and awkward as that may be, fight for it and you’ll be happier in the end”. –Mel. Another solution that she had and says she will do for her next venture is to not have a partner but instead hire an amazing C.O.O. someone who manage and operate things while you are the sole owner. Business plan- Mel did not write a business plan initially. One, because they were solely funded and only needed a plan if they were going to investors for money. And two, everything for them happened to fast they didn’t have the time to write a business plan. Though she noted that while they didn’t write a plan in the beginning they now write plans all the time. Three-year projections etc. Financial Planning- Mel obviously does a lot of financial planning but by meeting with a financial group she is furthering her planning by planning long term in order to have the company grow by staying within her means. Pricing Strategies- They started our very high end with higher prices. Then when they found that they really couldn’t grow they redid their pricing and created a lower line
Creativity- Because this is a part design company they really get to use their creative juices! Mel credits much of her success to an amazing design team. I found doing this interview to be very interesting. Mel was incredible to talk to. I find it totally inspiring to listen to other peoples stories and how they got from eating pizza everyday to an 11 million dollar company. The thing that I learned the most was her piece of advise about getting 51% percent of the company. I found it to be smart and business savvy as well as her suggested to be a sole proprietor and hire a great C.O.O. I took away from this the most because while I don’t have a specific venture I hope to pursue someday I feel like the entrepreneurial concepts and thinking process are the way I think. So for me being a C.O.O. would be great. I would be working hand in hand with a creator of a new idea while also using my entrepreneurial background to add to it and be in charge without being the owner. At the end of the interview I asked if there was anything else she would like to add and she told me this. “Say good morning to everyone in your office everyday. And be nice, it’s a team, similar but different to a family. You will spend more time with these people then you will with anyone else. Congratulate people when they do good work”
Ginger Bailey CEO of GG Bailey
Member of the Committee of 200 Interviewed by Emma Bisogno
What does the word entrepreneur mean to you?
What keeps you up at night?
It’s attached to being a good manager – achieving the ultimate success through being innovative, taking risks, and having initiative.
I think about everything - all the possibilities related to both personal and business matters, it always changes. I try to shut off business but I can’t. I think about the economy and growing the business.
What do you think are the most valuable attributes of a leader? It starts with values and having empathy. Understanding peoples talents and their fit within an organization. Being a good role model and being able to “walk the talk.” What is your most profitable mistake? Taking a job in the financial industry, I didn’t fit. It was too abstract for me. I ended up turning down a job with GE and the chance to work with Jack Welch but that mistake led me to the epiphany that I need to be an entrepreneur.
If you could go back to college and give yourself one piece of advice what would it be? I guess my advice would be about all of the distractions that we are faced with on campus. I wish I could have focused more on academics.