Top Women in Retail 2018: Cheryl Kaplan, President, M.Gemi
To see the full list of this year's Top Women in Retail honorees, click here.
What do you enjoy most about working in the retail industry?
It’s never boring. Since I began my career in retail it’s been ever-changing. To stay relevant, you must constantly innovate and improve the product and experience you’re offering so it never gets stale for the customer. Also, I love working with people. It’s incredible to gain insight into what people want and then to be able to create it for them. My roles have been a blend of art and science, and I love the balance that brings.
What's the biggest challenge you've faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?
Many years ago, I took what some might think of as a step back in my career by taking a less-defined role to work with a team I truly believed in. It was the best thing I could have done. It allowed me to broaden my experience, which long term allowed me to have a broader role. It taught me to always balance short- and long-term goals. What seems like a step back in the moment might end up proving to be better in the long run. If I hadn’t taken that leap of faith earlier in my career, I would have never built the relationships with my co-founders that ultimately led us to launch M.Gemi.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I lead by example. Put simply, I would never ask anyone to do something that I would not do myself.
What's the best advice you ever received, and who gave you the advice?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. I do sweat the details, but always in terms of what they mean for the big picture and always with an eye towards what matters in life beyond the workplace.
What one new retail technology or trend do you believe will have the biggest impact in 2018, and why?
With the retail climate changing, I believe that bringing experience back to shopping will have a big impact on both physical and digital retail in 2018 — thinking about what the customer wants and delivering upon that in an experiential, not just transactional way. The brands that will grow and succeed are those that never lose sight that everything they're creating should be in service to their clients. When it comes to retail, doing something solely because it's trendy or new rarely impacts the business positively in the long term.
What do you enjoy doing when you're not working?
Spending time with my husband, my 15-year-old, identical twin boys and my labradoodle.