May '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 8 M A Y P R I N T W E A R || 35 Q What advice can you offer women looking to succeed? Show up ready to learn about the other person—what their issues are, what their needs are, and what their goals are. This one simple thing will make you stand out from your competition. JENNIFER COX Gain respect of those you are doing business with, be transparent in your dealings, and leave your emotions behind. CRIS SAUNDERS Appear confident even when you are not. Customer service, provided by the entire staff, must be number one. Work hard to be judged not on your gender, but on the work you've accomplished. Stay focused on your goals because when you take your eyes off your goal, all you see are obstacles. CINDY VASILANTONE industry meant standing up for myself and be- ing judged not for the way I look but for my capabilities. CINDY VASILANTONE I see no differences in this industry as far as being a woman. In fact, the demographics we find in the multitude of smaller- and medium- sized companies lean towards women business owners. Maybe it's having grown up with five brothers, or the easy access of the decorated apparel market to part-time moms and retirees, but being a woman does not present any specific challenges to me. SHIRLEY CLARK, MADEIRA USA Sometimes you just must get over the fact that you're the only woman in the room. I've been a part of training sessions where I have looked around the room and noticed it's me and 20- plus guys. I don't let that bother me. I feel it's neither the fault of men nor women inten- tionally making this happen. It's just that more men started out in the industry years ago. DARCI JEFFREY-ANDERSEN Q How have you been challenged in this industry? When we first launched NNEP, my youth was more of a fac- tor than my gender. There were not many people in their early 30s in the industry, and here I was at 31 launching a national organization to serve the entire industry. My mom strongly en- couraged me to wear my glasses instead of my contacts, "So that you look a bit older!" JENNIFER COX Internationally, I try to understand each country's customs, such as challenges in negotiations, partnerships, and leader- ship roles. CRIS SAUNDERS I had major back surgery in 2007. As a wife, mother, and an athlete in the weightlifting sector of fitness, this was the big- gest hurdle ever. I had to take care of myself before I could care for my family and the busi- ness. Giving up my office duties to someone else meant having faith in the people I trained. Also, being a woman in a predominately male

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