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从家庭主妇到家居女王-【新闻】

发布时间:2021-05-28 12:18:03 阅读: 来源:奶瓶厂家

从家庭主妇到家居女王

家居装饰公司Judy George International的首席执行官朱迪·乔治是一名家庭主妇,也是四个孩子的母亲。她没有经验,却一步步成长为热门家居装饰公司的掌门人。她说,被人炒鱿鱼是开始追求自己梦想的最好起点。今天,她依然在奋斗。今年,她已经70出头。

2008年时,朱迪·乔治的事业似乎一度走到了尽头,她创立的家具连锁店公司Domain Home在金融危机下奄奄一息。虽然乔治女士仍是首席执行官,但新的私募股东们决定提交破产保护申请,希望尽可能多地拿回投资。但这位接受过女子精修学院教育的四个孩子母亲并没有就此一蹶不振。她用了多少时间从公司倒闭和个人失败中重新振作起来?仅仅约一周时间。接着,又创立了一家新公司。

如今,乔治女士已经年届72岁,是Judy George International的所有人。这家新的家居装饰公司是她和设计师合伙人金·萨梅拉共同建立的。如今,该公司的床垫已在600家Sleepy's商店中出售。而且,公司还计划提供一系列家居装饰设计的授权。该公司预计今年收入将达到3,500万美元。乔治女士对话《财富》杂志(Fortune),畅谈她作为职业母亲的生活,如何获得追求成功的超人动力,以及如何扛过最众目睽睽的失败。

我16岁时曾参加面试,希望成为美国出生缺陷基金会March of Dimes的全美青少年代言人。当时正是小儿麻痹症爆发高峰过后,我想为此做点什么。我没有参加全美级的代言人选拔,因为母亲不让我远行,但我成为了March of Dimes的新英格兰地区代言人。从那时开始,我开始热爱表达自己的想法,同时获得别人的反馈,这让我感觉很好。我能代表所有人,但我想有时候,企业家都是很饥渴的人。这种饥渴不是情感上的,而是在生命中做一些重要事情。我就很饥渴。

我从女子精修学校Chandler School for Women毕业后,19岁就结婚了。我母亲希望我能藉此学会如何引来金龟婿。这就是那个年代女子精修学院学习的内容。因此,我对它烦透了。

从那时开始,我就将自己的想法和创意寄给一些公司。我会写产品、电视剧和报纸专栏的宣传语。等到26岁时,我已经有了4个孩子,每个孩子相隔一岁半。我把这些想法发给各个地方的公司,只是为了让自己保持积极的思考。有两个想法得以采纳:有个电视节目喜欢我的想法,我成为了定期嘉宾,我开始为《先驱报》(The Herald)撰写专栏《家装达人》(Decorator in the House)。我一直觉得,就算没钱,也可以打造一个漂亮的房间,让你走进自己家时不再有寒酸的感觉。这就是当时这个专栏谈的内容。它背后的构想是将那些只有富人才有的东西的价格降到大众能承受的水平。

这就是我,一个结过婚并有4个小孩的乡村女孩正在实现的构想。当我申请第一份工作(马萨诸塞州布伦特里Hamilton's Furniture的室内设计总监)时,该公司所有人——乔治·汉密尔顿——最初拒绝了我,因为我没有任何经验。我就想:“我必须得引起这个人的注意。”有一天,我和孩子们在海滩上时心中也在想着这个问题。这时我看到一架飞机飞过头顶,打着什么广告,我记得是百加得朗姆酒(Bacardi Rum)的广告。每个人都在看那个广告。

因此,我跑去租了一架豪客比奇(Hawker Beechcraft)飞机,让它拖着写有“乔治,朱迪·乔治将给你赚几百万”的条幅飞行。我让飞机每天都在他的办公室上方飞,飞了一个星期,直到他让警察联系我,指控我有骚扰之嫌。然后,接下来的一周,他雇佣了我。

后来,他的公司收购了家具店Scandinavian Design,我的传奇就是从这里开始的。时任首席执行官罗伯特·达尔文给了我一生中真正的机会。我们一起努力,在不到6年的时间内将公司收入从300万美元提升到了8,900万美元左右。接着,我又开始提出所有这些想法,一家新店的想法。

然后有一天,我开车去上班,进门就被解雇了。罗伯特告诉我:“你有你自己的梦想,那不是我的梦想。”

我的心都碎了。被人炒鱿鱼令人感觉相当羞愧,特别是对于女性。我从没想过我能挺过来。然后,我开始制定一个商业计划。

这一次,我单枪匹马。我请了最好的律师事务所。我去找一流的会计师。我去了德勤(Deloitte & Touche),我们达成了一个协议:如果他们帮助我将这个商业计划搭建起来,我将聘请他们做这家公司的会计师,但我不能预付。他们做到了。他们承担了风险,为我做了20年的会计师。

至于启动资金,我去找了贝恩资本(Bain Capital),在那里我遇到了米特·罗姆尼。我喜欢米特·罗姆尼。我对政治不感兴趣。我一直远离政治。但米特冒了一次贝恩资本任何人都不会冒的风险。当时,他在那里的资历也较浅。我想米特所做的是,他认识到了我的激情和决心,相信“如果有人能做到,她就能做到。”

并不是因为我是一个天才,也不是因为我拥有世界上最好的点子。我想,我做的最重要的事情是正确待人。猜猜看,是谁帮我拿到了启动资金?是制造商和员工们,当贝恩资本打电话向他们了解情况时,他们都给了我很高的评价。四年内,我为这家公司筹集了3,000万美元的创始资金。

1986年,我们创办了Domain,迅速取得了成功。产品设计与(我老东家)Scandinavian的斯堪的纳维亚风格截然不同。我的设计更欧式。我知道每个人都有巴黎、意大利或西班牙情结。因此,我融入了这些国家的元素,设计了外观。

2002年我出售这家公司时,它的销售额为6,800万美元,当时是美国一流的家具公司之一。我以3,000万美元出售了这家公司,我没有把这些钱据为己有。约20名Domain员工从这笔买卖中获得了巨额回报,因为我知道我想做些其他事情。如果我真的要做其他事情,我需要他人的好评。

Domain在2006年再度易手。当时整个行业不断走低,最终收购它的那家公司不想长期持有它。他们进来是想轻松赚些快钱,但在家具行业这根本不可能。当时美国的经济状况是大萧条以来最糟糕的情况之一。他们失去了耐心。2008年Domain提交了破产保护申请。

我试图把它买回来,但没有银行愿意提供这样的贷款。这是我一生中第二次感到羞愧——让相信我的制造商们失望,让相信我的客户们失望。我不知疲倦地从家里努力把商品和家具卖给人,恳求可以帮我找到卡车的每个人。

我决定在这个消息发布时离开一周,和我的姐姐、姐夫暂时住一阵。登机时,有人在给每个人分发《环球》(The Globe)周日刊。当我沿着过道走向座位时,人们抬头看着我,就像他们认出了我一样。我的照片登在《环球》的头版,并附有全文。

我悄悄入座。坐在我对面的人说,“这是你吗?”这真让人吃惊。他说:“我很为你难过。我知道,从这篇文章来看,这件事对你来说一定很难承受。”

我离开了一周,回来后就创立了Judy George International——我的新品牌和设计公司。回来时我已经做好了努力工作的准备。

如今,我正在做一生中最大的交易Sleepy's。也许人们会说,“卖床垫有什么让人兴奋的?”但我们提供的不仅是床垫。我们提供所有的床上用品。他们允许我们做床头板,这是Sleepy's从未做过的东西。我们的产品将在800家店铺出售。

因此,我回顾自己的生活,看看我的年龄。我今年72岁了,我不想改变我自己。我不想让人们认为我比实际年龄年轻。我不会去做脸部除皱术,我比25年前更加精力充沛。我获得了Sleepy's管理团队的信任。我喜欢他们。他们也喜欢我。他们给了我和我的合伙人可贵的机会,做一些人只能梦想的事情。

我的建议:

每件事都需要调查研究。每次开会前,我都会做大量的背景调查。与投资者和潜在合作伙伴会面时,我会找一些他们说过的话,在谈话中引用这些话。我甚至会给调查人员很多钱,尽我所能搜索我的谈话对象和他们公司的相关信息。我创办Domain时,用房屋贷款,聘请了一家公司进行市场调查。后来在投资者会议中用到了这些调查结果。

视失败为起点。我总是告诉人们,不要安于现状。如果你赚太多钱,如果你没有承担足够的风险,你抱着“我将来会做”的想法将真正好的想法束之高阁,结果只能是不了了之。没什么事比被人炒鱿鱼更能推动一个人自寻出路,追寻自己的梦想。

带着孩子。我的秘密武器一直是我的家庭。在我的整个工作生涯中,我到哪里都带孩子们。我需要这么做,免得事后愧疚,过度工作,但这也教给我组织管理和人员管理的经验。如今,我走到哪里都带着我的孙子孙女们。

In 2008, it looked like it was the end of the road for Judy George. The company she started, furniture store Domain Home, had succumbed to the financial crisis. Though George was still the CEO, the company's new private equity owners were taking it into Chapter 11 to recoup whatever they could. But the finishing school-educated mother of four has never stayed down for long. Her recovery time from the bankruptcy and personal fallout? About a week. Then it was back to work on a new company.

Today, George is 72 and the owner of Judy George International, a new home furnishings venture she started with her partner, designer Kim Salmela. The company's mattresses are in 600 Sleepy's stores, and it has plans to license a range of home furnishings designs. The company projects revenue this year of $35 million. George talked with Fortune about life as a working mom, cultivating a superhuman drive to succeed, and overcoming even the most public of failures.

When I was 16, I interviewed to be the national junior spokesperson for the March of Dimes. It was right after the polio epidemics, and I just wanted to do something. I didn't join on the national level because my mother wouldn't let me travel, but I became the New England March of Dimes spokesperson. That was the beginning really of my love of presenting ideas and getting feedback that made me feel good. I don't want to speak for everybody, but I think that sometimes entrepreneurs are very needy people. And the need isn't necessarily emotional. It's the need to do something important in their life. I was very needy.

I got married at 19 after I completed finishing school at the ChandlerSchool for Women. My mother wanted me to get an education in attracting a rich husband. That's what finishing schools in those days were all about. So I went absolutely crazy with boredom.

That was when I began creating ideas and sending them out to companies. I would write down pitches for products, TV shows, newspaper columns. By the time I was 26, I had four children, a year-and-a-half apart. I sent in these ideas to companies really everywhere just to keep myself sane. Two of them caught on: A television show liked my idea and I became a regular guest, and I started writing a column for The Herald called "Decorator in the House." I always felt that if you were poor, you could create one room and make it feel good, and you wouldn't feel poor when you walked into your home. That's what the column was about. The vision behind everything was to take what only the rich and wealthy could have, and bring it to a price point where the masses could afford it.

So here I am, a country girl, really, married with four kids. When I applied for my first job [as director of interior design for Hamilton's Furniture in Braintree, Mass.], the owner -- George Hamilton -- originally said no because I'd never had experience. I thought,"I have to get this man's attention." I was thinking about that on the beach with my kids one day and I saw this plane fly overhead advertising something, I think it was Bacardi Rum. Everybody was looking at it.

So I went and hired a Hawker Beechcraft plane with a banner that said, "George, Judy George will make you millions." And I flew it over his office every day for a week until he had the police contact me for disturbing the peace. The next week, he hired me.

Eventually his company bought the furniture store Scandinavian Design, and that's where I worked my magic. Robert Darvin, the CEO, gave me the real chance of a lifetime. Working together, in less than six years we went from $3 million to about $89 million in revenue. But then I started bringing in all these ideas again, ideas for a new store.

One day, I drove to work, got in, and was fired. Robert said to me, "You have your own dreams. They're not mine."

