the big power of department stores, and I’ve literally seen the evolution go 180 degrees where it’s really the off-price/discount channels that are the healthiest and that they’re thriving. So I’ve always been a big fan of the off-price discount channel and I’m talking like Tuesday mornings, Burlington, TJ Maxx’s.

Stacey Reid: And it’s just they’re a pleasure to do business with. And in this day and age, they are the wealthiest, they pay their bills, there’s no mark down, the ease of transaction of doing business is nothing. Whereas, I’ve got one retailer that requires upwards 19% in allowances and it’s just ridiculous. So I really, really appreciate the clean net-net business of that channel. And I will tell you that TJX companies, TJX Marshalls, HomeGoods, HomeSense are just phenomenal to work with. Top notch buyers. They’ve got great eyes, they’re always on trend, and they currently are our largest customer.

Stacey Reid: We’ve broken into a new channel grocery with Fred Meyer, Kroger and Publix, Winn-Dixie and Albertson in just the last year. And that’s a great and growing channel for us personally. But I also see them as healthy retailers in the marketplace. And it’s sad to say that beyond a powerhouse specialty retailer in the housewares home decor business has just floundered and just has been flopping like a fish on a dock for the last three years. So it’s been very painful to watch a retailer like that stop, but I think that in this day and age, the shopper is gravitating towards that off-price as well as dot-com. That’s where I’ve seen the money shift hands there.

Stacey Reid: I just road tripped up to Michigan last week, and in my 600-mile round trip, I noticed that there were only about three Walmart trucks that I passed. I didn’t see a single Target truck, handful of Meyer trucks, because of course we’re right there in their backyard. But I did see a whole bunch of Amazon Prime trucks. And back in my early days when I would travel Ohio in the surrounding States for my job, you would see Target, Target, Target, Walmart, Walmart, Walmart, and it’s just notice the shift in retail from the personal side, where do I shop, where do I friends shop? To the logistic side where the reflection out on the roadway is really dot-com has taken a lot of that market share away from brick and mortars.

Luke Peters: Yeah. And thanks for all the candid comments. I mean that’s great. And just to summarize, because I have a question about Amazon, but just to summarize, so Friday morning, Burlington, TJX and just your comment on clean net-net business, no huge allowance, which allowances it seems sometimes for me, because I don’t know the in store side as well and the newer brand is started on more of the dot-com and the rCommerce and the eRetailer side. So there’s a lot of allowances, with marketing and all these other things. But that was a definitely an interesting call out. And I just love the candid voice there about those retailers and your thoughts on that.

Luke Peters: So, speaking of Amazon, talk about the two different channels briefly with Global Amici. You guys it sounds like are mostly in store. But how about your digital business? Is that a growing business and about how much percentage wise of total sales is that business?

Stacey Reid: So we do business with target.com, Wayfair, Amazon, walmart.com. There’s like Dulily, there’s fair, there’s like a few handful of other dot-coms. But we’ve limited to about 8, 10 dot-com retailers. I think the biggest hurdle is preventing like third party selling. Because of the price force that happened between them. So it’s a challenge and we have it dedicated eCommerce salesperson who does nothing manage those dot-com businesses. We have the ability to drop ship, fulfill, so that’s been a great angle for improving our businesses online. And it makes it seamless for the retailer.

Stacey Reid: Amazon is our largest retailer, but I’ll say that Target Plus or Target marketplace, whichever the new moniker is, has come on strong. And I don’t think it will ever gain or catch up to Amazon, but it is definitely a solid second place dot-com retailer for us. And just working with a sender allows for us to put more products up. You know, the more products you have up there the better business that you’re going to have. But Amazon day in and day out impresses me as a retailer. And then we used to joke that they’re really a logistics company who dabbles in consumers products, but they really are the bar, the gold standard when it comes to dot-com and I say the same thing for Walmart brick and mortar stores.

Stacey Reid: They really are the gold standard as a retailer. You know, people have sometimes a negative view of Walmart, but they really are a very impressive retailer. And again, I’ve been privileged to work with them for the last 25 years and watch them grow into the world’s largest retailer just as I have watched Amazon grow as well. So dot-com is a very important part of our business. I think being owned by few millennials, makes part of our corporate mantra that dot-com online business is here to stay. This is where we shop and we’re going to support it 110%.

Luke Peters: Awesome. Okay. Well thanks for that recap. And it might be the first time that we’ve had, as a number two on digital target being a number two. So that’s great feedback and, probably aligns well with your product category. So cool to hear that. And funny Amazon a logistics company, or an accounting and charge back company or compliance company. There’s a few jokes that you could put in there. Cool. So anyways thanks for that and appreciate the numbers and kind of talking about the low overhead and how you guys are efficient at Global Amici. So let’s dig into this week’s theme, how female sales leaders can navigate a male dominated category.

Luke Peters: So again, just as I mentioned, I have two daughters and maybe it can help me, ignorant guy here. Describe maybe more specifically why it’s a challenge to be a female sales leader in a male dominated category.

Stacey Reid: Well, I think we don’t want to admit that sexism is in the workplace, but it really is. And my mother is professional. She’s an attorney at one of the national banks. And so I’ve kind of grown up with professional people, and I’ve looked at my dad and I’ve looked at my mom and, basically my mom has had to work twice as hard to be as successful as my father. And I’d have to say that’s still true today. You know, being in this male dominated industry of housewares, for the majority of my career, has it gotten better? Yeah, I’ll say that it has gotten better. I think a lot more women have entered into the industry, which helps, but at the end of the day, we’re still earning less and we still have to work extra hard or that much harder to be successful.

Stacey Reid: So should I recommend, “Don’t come into this industry, don’t go into sales?” Absolutely not. Just be smart about it, and know what challenges you’re going to be facing and just have some realistic expectation.

Luke Peters: Yeah. And what might be something specific that you’ve had to change to be more successful along the way?

Stacey Reid: Well, I’ve got very strong characteristics that would be labeled as you know, male. And when you’re labeled as aggressive as a male, you’re looked at as, “Oh, that’s great, that’s dynamite.” But when you’re labeled aggressive as a woman< there could be some backlash to it. "Oh, she's just a bitch, she's mean, she's evil." And so I've learned to not quite soften my approach, but change that aggressive moniker to assertive, and try and have a positive spin on things.

Stacey Reid: But at the end of the day, if I’m fighting for something that’s right, I could still get into a pickle, because what comes out of my mouth or how I approach a subject is looked at through the eyes or there’s a lens there that, hmm, women shouldn’t be acting like that. Women shouldn’t be saying something like that. So I think that would help me in being able to adjust myself to my audiences. I grew up attending acting classes at a local community theater, I’ll give them a shout out there. And so I’m able to somewhat manipulate myself to appease who’s in front of me.

Stacey Reid: And that works really well as a salesperson when working with a variety of personalities of buyers on the other side of the desk. But I also found that it helps with interoffice working, whether you’re doing cross departmental teams or you’re speaking with your superiors, that I’ve been able to kind of shape shift myself into what they want to see at the end of the day, having my end goal in mind. So, I mean it’s a little bit of a tap dance and it’s still sucks that we have work a little bit harder and kind of Jerry rig the system in order to be successful. But I can say that I’ve been successful for the last 25 years and I’m happy where I am and I really have no regret in what I’ve done and accomplished.

Stacey Reid: So it’s been a very satisfying career. And I would highly recommend anybody getting in here, just remember to have some realistic expectations wherever you go.

Luke Peters: Great. And let me dive a little bit more into that. So it sounds like you didn’t really necessarily have to tone it down, but you had to kind of change your aggressive or the approach that you would normally take you. It sounds like you’ve learned to alter that or change it a little bit, but you sound really confident. I mean that’s always helpful in sales. So we’re talking about how that approach can be taken from a woman’s standpoint, or how it can be taken as a woman. But let’s talk about the three different potential people that you’re working with. So it could be employees, or say leadership at the company that you’re at or the buyers on the other end. Are you saying that the challenges with all of them, or is it stronger with say one of those three categories?

Stacey Reid: Well, I think dealing with superiors or lateral employees, I think that’s where… Or just employees in general. I think that’s where the biggest challenge is. You know, you do have to manipulate yourself in front of a buyer in order to gain their competence or their interest in you and your line. So I don’t think that so much of a challenge from buyer to seller’s standpoint. I think it’s much more internal at the corporate level. And I’ve worked for some great people and I’ve worked for some not so great people. And I’ve come to a point where I don’t tolerate not so great people anymore, and I have the luxury of not having to work for them.

Stacey Reid: You know, early on in my career it was all about the brand. I chased the brand, the brand, the brand. And then it was all about the money, the money, the money, and now it’s all about the people. And if you can find a company that has awesome people with an awesome product, you hit the lottery with that. So if I could make that recommendation, save yourself some heartache and some sweat and go for that company that has quality people because life is just too short to really waste it on not so nice people.

Luke Peters: That’s a nice way to put it. So work with great people and there you go. I mean those are choices that people can make.

Stacey Reid: Right. Because I mean again, I’ve worked for some iconic brand. I mean All Clad and Calphalon are the top of the game in the gourmet cookware industry. And at the end of the day, they have the most beautiful, beautiful cookware in the world. But are you working in an environment that is healthy for you? And so part of my maturing process as I got older, I realized, that it’s not all about the brand. It’s not all about the company. It really is what you can accomplish with the people that you’re working with. And you spend more time with work people than you do with your family. So you better enjoy yourself while you’re out there.

Luke Peters: 100% agree. And from everything from college, choice, to degree to your decision to be an entrepreneur, or go work for somebody or whatever categories you get into. And the great thing about sales is you get to meet a lot of people and you get to travel. So there’s so many benefits. There’s the pressures on your back, it’s all results oriented. What are some mistakes, especially for young professionals listening some mistakes and learnings that you have made along the way that you wish you knew when you were first getting started?

Stacey Reid: Again chasing that brand or chasing that unknown. And I can give you this example back in ’90s, so early on in my career I had a goal, goals for myself. I wanted to be a president of a housewares company, by the time I was 50. I wanted to be a VP by the time I was 40, and you know down, down, down. And so I had arrived at a level where I’m due to be a national sales manager by golly. And I received an offer from Anchor Hocking and as well as Meyer Cookware. And this is coming from Le Creuset and Calphalon, or the two previous companies that I worked for. The next progression in the cookware industry would, “Let’s go work for Meyer Cookware.”

Stacey Reid: Anchor Hocking obviously it was an opening price point, glass commodity and a very different business model. But they offered me the opportunity to manage Walmart. And again, back in the 90s, Walmart… I think we had just switched from fax, orders to actual email. But they still had item change form, their famous form 33s were still in triplicate legal-size paper that you had to submit. So we were just on that verge of going over 2000 stores at that time.

Stacey Reid: So the regret, and I don’t want to say regret because I really don’t have any, but it would have been easier for my career to follow and stay in the same thing as Gourmet Cookware. I made the choice to go with Anchor Hocking to manage Walmart because I knew that if I wanted to be a president of a housewares company, I probably need diversity outside of specialty retailers and high-end department stores. And so working with a mass merchant was going to offer me well-roundedness. I look back now, I probably should’ve stayed in the same vein, and then eventually I would have found the mastering of different channel of distribution, aka mass or drug or whatever it be.

Stacey Reid: So I would advise people today kind of stay with a mastery of a consumer products vein. Again, I’m very blessed to where I am today because I have sold a whole level of products that fall into different channels within the department store or retailer, as well as channels of distribution. So there’s only a handful of retailers that I have yet to cross the threshold on. So I’d love that variety, where I can call on a Home Depot as easily as I can call on a Walgreen’s as I can at Target as I can a Williams-Sonoma. I would prefer young people become masters of electric or cookware or tabletop. I think that you would probably wind up more successful, more marketable that level of expertise, does that make sense?

Luke Peters: It totally makes sense. So you had a lot of… I mean, you were really focused it sounds like, as you’re writing your goals and you know, when I’m 40 I want to do this, when I’m 50 I want to be president of a company. And so I guess it is good that you went out and got those other skills, but just looking back, you think it might be more valuable to just really become an expert, which in today’s world and economy is true for like almost every category actually. You know those are the folks that are kind of making the biggest waves and can call their own shots and are adding the most value because a lot of everything else can be automated or outsourced, but true expertise are difficult to come by, and they take a lot of time, and they’re not easily replicable, so that’s great feedback.

Stacey Reid: So, I mean, I kind of jumped around within an industry. So I can still say that I’m an industry expert, but honestly, I would definitely recommend somebody stay in pharmaceuticals or somebody stay in medical supplies, or somebody even within the housewares industry, try and stay within a specific vein. But having said that, I’m a happy camper where I am and, I’ve been at the vice president level for the last 10, 12 years. I do have three teenage boys. Which that wasn’t part of my plans originally. I was never going to get married and never going to have kids, but by golly, I was going to be that president of a house ware company by the time I was 50.

Stacey Reid: So I’ve had to modify my goals in order to have that work life balance, which is very important. You know, again, early on I was all about work, work, work, rise, rise, rise, rise, climb, climb, climb that ladder. And I realized again, that life is too short and that you really need to enjoy that journey as opposed to just that end game. I don’t want to say I’ve softened, but I’d like to say that I’m much wiser in my age today. And I’m very, very happy with being able to attend marching band concerts, or hockey games or whatever it’d be, and truly live in that moment and not be worrying about a presentation that I have to put together for Pet Supplies Plus.

Luke Peters: Yeah, I mean at the end of it, when our lives are about to end, it’s I think the family component is going to be the area we wish we spend more time on.

Stacey Reid: There’s no doubt. Yeah. And I’ll just share this with you and you can have it be on the podcast or not, but my husband 52, had a heart attack last week, and I was just finishing up my appointment in Detroit with Pet Supplies Plus when my youngest son texted me and said, “Hey, has dad told you what’s going on?” And I’m like, “No.” And so there went the back and forth exchange and talking to my husband and he had chest pains and my youngest son was smart enough, he gave him an aspirin, dragged him into the car because of course John didn’t want to go because he’s 52 doesn’t want to blow the $200 on the ER copay.

Stacey Reid: But my son took him to the ER as I was racing back from Detroit. And sure enough, it was a heart attack, 24 hours later he had a cardiac cath, and they put a stent in and it was 99% block, one of the arteries. And it was a pretty big wake up call. Like you really could have been gone. Again, to your point about focusing on the family is a 100% because this is what matters. Everything else outside of it. So it was great. My middle child is a senior and he’s playing varsity ice hockey. So we literally went from the hospital on Friday to the rink. And people of course, were just astounded that, “Oh my God, you just had a heart attack two days ago, three days ago.”

Stacey Reid: And it’s like, “This is what’s important. Yes. Should I go home and rest? I could. Was it not required? You know, I’m here supporting my child and being with my family.” So it definitely is a wake up call. We were all about family to begin with, but it was like, “Okay, now we’re really about family.”

Luke Peters: It’s a big reminder. Thanks for sharing that personal story and glad that he’s doing better. And yeah, I mean everything’s fragile. It just unfortunately and sadly is, it happened with Kobe Bryant in the plane crash.

Stacey Reid: Oh my God, that was so devastating. And again, this can just be between you and I, but the other family… So yes, Kobe and his daughter are dead, but it was a husband and wife and then, Kobe’s daughters’ best friend who were killed and they left behind a daughter who’s a junior in high school. And here this poor child is without parents and a sibling, I wanted to throw myself off a cliff. I’m like, “Oh my God, are you kidding me? Coming home to an empty house?”

Luke Peters: It’s tough.

Stacey Reid: You know?

Luke Peters: Yup.

Stacey Reid: Oh my God.

Luke Peters: And down here, you know I know you’re in Cleveland by the way my family was all born and raised in Cleveland, even my parents.

Stacey Reid: Oh stop it.

Luke Peters: I’m not kidding you. So I have all kind of extended family there. But anyways, out here in L.A. Kobe is just completely, everybody loves Kobe because he really did a lot of things in the community by the way. He was really active. But anyways, no, I’m definitely going to leave this in the podcast because I think people will find it interesting and it’s timely, it’s what happened and people can just kind of re-evaluate their lives.

Stacey Reid: And hopefully these kids… My kids are generation Z just like your oldest daughter, right? My oldest is actually a junior at Cleveland State who’s also in marketing. And I actually look at him, and he’s got everything going for him. He’s athletic, he’s good looking, he’s a fourth-generation salesman, and I tell him, I’m like, “You’re going to have such an easier time being successful in sales doing whatever unlike me.” And so I’m really excited. I never look at it like, “Damn, I wish I was that” I am just super jazzed for my children entering into the workplace because they’re just going to have this phenomenal ride.

Stacey Reid: And I think that they’re smarter than I was okay back at their age, where they are a little bit more well-rounded when it comes to balance between life and work. My kids have all worked through high school and through college. And I think that they see us now with a good work life balance. So hopefully they’ll have a leg up when it comes two that making sure to have that family time or that downtime or that self-care time, and not killing yourself for the man.

Luke Peters: Oh man. Hopefully I’m not the man being a business owner. But I know what you’re saying.

Stacey Reid: Right. Don’t be the man.

