Robin Wilson is new to the Callard team, having joined as Director of Operations just weeks ago! Robin comes to Callard from Value City Furniture, where she’d worked directly with Callard as a client on promotional marketing projects. She shares more about why she decided to make the switch.
Tell us about your career background before coming on board at Callard.
I spent 15 years with The Limited and Tween Brands, which is now Justice, working in stores and store operations. After that, I moved to Value City Furniture. During my 12 years there, I bounced between the store operations department and marketing. When I was put in a role where I could make decisions on promotional marketing, I reached out to Michelle Guetle at Callard and we were a client ever since.
What kinds of promotional marketing projects did you collaborate on while you were at Value City Furniture?
All kinds of things! Callard put together leadership conference materials for us, they helped coordinate grand opening customer giveaways, they created promotional materials for our events with the Cleveland Browns football team … the list goes on and on.
Why did you decide to switch careers and move to Callard?
Callard has always been a company that I really looked up to, in big part because it’s a female-owned business. I liked the idea of coming and working for a small company, as well, but one that moves at a quick pace and that has a huge customer service base. Those are things that really set Callard apart from most.
How does working for a small company like Callard differ from working with large corporations like The Limited and Value City Furniture?
Within the office at Callard, there are about 20 of us that work together on a day-to-day basis. At The Limited, it was hundreds, and at Value City Furniture we had about 250 within the home office.
Here, it’s very much a team effort, where everyone pitches in and helps and does whatever they can to support one another. Everyone on the team is very much cross-trained to help out across the board.
As Director of Operations, what does your job entail on a day-to-day basis?
I’m being introduced to all aspects of the business, which is super appealing to me. I’m able to touch a little bit of marketing, and I’m also learning the back end, including items like HR, insurance, accounting, that sort of thing. It’s truly all the way across the board, and it’s a great opportunity to be doing this work alongside Michelle.
How do you think having been on the other side of the business, as a client, is beneficial to you in your new position at Callard?
I think it’s interesting that, when I was a client, I never saw anyone sweat. No matter what I needed, how fast, how crazy the ask was, what I heard back was, “We’ve got it, don’t worry about it, we’ve got your back.” And I had such confidence that it would happen, on time and on budget, that I never thought a thing about it.
At the time, I didn’t realize some of the things I was asking for weren’t the norm—but Callard never made me feel like they weren’t. Now that I can see it from the opposite side, I really have an appreciation for what goes on behind the scenes here. These folks were doing everything they could to make ME look good in my role at Value City Furniture.
Coming in on this side of it, I get why we’re always striving to do the impossible with every customer. Whether that’s a quick turnaround or providing them with an alternative to an item that’s out of stock, there’s always a way to say yes to the customer.
What’s the most rewarding part of your day?
Knowing that we have been able to make a client shine within their own company.
Why do you love working at Callard?
I love the diversity of my day, all the different people I get to interact with, the different areas I get to spend time with, and the team. Michelle’s team is amazing.
I’m thrilled to be here. I’ve always admired what Michelle has done with the company, and I’m really happy to be part of the team.