I was heartbroken. There's a lot of shame about being fired, particularly for women. I never thought I would survive it. Then I started putting a business plan together.

This time, I went all on my own. I hired the best law firm. I went to the best accountants. I went to Deloitte & Touche, and we made a deal that if they helped me put this business plan together, I would make them the accountants, but I couldn't pay them upfront. They did it. They took a risk. And they were my accountants for 20 years.

For startup money, I went to Bain Capital, where I met Mitt Romney. I love Mitt Romney. I'm not political. I've kept out of that. But Mitt took a chance where nobody would at Bain. And he was relatively new there. What I think Mitt did is he picked up on my passion and drive, and said, "If anybody can do it, she'll do it."

It wasn't because I was a genius. It wasn't because I had the best idea in the world. I think the most important thing I ever did was treat people right. And guess who got me the money? It was the manufacturers and the employees who spoke so highly of me when Bain called and interviewed them. Within four years, I had $30 million in startup funding for the company.

We open Domain in 1986, and it really took off. The design was very different than Scandinavian [George's former employer], which is Scandinavian. I was more European. Everybody I knew wanted to be in Paris, Italy, or Spain. And so I took all those countries and developed the look.

The revenue was $68 million when I sold the company in 2002. It was one of the top furniture companies in the country. We sold it for $30 million, and I didn't keep the money. About 20 people at Domain benefited tremendously from the sale, because I knew I wanted to do something else, and if I was ever going to do that, I needed people to speak well of me.

Domain changed hands again in 2006, when the bottom starting falling out of the industry, but the company that eventually bought it wasn't in it for the long term. They came in, and they wanted quick and easy money, and there was no way in the furniture industry that was ever going to happen. It was one of the worst economic climates for the industry since the Great Depression. They got impatient. Domain filed for bankruptcy in 2008.

I tried to go out and buy it back, but no banks were open to anything like that. It was the second time in my life I felt shame -- disappointing manufacturers who cared about me, disappointing customers who cared about me. I worked tirelessly from my home trying to get goods and furniture to people, begging everybody who would help to get me trucks.

I decided to go away for a week and stay with my sister and brother-in-law when the news broke. As I'm getting on a plane, somebody's handing everybody The Globe, the Sunday newspaper. And as I'm walking down the aisle, people were looking up at me as if they recognized me. I was on the front page of The Globe, with the whole story.

I just slunk down in my seat. And the guy opposite me says, "Is this you?" And it was so amazing. He said, "I'm so sorry. I know, judging from reading this article, how hard this must be for you."

I went away for a week and came back and started on Judy George International, my new branding and design company. By the time I came back, I was ready to go to town.

Now, I'm working on the biggest deal of my life, which is Sleepy's. You know, people say, "What's so exciting about selling mattresses?" But we're creating more than mattresses. We're creating the whole top of the bed. They're allowing us to do headboards, something Sleepy's has never done. We'll be in 800 stores.

So I look back, I look at my age -- I'm 72 -- and I don't want to change who I am. I don't want people to think I'm younger. I'm not going to get a face-lift I have more energy than I've had in 25 years. I've been given a Sleepy's management team. I love them. They love me. And they're giving me, along with my partner Kim, the chance of a lifetime to do something people only dream about.

MY ADVICE:

Research everything. I do huge amounts of background research before every meeting. With investors and potential partners, I find something they've said and I quote it back to them. I'll even pay researchers a lot of money to find out whatever I can about the people I'm talking to and their company. When I started Domain, I took a loan out on my house so I could hire a company to do market research that I could present at investor meetings.

Look at failure as an opening. I used to tell people they've got to get uncomfortable with their situation. If you're making too much money, if you're not taking enough risks, you can put off really great ideas with the notion, "I'll do it later," and it just doesn't happen. There's nothing like getting fired to get you uncomfortable enough to go out and live your dream.

Take the kids. My secret weapon was my family always. My whole life of work I've brought my kids everywhere with me. I needed to do that to prevent guilt and burnout, but it also taught me organization and people management. Now, it's my grandchildren that I go everywhere with.

译者:杨智

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