October is celebrated as “Women In Business” month. According to the National Women’s Business Council, women account for 28.7% of all businesses nationwide while the United States ranks first for female entrepreneurship. In honor of this celebration, we took some time to interview the ladies that make up the Carmina Wood Morris team, resulting in some surprising insights!
When asked to name a woman in business that has been inspiring, Partner and Director of Interiors Pam Timby-Straitiff named Ann Freer, the owner of Chez Ann Salon, saying “she has tremendous passion for her business, clients, and employees. I trust her judgment implicitly and often say to myself, ‘what would Ann do’.” Lee Schlatterer from our interiors department says her younger sister, who is a MSS MLSP LCSW licensed therapist, is a woman in business that inspired her by giving a voice to those struggling with incredible difficulties and “always being up for the next challenge in life.” If you ask Shari Servillon and Danielle Johnson (both from our architecture department) that same question, their answers would be Tina Fey and Leslie Knope, respectfully (which we think is quite a fitting pair of answers; if you are familiar with the “Parks and Rec” character, you would agree).
Our team is pretty inspiring in their own right too. We asked Jessica Muehlbauer from our interiors department to share her passions, interests, and goals. Her response? “I must admit I love plants. I love to take care of something and then marvel at the beauty of your labor.” She aspires to one day open her own boutique, featuring a unique way to shop for interiors. Our Administrative Assistant, Stephanie Lutz, is currently attending college to reach her goal of becoming a financial advisor. When we asked Stephanie what impact she has had on the CWM office she said, “Making people happy here, whether it’s joking around to make them smile or always giving a cheery ‘good morning’. They also like to hear me say I’ve made coffee.”
One of our associates in the architecture department, Wendy Ferrie, feels her impact on our firm stems from her strong relationship with clients, coworkers, and consultants. By treating people with respect and compassion Wendy has made our entire team feel at home, which is just how she’s felt here personally. Her advice to anyone: “be honest with yourself and those you work with. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t think that you are above or below anyone. Work with people as peers and show your appreciation.”
Our next question to the ladies of the office: What motivates you?
- Pam: “The people I have around me. I’m fortunate to have great relationships and people in my life that spur my imagination, make me strive to be better, and catch me when I fall.”
- Lee: “Making others happy. Simply said, but it’s what makes me, me. I love seeing our clients at home in their new space, hearing others impacted by a renovation we helped bring to life, or making someone happy with a batch of my “famous” chocolate chip cookies!”
- Shari: “Selfless people, acts of kindness and love, and our beautiful planet.”
- Danielle: ”A deadline, feeling a sense of accomplishment.”
- Jessica: “A challenge- I love learning something new and having to work hard to figure it out.”
- Stephanie: “My little brothers. Knowing that they look up to me makes me want to do the best and be the best person I can be.”
- Wendy: “I want to be proud of the work I did at the end of the day, whether that is with work or with family.”
We couldn’t celebrate the success of women everywhere without asking our team for their perspective and advice for other women looking to make their start! Pam simply says “If you want something, go for it and never give up.” Jessica answered, “Be bold! Have a personality and never apologize for it.” From Shari, “Stand out, create value, and take risks.”
Finally, we asked: what is the first thing you do when you wake up and start your day? Whether it be drink coffee, exercise, snuggle with families or pets, or turn on The Today Show- these ladies come to work every day with a passion for what they do. Thank you for being such inspiring members of our team, not just this October, but all day every day.
About the author: Darra Kubera is our Marketing Coordinator, and although she made all the ladies answer these “silly” questions she feels weird answering and writing about them herself. So all she’s going to say is that she brings plenty of organization to the team, paired with an annoying obsession for turning things in on time (aka early), and a lot of loud laughter.