In the middle of the Alabama summer, we visited the Wrapsody management team during a retreat at Lake Martin. On the surface, it looked like a fun girl’s trip, but in the midst of the laughing and conversation, real work happened. The team looked ahead to the boutique’s third and fourth quarter and how the team could incorporate fresh, new ideas into their marketing plans and product lines.
“Sometimes the best way to think outside the box is to get away and spend some time together,” said Sarah Brown.
Brown is the co-owner of Wrapsody, along with Terry Shea. Wrapsody is a unique and trendy gift and home accessory boutique. Brown and Shea created the stores with a “celebration of giving” at the core of their mission. They operate two locations – one in Hoover, where Shea lives, and one in Auburn, where Brown lives.
“This is the second time we have done this lake management retreat, and this year, we’re calling it ‘Clarify, Connect, and Create’,” Brown said. “We have a new manager on our team, and so that’s part of it. But it’s also about putting our minds together to create a truly unique retail experience,” she said.
Manager Bridget Veazey, who works at the Hoover store, said, “Being here refocuses and re-energizes us. It’s good to spend time focusing on what Sarah and Terry’s vision is and how we can grow that.”
Shea adds, “It’s not all about me and Sarah. These “Wrapettes” – as we call them – are very creative. I think this gives them ownership in the process and to know that they are part of our success.”
Shea and Brown say one of the benefits of owning a small retail business is the ability to pivot quickly and make changes. Many of their best ideas have come from their management team, they say.
“By the time we leave here, we have collaborated for the rest of the year. It is so much fun to go back and trickle that excitement down to our staff. It starts with management,” said Renee Hamby, who manages the Auburn location.
Jessica Rogers, the Hoover store’s assistant manager said, “This is such a fun time to get to know each other. With us working in two different store locations, we talk to each other on the phone every day, but this helps us connect on a more personal level.” It’s a sentiment felt by her Auburn counterpart, Janie Mattheis.
“I just moved here and started in this role. It’s great to be able to do this and to feel comfortable with each other on a personal level rather than just a professional one,” added Mattheis.
Wrapsody employs about 30 people between the two locations. The stores specialize in national brands like Vera Bradley, Sorrelle, Spartina, Alex and Ani, as well as several fashion clothing lines. Find out more about Wrapsody by visiting wrapsodyonline.com.
Story and Photos by: Melissa Johnson Warnke