Mindy Sevinor has a degree in business and a masters degree in urban education. She’s also worked in the Boston Public Schools as a reading specialist. So it may come as a surprise that she’s now the showroom brand manager at her family’s business. Mindy spoke with me about the family business and how she juggles her passion for charity work and her responsibilities on the showroom floor.
Danielle Galian: How did you start working for the family business?
Mindy Sevinor: My grandfather started the business 70 years ago. I’ve always been business minded and I wanted to lean back on my first degree. I feel it is a privilege to work with my family and want to learn as much as I can from them. I’m now the showroom brand manager – sales on key accounts, merchandising and displays, social media, vendor meetings and attend buying group meetings.
DG: Do you think your background in education and volunteering gives you a deeper insight when working with customers?
MS: Yes, I think the process as a whole is extremely overwhelming for homeowners. They may have never remodeled a bathroom before, technologies have changed and choices are endless. It brings me back to the days of being a reading specialist – you have to keep the strategy simple.
DG: How are you managing social media within the company?
MS: It’s an easy and inexpensive way to let people know what’s going on. We’re hosting exciting events, attending shows, changing displays, and taking on new product lines. What a great and easy opportunity to spread the word to let our audience know while educating them. Our showroom is ever-changing. It’s like a living animal. It’s a great way to let everyone know each time they come in there will always be something new to see. And it’s a way to show people you’re in the know.
DG: What types of challenges have you experienced in the business that have helped you gain further insight?
MS: I think the most important thing is just to listen. With excitement, drive and passion the rest will follow.
DG: Listening is so important and integral to any business.
MS: Yes, my dad had a manager many years ago and he always refers back to this gentleman because he was such a great listener. If we don’t listen how can we help?
DG: Whom do you look up to?
MS: I really admire my dad’s savviness. I believe people really respect him because he’s a great listener, an incredible resource and he really cares. At the end of the day, it’s always about ‘did you provide the best service for the customer, how can we provide better service and how can we be different?’ My grandfather always said if you try something and it works then you’re a smart fella. And if it doesn’t work you pick yourself up and try something else. It’s the constant mentality of thinking outside the box.
DG: Let’s talk a bit about your volunteer work, especially overseas.
MS: I feel like that’s my strength. That’s what I’m great at. I’m great at helping people. I was in Ecuador volunteering at an orphanage, I was in Guatemala in the mountains building for schools, and last year I went to Bolivia and helped build houses. Now I’ve begun to think about my next trip. I got the bug again.
DG: What do the contents of your bookshelf say about you?
MS: I want to be a focused savvy businessperson who wants to travel the world.
DG: What type of advice do you have for success in the industry?
MS: It’s important to understand how the technicalities of the industry work (the world of plumbing), the strengths of the manufacturers, what the needs of your audience are and what trends are in the market place. It takes time and changes are happening at rapid speeds. Be patient with yourself because every day will be an opportunity to grow.