WithIt meeting evaluates today's Renaissance woman
Cindy W. Hodnett -- Furniture Today, August 22, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. — More than 150 women involved with the home furnishings industry gathered in North Carolina's state capital for last week's WithIt professional conference, exploring the definition of the modern Renaissance woman and networking with colleagues and students preparing to enter the industry.
The keynote presentation was by Mary Lou Quinlan, author of "The God Box: Sharing My Mother's Gift of Faith, Love and Letting Go."
Caroline Hipple moderated a panel discussion titled "View from the C-Suite," a question-and-answer session with Jennifer Appleby, president of Wray Ward; Kim Knopf, CEO of Innovative Mattress Solutions; and Tammy Nagem, chief operating officer of the High Point Market Authority. Each panel member provided insight on their journey up the corporate ladder.
"Sometimes, I jokingly say that it is easier to start a company than to interview and get a job," Knopf said. "And I have found that you can only get better if you truly know what your weaknesses are, so I tell people to be curious, not defensive."
"You have to be willing to take a healthy amount of risk," Appleby added. "I wanted to own my own company, and I got a loan and put everything on the line. You have to work hard, prove yourself and be fearless."
Knopf agreed, adding, "And never take no for an answer. Figure out how to make someone with a flat-out no switch to some sort of yes."
Nagem stressed the importance of self confidence.
"Trust yourself," she said. "I remember thinking, ‘These folks have put a lot of trust in me; do I know what I'm doing?' But don't second-guess yourself. You're in the position because someone saw that you could do the job."