A Chat with Paulette Jarvey, Owner and President, Hot Off The P
Catalog Success: Have you had any mentors?
Jarvey: Nancy Drew! Okay, maybe she's not your typical mentor but as a little girl she inspired me because of her independence and intelligence. Being a woman business owner can be tough, and very often I felt I was going it alone. Now I feel I'm very much supported by a team of fabulous employees and business associates, who make it much easier (and more fun!) to lead the business.
Catalog Success: What about the business appeals to you?
Jarvey: The challenges and the results! I love seeing how we can make each book better, and the game of what to leave in and what to take out, where to put this product and how to show that one. Of course, I also love poring over the latest book to see how things did and whether the hunch I had about that new product played out.
Catalog Success: What's your definition of success?
Jarvey: Being happy in what you do. Being proud of what you do. Making a difference to your customers and employees.
Catalog Success: In what ways do you feel you've succeeded?
Jarvey: I'm delighted to own a company that provides women with supplies and ideas that make them feel creative and successful. I can't tell you how deeply pleased I am when I get a letter or an e-mail from a customer who tells me, "I never thought I was creative, but I bought some of your products and made really great scrapbook pages!" That's one more woman who feels just a little more successful—which means I've succeeded!
Catalog Success: If a new cataloguer asked you to name the keys to success in business, what would you say?
Jarvey: Know your customer and serve her well. Grow according to your core competencies but don't be limited to them. Stop every now and then to look at your business from a strategic perspective—it's amazing how the landscape can change while you're buried in the details.