Luke Peters: Don’t be the man. But you know what? It’s like I tell kids, speaking at like a middle school, or high school, or a middle school just as like a career day. But it’s like everybody should look at entrepreneurship now, and I think it’s easier for kids to be entrepreneurs than it ever has been.

Stacey Reid: Yeah. I mean come on, there were not entrepreneurial classes, let alone free, offered back when I was in college. You know, it was your basic business admin and marketing. And today there’s a plethora reference of degrees, including entrepreneurialship, which is phenomenal, because we used to think that you had to have it within you, right? You had to be that self-starter that want to do it. Which is great if you’ve got it, but having these degrees nowadays, just fine tunes these kids in to business management, it allows for them again to work with or without people. They can create these great cultures now and call the shots. Do you want to take Wednesdays off? Take the Wednesday off, go for it. Do you want to have a four-day work week? Go for it. So I agree with you 100%. I think it’s dynamite. And especially in this day and age where the traditional roles in consumer product companies may not be there.

Stacey Reid: And it’s so easy to develop a brand and get brands products in front of consumers. I mean, the internet is just like amazing. What used to take us 15 years to build a “brand” you can do it in 9, 12 months just with the power of social media. So I couldn’t agree with you more on that, having the young kids get into entrepreneurials.

Luke Peters: So there’s so many options and kind of… I know that you believe in transparency and honesty, ducky, you’re really direct and I can tell that, which is always really good in sales. And then you’ve had to reign in three teenage boys, which is another challenge in and of itself. But for women and just staying on theme for, how women should approach feedback, can you give some examples of how that’s helped you, but also how it’s backfired as far as giving direct feedback. And then maybe what young professional women can learn from that.

Stacey Reid: So direct feedback or constructive criticism is the political correct way. And I have no problem sharing that because I phrase it in a positive way. And I phrase it and I speak it in a way that I would like to be spoken to. And I grew up in the ranks of men where I was yelled at like a drill sergeant. And you don’t want to call it hazing, but it was somewhat of that cutthroat environment. And what I learned over the years is that’s really not appropriate behavior. And that old boys club, you can keep your nasty behavior over there.

Stacey Reid: And I’ve learned you share constructive criticism in a way where it’s more uplifting and empowering to people. And it’s been great. I do hire a lot of women not to have reverse sexism. But you know, I had this selling team at Igloo that was amazing. I had three women plus myself and we called ourselves the wonder women, and really it was just phenomenal. I mean, there was three very different personalities, including myself and it was just such a great dynamic. I’m not one to beat around the bush, and I think that allows for people to be at ease because it’s not like I’m over here squalling away, taking notes, keeping score, and then I’m going to come at you a month later, and you’re going to get a tongue wagging, finger wagging.

Stacey Reid: It’s definitely everything’s on the table, and nothing is barred. So it can be two ways. It doesn’t have to be just that one way. And so I believe that, that immediate feedback allows for an easier breathing environment. Does that make sense to you? I want to make sure if I was able to clearly articulate that.

Luke Peters: Well, no it does. It does. How about if we ask it this way, and this is kind of like to pull it all together. So let’s say we can put a number on it. What are three important things that new female sales professionals need to do maybe in their habits, in their personal growth or in their career to succeed? So not just the last time, the last question, but just everything about like what you’ve learned, and if you’re able to kind of prioritize what you feel might be the three most important things, that would help young ladies as they’re kind of getting started in their sales careers.

Stacey Reid: Sure. And it could apply to men as well. I mean, I don’t want to not share the same information I give to my children, my boys as I would a young woman. Most importantly is be true to yourself. Don’t ever sell yourself short. There’s a line out there that says, “Know your worth and don’t offer discounts on it.” And I think that I sold myself short one too many times. And thankfully I’ve learned. So I think first and foremost, being true to yourself and being honest with yourself is first and foremost. And then the honesty would be number two, that we’re all human. And if you make a mistake, you got to own up to it. Nothing is more distracting, detracting to an office environment where either somebody steals your idea or somebody throws you under the bus for having done something.

Stacey Reid: And I think that we need a little higher level or injection of honesty in a workplace. And that everybody takes responsibility for what they do or don’t do. So that would be the second one. And the third one is really to have fun. And if you’re in a place where you’re not having fun, you need to find another place because when we circle back around to, life is too short to waste your time, in a not so healthy environment. So that should be a red flag. If you’re not having fun at work, you need to get out that old adage of work should be fun. Because it is. Life is just much too short.

Luke Peters: Totally agree. Totally, and that’s why you want to be working with great people, but to summarize don’t sell yourself short, own up to your own mistakes, be honest, and then have fun and make sure that make sure you’re enjoying where you are.

Stacey Reid: Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, when my dad sent me to college I had three things. Three goals. One was meet as many people as I could, because he knew that it was about connections and making connections later in life, it’s so great that it’s like materialized into something like a LinkedIn or a Facebook, which is totally true. Because you can always learn something from anyone that you meet. The second one was to have fun and the third one was to graduate and he gave it to me in that order for a reason. And it’s networking. Make sure you have some social life and please at the end of the day graduate.

Luke Peters: That’s great advice. It really is. Actually, it’s funny because I was just telling you my daughter graduated and she had like a 3.5 and she had jobs and she was doing stuff. And I encourage her to do those things because it’s like if you already have a 3.5, I don’t think an employer is going to say, “Well why didn’t you get a 3.75?” Like at that point go out and make sure you experience all these other things. Right? And so yeah, that was good.

Stacey Reid: And really at the end of the day, what we want to see or I want to see as an employer, I want to see that you finished what you started. So I think it’s great that you may be on a roll. I think it’s great that you went to this blah, blah blah school. But at the end of the day, you know what, having a degree from Cleveland State and you have a 3.0, but you graduated, and you learned and you know, you’re a well-balanced person. That’s really what is important to me as an employer.

Luke Peters: Yep. And so that’s great. Good advice. And people get caught up, I think just like you were talking about earlier, too much in grades or even in their career too much.

Stacey Reid: I’m with you with the college thing. River at Cleveland State, my oldest and then Brody is the senior and he’s got a couple Ivy leagues that he applied to and then he’s got Ohio State University and everything in between. And I have too many fellow parents have gotten caught up in the upper end colleges that feel like that’s a must. And what I’ve told all three of my children is “We’ll pay for any state school that you want. Anything else beyond that you’re going to have to get in scholarship.” But at the end of the day, you’re walking out of college with little or no debt the end, because there are so many people in front of you that have assumed this ginormous college debt. And are in careers where they basically will never be able to pay them off.

Stacey Reid: So I think having that realistic expectation, for my kids and that can be applied into the workplace as well. You know, you’ve got to have realistic expectations here in life. And so it’s interesting how so many people get caught up. Like, “Am I going to go work for this Fortune 500 company? Or should I maybe start with you… Work for a small startup,” and it’s the same thing. Should I go to Cornell or can I be just as successful at Cleveland State University. So that needs to be taken into consideration.

Luke Peters: And that debt eliminates a lot of flexibility. So when kids are young and they get out of school and they’re testing out jobs, now they’re a little less flexible because they have all this debt load.

Stacey Reid: It’s terrifying. I mean, they’ll never be able to own a home or it will take them a long time. And again I just don’t you that they saw or completely understood what that debt really is. And you know what a $50,000 a year school does. Again, I’ll chalk it up to bad parenting, but don’t put that in there.

Luke Peters: Well, it’s in there. That’s funny. But Stacey, what is I guess interesting to learn maybe a habit, a ritual or a practice, that you’ve learned or done that has made you a better person either at work or at home. It could be like a morning routine or just something that you’ve learned from your experience that that has become a daily or weekly thing that’s helped you.

Stacey Reid: So I’m definitely going to say that self-care, which is a big trend buzzword thing now. I really, I truly do believe in that. And I do have a meditation practice. I do yoga. I’ll do stretching and/or rowing. And I think that having this meditation, mindfulness self-care practice, it’s 100% has made me a better person. And I think mindfulness rose out of self-care. You know I look at that as what I project out onto humanity because I’m taking care of myself, I’m bettering myself, I’m always striving to be a better version of today’s self. I do do a lot of reading. Of course it’s all digital now. I always say I read the paper and then my mom will say, “Hey, did you see that article, in the Cleveland plain dealer?” And I’m like, “Oh man, we don’t have the print paper anymore. So no.”

Stacey Reid: Or she’ll flip out an article for me whereas I very easily could have just looked it up online, but I do read a lot current affairs. And again I feel that that keeps me connected with I guess my community, my thing. So taking care of myself, broadening my mind, whether it’s through self-help books or reading newspapers, reading books and then just making sure I’m taking care of myself.

Luke Peters: Yeah. Interesting, we talked about health earlier, but self-care sounds a lot better than, me saying, “Hey honey, I’m going surfing,” but I guess I can turn my surfing into it… Because it really is like that’s my self-care.

Stacey Reid: It really is. It really is. Did you know it allows you to decompress?

Luke Peters: Yeah.

Stacey Reid: It allows you to get some sunshine and some saltwater. Right? And some physical exercise and so it is. So even though it’s a buzzword today, it really does make a difference for sure.

Luke Peters: Oh, I like that. So you’ve got self-care, meditation, yoga, mindfulness, and kind of with that, do you have a book or an article that you’d suggest the audience to read?

Stacey Reid: So there’s one on my desk right now. And I know you told me not to drop the F bomb, but it’s The Subtle Art of Giving a Fuck.

Luke Peters: I’ve read it actually. Oh great, what am I going to do if my kids listen to this?

Stacey Reid: So that’s a good one. And then, No Assholes Allowed, that’s another one that’s a few years old.

Luke Peters: That’s funny.

Stacey Reid: Yeah.

Luke Peters: Good stuff.

Stacey Reid: But it’s that type of… I resonate with the reality. Let’s be real people here. And so I mean Tony Robbins is a great speaker, motivational speaker, none of those guys can hurt, but I seem to gravitate towards the tell it like it is types of books.

Luke Peters: Well, I mean that’s probably why you’ve been successful. So you get to the point and honestly in sales that’s like the most important thing. You get to the point and you’re direct. And then probably with that, with being direct, you probably gained people’s trust. And like you said, you talked about honesty earlier.

Stacey Reid: Absolutely. You are 100% right. You know, what you see is what you get. And again, it removes that air of, I’m not sure who this person is. Should I trust them? Are they out to get me? And that’s just all taken away when you tell it like it is. Now, I will tell you that sometimes telling it like it is, has gotten me into trouble. So it comes with it. But at the end of the day, I believe that it’s all part of the process. And if I get into trouble, there’s probably a learning lesson that needs to happen there. So you just have to trust that you’re doing the right thing by doing the right thing. You can never really get into that much of trouble when your motivation is what’s the next right thing.

Luke Peters: And you got to take your shots in life. So sometimes they’re not always going to fall, but you got to take your shots and listen it’s been a great episode here. Great catching up with you.

Stacey Reid: Is an hour already gone by? Are we really up? Because I feel like we’ve only been talking a bit.

Luke Peters: Well that’s because it’s just a natural conversation. So that’s what I love about the Page 1 Podcast, and I get a chance to meet people like you, but no, I love your personality and it comes through. And I guess with that, how can listeners find you? Is it good to connect on LinkedIn or what’s a place that listeners might be able to find you on?

Stacey Reid: Yeah, absolutely. I’m on LinkedIn. I do believe I am searchable. Stacey Reid, S-T-A-C-E-Y R-E-I-D. I know it’s always a challenge when you’ve got extra vowels, and your names are not arranged where most well like them to be. So yes, Stacey Reid on LinkedIn. I’m also on Facebook, but I think probably it’s best for your peeps to stick on the business side. But again, I’m more than happy. If you want to provide my personal email, that’s fine too. And I’d be happy to talk to anybody.

Luke Peters: Cool.

Stacey Reid: Whether you’re late in your career, just starting out, thinking about what you want to do, most likely I’ve been there, done that, so I’d be happy to share.

Luke Peters: Yeah, I love it. Thanks Stacey, and just want to thank everybody for listening to this episode of the Page 1 Podcast sponsored by Retail Band. And quick reminder, I’m offering a free evaluation of your online sales strategy. We can look at your digital strategy on Amazon, Home Depot and Wayfair. We can review your products, look at your selling tools that you’re using, and also utilize our selling tools to understand your products. And we’ll present the findings directly to you. Look at opportunities with influencer marketing and if you’re interested, so find me on LinkedIn or you can email me at luke@retailband.com.

Luke Peters: Thanks again for listening to this episode of the Page 1 Podcast. I appreciate everybody that listens, appreciate your comments, suggestions and especially your reviews. We’ll see on the next episode.

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Episode References: Wingtips for Women: Success Without Compromise

Contact Stacey Reid: staceyannereid@yahoo.com+ LinkedIn

Contact Luke: luke@retailband.com + LinkedIn

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