“Store Spotlight” is a mini project we work on here in Roni Rabl where we showcase our stores and their owners, with the goal in mind to learn and share about how to make a fashion store successful. This week we’re featuring 3 stores, the lovely Berta Sawyer among them. Q. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? A. Peanut butter cup Q. What’s your birth date? A. May 12 Q. What made you become a store owner? A. I never had any intention of joining the family business. My parents bought this business (from the person who started it) in 1972. I went to college and grad school and got (2) bachelor’s degrees and a master degree all in Education. I was teaching and loving my career. In April of 1980 I left my teaching job to start maternity leave as I awaited the arrival of my 1st child. I had 6 weeks to wait and I was bored. I started to go into the store to “play”. That child is now 35 and has given me 2 delicious grandchildren. I had another baby after that. I would take my children to work with me (until they were 1 year old). I was so very fortunate that my grandparent (the great-grandparents) lived close to the store and would come take the babies out for long walks. My mother taught me so much and I am so fortunate to have worked side by side with her for so many years before she retired. I miss teaching but feel all that I learned in the field has help me deal with staff and customers. Q. What is the most important tip you can give someone who is about to open a store? Q. Think long and hard. Why do you want to do this? What will make your store different than the store nearby? Are you prepared to work without a salary for a while? Work with your customers - you are the store NOT your staff. Try and talk to another store owner and get a mentor. Don’t let anyone else buy for your store but you. Remember, you don’t need to love everything you buy you just need to sell it!