The Retail Whore

Michelle Sherrier

Welcome to The Retail Whore by me, Michelle Sherrier: a podcast of stories and lessons from a life in retail. After decades spent in the retail industry, I’ve seen and done it all. Join me every week as I interview people from all walks of retail, the service industry, the wholesale gift industry, and more. We’ll talk about what drives them, the things they love, and some of the biggest lessons they have learned along the way. Brace yourself for The Retail Whore, a show that entertains and educates!

EP 58: LEILANI ZEHNDER, CO-FOUNDER BOTANIC AND LUXE 'SOULFUL LIVING'
Yesterday
EP 58: LEILANI ZEHNDER, CO-FOUNDER BOTANIC AND LUXE 'SOULFUL LIVING'
Botanic and Luxe started in 2016 as a brick and mortar boutique in Santa Cruz, California. Created by two best friends with a passion for design, beauty, and a holistic lifestyle. At Botanic and Luxe you will find just that - thoughtfully curated home goods, unique gifts for any occasion, natural skin care, and our favorite home accent: plants! They strive to support local makers, fair-trade organizations, and products that we absolutely love and believe in. Everything they bring into the shop has been mindfully selected with this as a focus and in hopes to enrich your lives with something beloved.Ariel Stirm and Leilani Zehnder, the co-founders of Botanic and Luxe, grew up on Kaua’i, first meeting on the beach at age one. Their childhood was spent building tree forts, exploring the ocean, and adventuring through the lush landscape. During their summer breaks, they would sell tropical flowers and plumeria leis they foraged in their "backyard jungle."As young aspiring adults, Ariel and Leilani moved to California to pursue education in their personal passions - Ariel, delved into a world of Landscape Architecture, and Leilani studied holistic nutrition. After years of building their individual skill sets, the two had an "AHA!" moment and knew it was time to start their business. Botanic and Luxe opened their doors in the spring of 2016 and quickly became a local staple and a favorite among many in their community as well as visitors for gifts, home decor, indoor plants, and special one of a kind goods. Michelle & Leilani delve into many topics ranging from the importance of POS reports to attending show to working with small, local businesses and everything in between.WebsiteInstagramFacebookPinterest
EP 54: 'SACRED TREASURES FOR A BEAUTIFUL LIFE' WITH LEIGHANN HUBERMAN OF ARK MADE
Jul 20 2022
EP 54: 'SACRED TREASURES FOR A BEAUTIFUL LIFE' WITH LEIGHANN HUBERMAN OF ARK MADE
Ark Made was created out of the back office of The Ark Bookstore - Santa Fe's metaphysical wonderland for 40 years. Leighann Huberman, co-owner of Ark Made, had been a buyer and marketer for The Ark for a long time. Joanie and Tsering (Ark Made's 2 other Co-Owners) were, and still are, the owners of The Ark Bookstore. People kept coming in and looking for ways to cleanse their space without having to burn herbs, so they created their Crystal Aromatherapy Mist set - and they were a hit! A rep saw their products in the store and urged them to get a catalog together. She taught herself Photoshop and InDesign and put together a catalog. Soon they had shops from all over the Western part of the US looking to carry their products. Fast forward 5 years and they have grown into a whole separate company and are now in hundreds of retailers within the US... and even some internationally.Ark Made really strives to put a sprinkle of magic into people's lives through our products. They believe that education is extremely important, and want people to dip their toes into the magic that they have to offer confidently. Whether it is cleansing, working with crystals, or igniting an intentional candle, they make it so that folks can feel confident through education and step-by-step instructions - and they can reap the benefits of a positive experience.Light a candle, turn down the lights and get comfortable as Leighann & Michelle discuss the creation of Ark Made, living in Santa Fe, Ark Made’s switch to Mountain Sage, twin flames, balance, crystals and much, much more.This week’s episode is sponsored by Fine Lines Showroom, a west coast wholesale rep agency with showrooms in LosAngeles, LasVegas and Seattle representing over 50 fabulous gift, fashion + home lines. Use the promo code PODCAST (all upper case) at checkout to save 10% on any order on EGG . One time use only. Good through 8/15/22.WebsiteInstagramFacebook
EP 50: ART CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
Jun 22 2022
EP 50: ART CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
This week’s guest is Tyler Tolson, CEO and Founder of Denik, a designer notebook and lifestyle product company that uses a portion of its funds to build schools and support artists. He started the company in 2011 as a full-time student at Utah State University. The company has blossomed into a multi-million dollar brand and serves customers like Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, and Target in over 16,000 retail locations in North America. Denik also produces custom notebooks for brands like Nike, Disney, Google, TikTok, Uber, and Obey. The Denik community has funded 6 schools to date- 1 in Laos, 1 in Guatemala, 1 in Ghana, 1 in Nicaragua, and 2 in Mali, Africa.Tyler has been named as “Young Emerging Leader” by the Leader to Leader Institute in New York, and was selected as "Top 40 Under 40" leaders in the Gift and Stationery Industry. Tyler currently serves on the Entrepreneurship Center Board at the Huntsman School of Business. During the last eleven years he has taught and trained audiences of various capacities, and has consulted entrepreneurs, students, and artists at all stages of business. However, Tyler's greatest accomplishment is marrying the girl of his dreams and raising his 4 rockstar kids.Michelle & Tyler discuss how Denik began, building schools through proceeds, finding artis and how Denik continues to show the world that 'Art Can Change The World.' This week’s episode sponsored by Fine Lines Showroom, a west coast wholesale rep agency with showrooms in LosAngeles, LasVegas and Seattle representing over 50 fabulous gift, fashion + home lines.For those looking to schedule a mentoring session with Tyler, here is the link.TwitterInstagramFacebookYouTubeLinkedInPinterestTikTokAmazon
