You get butterflies in your stomach, your heart races, and you can’t seem to think about anything else! You’ve been lucky enough to be struck by cupid’s little arrow for love…job love that is! If you are someone who loves what you do, then count yourself as lucky! Each February I like to interview one of these local individuals and put them on my blog.
This February I’m focusing on local businesswoman Rosanne Nettles. Let’s just say this woman knows dresses and she’s gearing up for busy season! Did I mention she has three adorable and rambunctious boys?
Give us an overall view of your businesses- you have a few brick and mortar and online.
My husband and I are the owners of Genealogy Boutique and Formals. We have 3 physical store locations: Mt Pleasant, SC, Pooler, GA and Raleigh, NC.
We also operate and maintain 3 websites, GenealogyDresses.com/, SidelineSweetie.com, and DressTherapy.com. We opened our first Genealogy Boutique location in December of 2007 in Pooler GA. Our brick and mortar stores primary focus is formal wear and dresses for any occasion. I have 3 beautiful boys, ages 4,3,2… yep God has a sense of humor people!
What were you doing before this?
Right before opening Genealogy, my family owned and operated The Castle a Bridal Store in Spartanburg SC. From there I got married and moved to Savannah GA where I became a sales rep for Lafemme and House of Wu formal dresses. I traveled NC, SC, VA and WV. That was a crazy time as my husband is a pilot and I was traveling. The positive of the entire experience is it completely opened my eyes to how stores run and operate. Going into others stores as a sales rep gave me a great insider view of what works and what does not.
What do your stores offer that are unique to Charleston?
We are very niched. We offer a huge selection of formal wear dresses in the most desirable brands. We do carry ready-to-wear clothing as well, however our bread and butter and what we are the best at is formal dresses, prom dresses, and pageant dresses. It also makes us different that we are not a bridal store. After my travels I realized that it is nice to have a formal wear store separate from a bridal store, as brides like to have their time and prom girls like to have their time. We like to pump up the music, we like to be loud and we like to be fun!
How do you prioritize your time between business and family? You have 3 small kids- how do you do it?
Ha! I have had to learn first and foremost that both are important and both need their time. I have to be super flexible when I can get my work done. I am often up super late and working a lot during nap times, and down times. I used to feel that if I was not in front of my computer at my desk from 9-8 then I was not getting all of my work down and I was letting down my employees and would feel guilty. I then would feel guilty that I was not playing with my children. But as I look at my 3 beautiful boys, they are growing so fast that I cannot do that anymore. I have realized that you have to give yourself a break, it is okay if you go outside and play with your kids for an hour or so during the day. Take the morning and play, and get a sitter for the afternoon, or designate time to pay bills and do computer work in the evenings as I can do that watching TV after my kids go to bed. This is just a season, and I push my guilt of both to the side and realize both are important and a conventional work schedule does not work for me anymore!
Exercise is also not an option it is a priority. It keeps my mind clear and ready for anything.
Do not let me fool you somedays are rough!! I can be sitting at my desk and turn around and literally every single child is crying and every single toy is thrown out on the floor and the computer at all 3 store locations breaks. I mean there are totally those days. I take a deep breath and think…’Take 1 thing at a time!’ I have often had to do website customer service with my children screaming and crying in the background. It is not beyond me to say “I am so sorry someone brought their kids to the warehouse today” HA #Truth
What is one thing you find to be true that most people would disagree with?
You can find good people to help you run your business. You do not have to be a micro manager of every single aspect of your business to make it run effectively. Yes you need to be aware of all aspects of your business, yes you need to do checks and balances. I am definitely not saying I have never been burned, oh have I been burned. However if you are a good owner, treat people as fair as possible, and love/pray for your employees they will reciprocate the love and take ownership. Delegation to the right people is huge. If you can trust someone with a little, you can trust them with a lot.
What were some of the biggest lessons that have impacted the way that you work?
Know your gut! If you feel like something isn’t right I would be willing to bet it isn’t. Just as I wrote earlier, if you can trust someone with a little you can trust them with a lot. If someone is not following your dress code, I can guarantee you they are also not doing something else correctly. If someone is not cleaning your store and taking ownership, I can guarantee they are slacking in other areas that will come out later. Fix these issues before they become a larger problem.
Clean – nothing says more about your business than to have a clean store/business. In my travels I saw more dirty stores than I could have ever imagined. First impression is huge. Best advice ever!
Have a manual – A lot of small businesses I have realized do not have an employee manual. Even if it just says: Do your job and all aspects associate with the day to day business, do not steal time or money and show up to work when you are scheduled, you are better off than not having anything stated. When you have a rare instance where an employee goes rogue you will need that manual to help back you up.
What would be your superpower or what’s your spiritual animal?
Koala hahaha just kidding, I wish! I am definitely a Funny Lion, if that is a thing. My personality is definitely Choleric Sanguine by nature. I have big ideas, and sometimes I am not sure how the follow through it going to happen but I can see it and don’t care how we are going to make it happen as long as it happens. My sanguine side lets me laugh at myself and life which, trust me, helps me deal with these 3 crazy boys on a daily basis!
In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Thank you Rosanne for contributing to this month’s post!
Jordan Ilderton, CPA
Rosanne Nettles (far left) on Lowcountry Live February 1, 2017
Check out her stores at: