To see the FULL list of SBA Finalists, click here.
1. Tell us your story of how your company got to where it is today?
The concept of Best Rack Around came about once I decided to leave corporate America. I knew I wanted something more for myself, for my family and I just wanted to give back to my community. My family owned a department store, so I grew up in and around the retail business. That coupled with having such a personal connection to so many friends and family stricken with breast cancer, I slowly discovered that I could combine those two experiences into a business that will not only help women, but provide a service to those in need.
I attended classes on mastectomy and professional bra fitting, one-on-one workshops, and trade shows. I realized that this is a complicated industry. It’s not just about lacey things, it’s about a woman’s physical and mental health. It’s about self-care and self-confidence. I learned that – not just me – but many women struggle with the thought of going bra shopping. It’s a chore that we tend to put off. With that I wanted to create a warm, inviting shop for women of all sizes, and women impacted by breast cancer, to find beautiful lingerie that actually fits! I wanted to switch bra shopping from an awkward chore to a empowering and positive experience.
So much of our success and growth is due to our loyal clients and their positive comments and reviews. Just the impact of word-of-mouth referrals has been incredible. We started out wanting to help women find the perfect fit, but now we have expanded to address the needs of young girls, nursing moms and brides, as well as offering special occasion undergarments, pajamas, luxurious lingerie and even bathing suits. We are so much more than just a bra store!
2. What would it mean to you and your company to win a Small Business Award?
Obviously, it is wonderful for my passion and hard work to be recognized. However, more importantly for me, is the honor that the community not only understands my mission, but accepts my vision and the services I’m providing. It validates that I have made the right decisions in my life and I am making a positive difference within our community.
3. If you weren’t running your own business, what would you be doing?
I would probably be working for a non-profit or trying to help guide and support another small business that I believe in.
4. What book are you reading right now? / What is your favorite book?
With our expansion taking place, I’m reading up on the psychology of retail design. What draws people in to your store and why. We have a lot of space to work with and I want our new location to shine!
5. What is your favorite app (computer/phone)?
I’m obsessed with ParentView – being a mom and a small business owner, I can’t always be home with my teenager. But now with this app, I got it all locked down. It’s like being in two places at once! I can tend to business, but also keep a watchful eye on my son. He’s not getting away with anything!
Also, like so many, I love me some Pinterest! It’s such a great tool for my team to share ideas, designs, trends and news. And, it’s totally addictive.
6. If you have 24 hours off, and your family was out of town, what would you do?
Plan a “girls night in” at my house. My best friends, with lots of wine, snacks and chocolate. We will binge watch the latest series on my DVR or catch up on the newest chick-flicks.
7. What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact on your business?
The smallest thing that has the largest impact upon our business is the simple practice of treating everyone with respect & compassion. You never know what someone has been through before coming into our store. We want to make everyone feel comfortable and leave feeling lifted and happy. It’s this philosophy that has fueled all of our referrals, recommendations and word-of-mouth praise. Bra shopping for everyday needs, special occasion or post-surgical is a very personal experience, and we revere that with the upmost understanding.
8. What did you want to be when you grew up? / What was a childhood dream that you had?
I wanted to be a social worker and help abused children. However, once I entered that field I quickly realized I became too easily attached. I could not separate my work from my own personal feelings. I have incredible respect for social workers and others in the health field. They are some of the true everyday heroes.
9. Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?
My Nanny, (grandmother) was the business woman who influenced me the most. Not only was she a smart & successful, she was kind & compassionate. She worked smart within the business. Most importantly, she always treated everyone- customers & employees equally & with respect. My Nanny is one of the main reasons why I opened the shop. However, it’s the women who I surround myself with – my friends, my family members, my mentors, my staff – that keep me on track, keep me in check, and keep me focused on this crazy passion of mine.
10. What is your favorite thing about living/running a business in Loudoun County?
For one, I live here and I work here. The commute is a breeze! Though, more importantly, I get to work with amazing local leaders, charities, organizations and small business that have passions in-line with my own. The people of LoCo, love to give back– and they are very generous. This community loves to support, recognize and celebrate locally. And, we have some awesome restaurants in this area!
Thanks, Nannette Parson, of Best Rack Around, and congratulations on your nomination!
Click here to see all of the “Meet the Finalists” posts.
We will be continually posting them as the event approaches.
The 22nd Annual Loudoun Small Business Awards is Friday, November 4th! Register Here