EP 42: FABIAN NAVEJAS & MELISSA HESSE – LIFE AFTER Z GALLERIE
Apr 27 2022
EP 42: FABIAN NAVEJAS & MELISSA HESSE – LIFE AFTER Z GALLERIE
This week’s episode is part of our Life After Z Gallerie series. Michelle worked closely with both Fabian & Melissa during her time at Z Gallerie.Fabian was born and raised in LA, is a self-taught creative leader and a bona fide retail nerd.  With more than 25 years of multi-unit management experience in the retail home furnishings industry, he still feels as if he is in the beginning stages of his career. Currently, he is a Gift Merchandiser & Buyer for A.C. Vroman's Inc., one of the oldest independent bookstores in the country, 128 years old.  A.C. Vroman's operates 2 bookstores in the Pasadena area and also owns Book Soup in West Hollywood, CA, another independent bookstore founded in 1975.  In addition to working at A.C. Vromans, he is also the Founder of Onederkam.com, which is a small eCommerce gift and home accessories store. His side hustle!! He has also worked at IKEA North America at the following markets - San Francisco, Connecticut, Philadelphia, and for IKEA A.B. in Malmö, Sweden as Communications & Interior Design Manager for 10.5 years.  Prior to IKEA, he has worked as District Visual Manager for Z Gallerie covering a variety of markets in the US - So. California, Midwest, East Coast, and Northwest Merchandiser of the Year while working there.Melissa Hesse is a Southern California native raised in the San Gabriel Valley, a mom to two amazing young men, and has been happily married to her husband of 25 years, Bill.She doesn’t have a degree in art but somehow has made it her career. She started at Z Gallerie back in 1993 as a part time sales associate while going to college. She spent the next 14 years there, holding almost every position possible there but always found the art department my home. After 6 years in the stores, she moved into the corporate office and spent the next 8 years in the art department as the Merchandise Planner and Assistant Buyer. She would help select the artwork for, at that time 70+ stores. She went on buying trips, worked with publishers and wholesale framers on new merchandise for the stores. FUN was the best way she would describe it. She grew up at Z Gallerie, met lifelong friends (Michelle and Fabian included!), got married, had kids, bought their first house. After 14 years she made the leap to Third and Wall Art Group which was a vendor we purchased posters from. She has been with Third and Wall for almost 15 years and was recently promoted to Creative Director.Michelle, Fabian & Melissa recant their different roles, funny stories, challenges & growth within Z Gallerie and how that paved the way to their current careers. Check out the episode on YouTube and get a glimpse of Melissa’s Chris Hemsworth photo blanket her kids gifted to her!Fabian NavejasWebsiteInstagramMelissa HesseWebsiteInstagramFacebookThis week’s episode is brought to you by Fine Lines Company, a west coast wholesale rep agency with showrooms in LA, Las Vegas and Seattle. Fine Lines represents over 50 fabulous gift, fashion + home lines.
EP 41: MISSY LIVINGSTON FOUNDER/CEO TWISTED WARES - PUTTING THE FUN IN FUNCTIONAL!
Apr 20 2022
EP 41: MISSY LIVINGSTON FOUNDER/CEO TWISTED WARES - PUTTING THE FUN IN FUNCTIONAL!
When Missy lost everything in the 2008 recession, she almost lost all hope. She was broke, had 3 kids, and had just moved again. One day, her youngest was running through the kitchen and playfully yanked on the dish towel she had just hung up to dry on the oven, and it of course fell to the floor, which meant more laundry. She thought to herself  "If I can't control anything else in my life, I'm going to control this F*&%ing towel!"Remembering that Grandma used to make a hand towel that had a button to keep it on the oven door, she asked herself "why don't they make dish towels I can actually use everyday that stay put?" And, Voila!, the Hang Tight Towel® was born.  She began selling them at local farmers' markets and then eventually started selling them on Etsy, always having people return for more!  Then in 2014, after a customer requested she make a towel with "red" fabric on it only to complain that it was the wrong "red" when she returned to buy it, Missy decided to take all of the red towels and print funny sayings on them with the F%*K word. She was worried that she might kill her business by doing this. It was a risk, but it made her chuckle every time to make one of these new kinds of towels and she had to see if anyone else felt as she did. She put these new towels out for sale at the next event and they SOLD OUT!  So, she began printing more funny sayings with her twisted sense of humor on the towels and the business really started to grow.Twisted Wares now makes all kinds of products including cocktail napkins, stickers, cosmetic bags, along with kitchen and bathroom textiles, and they all will make you chuckle. Plus, we're a stickler for quality and function.  We like to say "We put the FUN in FUNCTIONAL"! So, as losing everything has taught Missy, all you can do is laugh and not take yourself too seriously.  We hope that our products are a reminder of that, whether you buy our products for yourself or give them as gifts, we want to make you smile.Website: Twisted WaresSocial Media:InstagramFacebookPinterestTikTok  Download Episode on your preferred channel here: