When I got into this business, the best thing about it was that I could have a full-time career and still be there to make dinner for the family, drive carpool and, you know… be Mom. Several people I know were also looking for something part-time, that would allow them to have a similar kind of set up. So you know what I did? I offered them the same opportunity. I contacted the manufacturers I work with and said, “Hey… I know I’m selling you here in Louisville, how about if I bring on some additional cities?” The companies were ecstatic and more reps joined the team – Robyn in Memphis, Sheryl in Los Angeles and, most recently Amie in Chicago.
As I started getting busier with the social media side of the business, I could feel the boutiques getting neglected. So I took a good look at my strengths and weaknesses and determined that I needed to bring on a salesperson right here in my hometown. I knew right away the best person to approach. When adding to the group, I wanted the best. And I got it.
I’ve known Caroline (Cathy as she’s known to me) for about 4 years. Our children attended the same preschool. She and I worked closely on our annual event. In the last few years, I’ve watched the silent auction go from bringing in about $5000 to nearly $11,000 this past year. All due to Cathy. All due to her approach of,”I know you want to give to us.. so just give it.” She won’t take no for an answer.. and it’s proved true in this business too. But even moreso, what she’s really good at – and clearly enjoys – is making relationships and nurturing them. She’s clearly not just in it to “make the sale” – that’s the byproduct of what she does. She has “close personal friends” all over this town – and she’s extremely loyal to each of them.
I recently sat down with Cathy, in between our many business meetings, and asked her some of my favorite interview questions so that our readers could get to know her a little better – not just as the sales queen, but as a person too.
What is your career background, before coming to this position?
I spent 15 years in HR and Staffing in the Cincinnati Tri State area as well as Kentuckiana. I relocated to Louisville in 2002 to settle with my husband, who works for UPS. In 2005 I had my son and effectively took a sabbatical from the work force choosing to stay at home, raise my son and work on fundraising projects.
What’s your long-term goal with 520 East Brands?
I came to 520 East Brands in the Spring of 2010. After working with Shane Shaps for 4 years, as volunteer board members, we took our relationship to the next level as business colleagues. Working with 520 East Brands allows me the flexibility to be a mommy and wife first and foremost. Secondly, it gives me the opportunity to earn an income doing what I love to do, build and nurture business to business relationships through networking, selling and marketing products and brands that I believe in.
What’s your daily schedule like on days you are working?
My schedule is very flexible, it allows me to get up with my son and get our day started together before I go out to work. I spend most of my day calling on retailers and fostering relationships. Looking for ways to increase their profit margins while fulfilling my own personal financial goals. I am back home with my son by 4 in the afternoon for dinner and quality time.
Where did you grow up?
Although we consider Louisville our hometown, I was born in Caracas, Venezuela and spent most of my childhood and young adult life in Cincinnati, Ohio.
What’s your “elevator pitch” about what you do?
I am a product rep for 520 East Brands. We are a local company, made of moms and we market products that we believe in to area retailers. We represent companies with style.
What’s your favorite vacation of all time?
We split our vacation time between Saugatuck, Lake Michigan and visiting family in Seattle and Colorado.
What’s the one place you’d love to go with your family?
Alaska – to see nature at its best.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Louisville?
Family restaurant is Zaytune and date night restaurant is Seviche, both located in the Highlands.