FAIRHOPE – Mary Beth Greene launched mb greene llc, her own designer line of totes and bags, in 2015 after more than 10 years as a sales rep in the wholesale industry. Her bag collections can be found in Neiman Marcus and more than 700 boutiques throughout the United States and the Caribbean. The company has also been featured on Good Morning America, TODAY and in the Los Angeles Times, InStyle magazine and other regional and national media.
Today, Greene was honored as the Bronze Alabama Retailer of the Year in the Annual Sales Less Than $1 Million category during the Alabama Retail Day awards luncheon. Greene and her business were among 14 retail businesses honored today as Retailers of the Year. The Alabama Retailer of the Year awards, started in 1999, honor retailers who have demonstrated growth, innovation and a commitment to their respective communities. This year’s winners came from a pool of more than 70 nominees.
All mb greene products are designed and shipped from the company’s office and warehouse in Fairhope, yet Greene has spread her marketing message well beyond the Eastern Shore. The 2019 Retailer of the Year judges made note of the wide recognition the designer has received. “She has gotten so much exposure,” one of the judges said. “She’s done so much in such a short amount of time.”
“Mary Beth is the ultimate definition of entrepreneur,” said Danette Richards, director of small business development for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, one of the area officials who nominated Greene for the award. “She listened to her clients in her previous job, understood what they were asking for and took that idea from her kitchen table to a nationally sold brand. Once you get to know Mary Beth, you realize that not only is she tremendously creative and talented, she’s a marketing genius and an astute businesswoman.”
Casey Williams, president of the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce, Greene’s second nominator, said, “We are very proud of Mary Beth and what she brings to our community.”
Greene’s sister, the late Amanda Lide “Mandy” Bagwell was a nationally recognized artist in Alabama before passing away in 2014. The hangtag on mb greene products is reminiscent of paint cans her sister used and was chosen to honor her memory. “It has been such a blessing to be able to sort of have her in this journey with me every single day,” Greene said. In addition, Greene together with her parents created the M. Bagwell Scholarship and a portion of all sales are designated for the M. Bagwell Foundation. “We’ve now given five scholarships,” she said.
“Mary Beth Greene is a retailer who stands out every day for her 12 employees, the Eastern Shore communities and boutiques across the country,” said Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown.
The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, our 4,200 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living. Since 1943, we’ve worked to promote what’s best for the retail industry in Alabama. Whether voicing the retail view when public policy is made, educating members about issues that impact them, negotiating rates for benefits and services or communicating the retail story, the Alabama Retail Association and its members are better together.