BIRMINGHAM – The Alabama Retail Association (ARA), in cooperation with the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Business, today recognized 19 outstanding Alabama retailers representing 13 retail businesses as Retailers of the Year. The presentations were made at The Club in Birmingham during the 2011 Retail Day Luncheon. This marked the 12th presentation of the Retailer of the Year Awards since 1999.
Doris Butler Truax, owner of Truax & Co., a downtown Selma store that sells estate and antique sterling silver along with other gift items, is fittingly the Silver Retailer of the Year Award in the Annual Sales Less Than $1 Million Category. “Doris sets an example as a business owner invested in our community,” said Sheryl Smedley, executive director of the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce, who nominated Truax for the award. The Retailer of the Year judges commended Truax for embracing diversity, assisting new entrepreneurs and motivating her customers to do more than just buy her inventory of half silver and half gift items.
She describes herself as owner, manager of daily operations, buyer, sales associate, director of marketing and number cruncher at the business, which employs five.
Truax’ parents, Roger and Dolly Butler, introduced her to the business world at age 3 when they began taking her to their downtown Selma jewelry store. She went on her first buying trip at age 5. When she returned to Selma after college, Truax knew exactly what she wanted to do, Smedley said. In June 2000, she opened Traux & Co.
Truax doesn’t just run a business though. She conducts book studies, discusses current events on local radio, runs a scrapbooking club, makes presentations to civic clubs on the history of silver and stars in her store’s radio ads.
On the second Tuesday of each month, Truax and Randy Williams, a local African-American radio talk show host, conduct an hour-long, on-air conversation. They discuss current events, movies and television shows. “Randy and I both agree that the real reason for the show is for listeners to hear a positive diverse conversation between a white female and a black male.”
The University of Alabama recognized her as the 2011 Alabama Female Entrepreneur of the Year. She has served on the Selma Area Food Bank board for five years and was the first female member of the Selma Rotary Club.
Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown said, “Doris Butler Truax is a retailer of the year EVERY year to her customers, employees and the Selma community.”
PHOTO: Current owners, Jim and Doris Truax, and Sheryl Smedley with the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce.