What do you love about being a business owner?
There is no bureaucracy and are no management layers. As the owner/manufacturer, I can be nimble to new ideas and opportunities. This yields a unique sense of vitality and adventure that doesn’t exist in most work settings. Owning a company isn’t just about earning money and profitability, rather what we do to make things better and easier for people and giving back to our community.
What do you see as the coolest and most important trend in your industry?
As a consumer products manufacturer, there is a growing appreciation for we women who make things. Coupled with our commitment to quality and service, consumers are more conscious of what they are buying, who makes the products, and why buying “American” makes a difference.
What’s the hardest part of being a business owner?
Accepting that problems and challenges are a constant, and staying positive and maintaining a sense of humor while dealing with them.
Integrating my personal/family life with company demands so neither collapse. This past year my husband faced a serious illness, was hospitalized for months, and a short time later passed away. I have two pairs of twins who work with me in the company (as did my husband). We had daily meetings, creating a work/healthcare schedule to assure both responsibilities were constantly attended to with the requisite TLC
What’s your favorite career moment?
Amodex was started by my parents in 1958. I have two brothers, who my dad presumed (either or both) would take over the company. That didn’t happen and in December of 2004, Dad was diagnosed with cancer and had no succession plan. I stepped up and offered to leave my career in education to take over the manufacturing company. Dad knew I could do it, but concerned about a woman managing a manufacturing company. Mom knew better and in March of 2005, she signed over to me her shares of the company. That moment is changed my life, and the course of my family and our future. Two weeks later she was killed by a drunk driver.
What inspired you to start your business?
I didn’t START Amodex, but when I took it over it was in tough shape. Dad’s sales and marketing focus had always been B2B. That industry changed dramatically, as did his sales. I call my years here at Amodex as a restart-up as I’m facing those same challenges and opportunities as a start-up. What inspired me most were all those customers who used our ink & stain removal products in the workplace, loved it and wanted it for home. I pivoted to B2C, recognizing that we had a unique (non-toxic, cream soap formula) that worked AND, was “green” before “green” became trendy. Best of all, WE formulate and package our product, so I control the materials sourced (I buy solely from US manufacturers) and the quality.
How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business?
Personally, being WBENC certified has opened my world to a cornucopia of interesting and supportive women I’d have never met otherwise. Their wisdom and insight have helped me navigate the endless obstacles and frustrations in running my company, making me a more effective leader. Some are among my suppliers, with whom I collaborate and share as a sounding board. Professionally, the certification has opened doors that would otherwise NEVER have been open to me. The certification lends credibility and a seriousness of purpose that buyers recognize and show interest. Ahold Delhaize and Lowe’s are the primary accounts that have embraced our certification and helped us grow. Lowe’s diversity team stands out as exemplary leaders who bridge the gap between merchandising and marketing and suppliers. A small company like mine is a lost puppy in the mass market jungle. Yet, the Lowe’s diversity team provides us the roadmap to success, and the patience to stay on the right path in the journey.
What’s the best way to start your day?
Taking a long walk with the dog, breathing in the fresh air, listening to the sounds of nature, and freeing my mind of debilitating thoughts.
What do you like about your workspace?
When I took over the company, our facility was old, inefficient and depressing. Two years ago, we relocated to a former police precinct that we gutted and renovated. As a family business, I designed the new building and workspace to feel more like a home than a factory, and very communal. Our offices all have wide glass-paned doors and center around a large common area that has couches and even a TV. Our conference room table is double pedestal mahogany and meetings there are more like sitting around the dining room table, than a stuffy board room. Adjacent to the conference room and factory is our kitchen – which of course is stocked with coffee, beverages and food. Visitors are immediately welcomed to our family-owned operation and us. They also get to hear us debate and argue!
Fill in the blank:
When I face a challenge, I... PRAY.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… treasure the time I have with those I love and who love me.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… Love, friendship and my hairdresser.
By this time next year, I will be… wiser and more thoughtful.
The best thing that happened to me last week was… being in the warm sunshine of spring.
To get my creative juices flowing, I… read, drink a glass of wine and spar with my graphic designer.
Family-owned manufacturer of stain removal products. Est. in 1958, Amodex is a second and third generation company that formulates and packages the only non-toxic, soap formula stain remover that works on BOTH oil-related and dye-related stains. Amodex can be used on ALL fabrics, upholstery, carpeting and EVEN skin.