Cherry Republic started as a one person company. I didn’t imagine I would ever need to hire help. I was single and had no other responsibilities– you can get a lot done if you look at everyday as 24 hours. Well, that lasted about one summer of struggle. The next summer, I started calling my Mom for relief. And then friends. And my poor girlfriends even chipped in too often.
I was struggling with the bookkeeping and organizing. My family pretty much made me hire a bookkeeper. I told her I only had 20 hours a week for her. Hah. She worked 40 hours from the moment she started and I hired someone else right behind her and then another. Hey, I found I liked hiring people. They can do all the stuff I don’t like to do!
The hiring has continued at an unbelievable pace over the years. But through all that hiring, I have kept managing several important areas like the marketing and brand and even though I had no time, I tried to coax along the creation of new products. But for the last several years, it hasn’t gone so well and been frustrating for me, for the entire staff and sometimes, even for our customers. Enough! I hired a savvy summer homeowner up here in the industry to help Cherry Republic understand how marketing and innovation could go better.
After studying us, he said, “Bob, you’ve happily hired people to do the things you don’t like to do. Well, now it’s time to hire people to do the things you like to do, because you can’t manage that huge amount of work anymore. And all this new hiring will become the Marketing Department, which will become the hub of the company. So, get Cory (Woessner, our graphic designer) some help!”
The first person hired was our Innovation Coordinator, Amy Eaton. She will be focused on our products. Here she is in our Glen Arbor store creating great new cherry products and fine tuning our existing ones.
The second person we hired is our VP of Marketing, Brand and Innovation. Her name is Nancy Terrell. She rose to the top in a continental wide search where we sifted through 600 applicants! Nancy is a tremendous hire for Cherry Republic and brings lots of talent and experience.
What does all this mean? Cherry Republic’s brand image and communications will be much tighter. And customers will notice more rigorous store merchandising and displays and more timely new products. And separately, we going to strengthen our digital offering by hiring two new associates to run that area and make the internet a more useful tool for you. And with me still deeply involved, this is going to be some great team!