This week, our CEO Kathy Bintz was listed as one of Forbes‘ “Reining Business Women in the South.” The article, published on Forbes.com, featured several other “strong and fearless” women who have paved the way for other female business owners in a wide variety of industries. We are all extremely proud of her accomplishments and appreciate the advice she and her peers have offered to fellow women in business.
Below are some highlights from the article. Read the full text here.
Lead Like The Reigning Business Women Of The South
July 14, 2014
The south is not home to the financial or fashion capital of the country. Nor does it have a center for huge tech conglomerates or publishing and media houses. What the south does have are strong and fearless women who are reining those industries, even when they aren’t in the West Coast’s tech hub or the North East’s fashion mecca.
Southern women have their own competitive advantages, though, and that’s what southern charm is all about. They are women who are sweet as honey, but strong as the great, southern oaks. Using contractions like “y’all,” they are efficient, but still dignified with a charming accent. Their biggest asset is femininity, and they certainly know how to use it, even while running their businesses that are leading in male-dominated industries.
The numbers prove it. Since 1997, the number of women owned businesses has increased by 59% in the United States. According to the 2013 State of Women Owned Businesses Report commissioned by American Express OPEN, four of the top five states with the fastest growth in the number of women-owned businesses are located in the South – Georgia, Texas, North Carolina and Louisiana.
Unfortunately, women still face certain disparities in the workforce, and some double standards still exist – being assertive is seen as bitchy, while being emotional is seen as weak. With every day and every generation, women are getting stronger, and in the South, women are reining. For some of the most accomplished women, their success is not predicated on their gender, appearance or name. It’s all in the way they think.
Lead Like A Lady
Women are wired to lead a household, so it only makes sense to apply those superpowers towards leading a business as well. As the decision makers, leaders, motivators and managers of households, women have a natural competitive advantage of understanding how to lead.
Also, embrace those emotions. Use them to drive your passion, focus on your product and empathize with your customers in order to create a better experience and quality.
Support Other Women
They say that you are known by the company you keep, and that couldn’t be more accurate. Surround yourself with people who are driven and bring out the best in you. Support each other, specifically other women, because they will teach you new things everyday and support you in return.
Believe in yourself and others. Have the confidence to follow your dreams and compete with even the biggest heavy hitters. Have confidence and trust in your staff, and know when to delegate tasks and responsibilities to others.
Stay True To Your Brand
Trends, they come and go. Find your mission and focus on keeping it as your company continues to grow. Make subtle changes that allow you to compete with the market, but don’t conform to the day’s craze. It’s only a matter of time before the trend passes and you risk losing your customer loyalty.
Never Stop Learning
All positive and negative experiences are lessons to help you continue to grow. Keep an open mind to what those experiences bring forth. Listen well to those who support and mentor you along the way, and always teach others when you can.
Don’t Take Things Too Seriously
Laugh every day, and don’t forget that you’re running a business because that’s what you love and chose to do. Life is hard enough, so make work as enjoyable as possible. Foster your personal and professional relationships, but know when it’s time to get out of work mode and focus on friends and family.
Meet The Southern Business Women:
These women are role models, and embody what makes a fearless, female business owner. They have overcome obstacles and were chosen based on business success, community engagement, industry and referrals.
Creative Retail Packaging, Inc.
Houston, Texas and Seattle, Washington
Kathy Bintz became the CEO and co-principal of Creative Retail Packaging, Inc., after acquiring a portion of the Houston-based company in 1996. Immediately, she began to grow the custom retail packaging company by introducing new innovative and marketing-driven tactics to its arsenal, which included the launch of two new divisions to CRP – logistics and design. Her new ideas and strategies had been well honed from her previous work as the Marketing Director of Abercrombie and Fitch, where she developed and implemented a complete marketing overhaul for the company after its bankruptcy.
Bintz has helped the company grow by turning it into a full service company that now has offices in Seattle, Charlotte, Chicago and Sparks, NV. CRP continues to be a leading company – which has provided branding, graphic, web, design and packaging services to clients that include Hermes, Gap, Popeyes, and Sur la Table – by always adjusting their model and continuing to adapt.
Her advice: “Building a business is done by making one decision at a time. Use your resources and make the best decision you can at the time. There is never a magical answer, but most of the time, you will be right.”
Lopez, Adriana (2014, July 14). Lead Like the Reigning Business Women of the South.
Retrieved from Forbes.com.