Two Entrepreneurs Stood Up for Each Other’s Success

I’m reprising this post from a year ago, as my admiration and friendship for Drue has only grown:  I consider her to be my entrepreneur big sister from another mother.  Thanks once again to Drue’s Holiday Open House generosity, I’m the proud owner of another one of her beautiful and affordable pieces.  Happy Festival of Lights, Drue!

I have been a member of Professional Women’s Network (PWN), an intimate and powerful Mastermind / Board of Directors group for nearly 17 years; and I have been proud to serve as President for the last two years.

Two of our members, Jill, an M.D.  and Georgia, a Integrated Care Nurse Practitioner / Nutritionist who both count many of us as their patients, proposed Drue, the owner / designer of an Albany, New York-based jewelery store, as one of our newest members last year.  Since I love both entrepreneurs and jewelry, Drue had me at hello.

Drue has been an engaged and generous member of our group since she first joined:  a wealth of experience, a healthy network and great business advice.  A few months ago, she had us over for dinner at the store after hours, gave us the grand tour including her impressive design studio, and cleaned all of our jewelry.  Definitely a fun / fine addition to our group.

This past week, Drue invited us all to her Holiday Open House:  here’s how the invitation read:

Holiday Open House

Thursday December 8th 5pm – 9 pm
First 50 receive a holiday gift bag!

(That’s Drue’s Great Dane Slater, by the way.)

The food at the party was provided by Jill’s husband Tony, a wonderful restauranteur and caterer.  Many of my friends and colleagues were there, socializing and shopping.  I gratefully received my gift bag and saw a small bottle of wine peeping out.  How sweet, I thought.  It was even sweeter when I opened the bag the next day:  Drue had also included 4 gift certificates, including one to her store and one to Tony’s restaurant.  And a piece of Krause’s dark chocolate to boot, which made my son Noah very happy.  I had never experienced that kind of generosity from a retail store before (much less a small business like Drue’s store); it was overwhelming.

Yesterday, I tucked Drue’s gift certificate and some cash in my pocket, and headed over to her store.  I had my eye on a pair of silver Officina Bernardi hoops at Thursday’s holiday party, and Drue’s generosity sealed my decision.

When I entered the store, I made a beeline for the case with the earrings.  I saw that Drue was busy with an engaged couple choosing wedding bands.  Drue waved to me.  I was peering in the case when a familiar voice asked me what pieces I’d like to see in the case.  I looked up, startled.  It was Jill, my doctor and fellow PWNer.  We both laughed.  “What are you doing here?”  I asked.  Jill smiled.  “Both of Drue’s salespeople are out today, so Drue called me this morning and asked me to help her in the store today.  You’re the 8th patient of mine that’s come into the store today.”  

I loved it.  First the business / marketing cross-pollination at the Thursday Holiday Party between Drue’s and Tony’s businesses; and now Jill happily helping customers with trays of Drue’s beautiful baubles.  Now that’s where the rubber meets the road in standing up for each other’s success.  

After the initial chuckle, I was not surprised to see Jill helping Drue out.  Jill, among several talents which include Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees, is also an accomplished waitperson, proud of her ability to balance up to six plates of food at one time when she helps out at Tony’s restaurant during peak periods.  Jill was raised by her father and mother, who owned a small chain of successful drugstores, to do whatever it takes to run a successful business.

Jill and I proceeded to play dress-up with a few pieces, and she and Drue (multi-tasking like a hummingbird around her store) helped me decide on a pair of earrings.  

I was hooked; I helped myself to a cup of fudge-flavored coffee from Drue’s customer Keurig machine, and spent the rest of the afternoon watching Drue and Jill work together helping engaged couples and holiday shoppers, and making myself useful by keeping the cases fingerprint-free with the Windex and polishing cloth I had confiscated from the multi-tasking Drue.

And grateful to be part of a team of professionals / entrepreneurs who stand up for each other’s success.


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