Tuesday, February 11, 2014

5 Reasons Kirsten Blowers is a Great Boss

Hey everybody!

In all transparency, I have to say that nobody put me up to this post, and that Kirsten (nor anyone at Riffraff) knows that I wrote this post. I just think for those business owners out there who follow this blog (boutique owners, other photographers, etc.), there are some great things we can learn by watching someone so successful.

Kirsten Blowers (owner of Riffraff in Fayetteville) isn't exactly a boss of mine, though she does have me shoot for the fabulous clothing boutique. However, that doesn't mean I don't pick up on many traits she shows on a daily basis (yes, I hang around the Riffraff office any chance I get!). As a boss myself, I'm always very interested in seeing how other bosses interact and manage their employees. Through all my time at Riffraff over the past 5 years, here are some of the main characteristics that stand out:

1) She has vision

Everybody loves being part of the winning team. When your leader has proven success and has grown something great from literally nothing, they're easy to follow. And it's easy to believe in their vision. Kirsten has proven that she can make her vision a reality, and she continues to reinvent herself and Riffraff (for those Entrepreneurs out there... you know this is vital to longterm success). I love what I know of Kirsten's vision for the future of Riffraff, and I love that I have a friend that has such tremendous vision.

2) She is loyal

When I hire an employee, loyalty is my number one. Above talent, which I can teach; above knowledge, which I can also teach, I treasure loyalty. I think it's part of the bigger picture: having loyalty is crucial in exemplifying integrity. And let me just tell you... employees quickly and easily pick up on loyalty and integrity. Kirsten and Riffraff have been fiercely loyal to me and to Benfield Photography (and us them). I know that there are some business owners are out there who lack loyalty and integrity, and in many cases they get ahead by doing so. However, Kirsten has a good set of values and knows running a business the "right" way is the right thing to do.

3) She's not afraid to do the hard work

I watch Kirsten, day after day, doing what I call the grunt work... the grind. The not-so-glamorous work. Meetings, emails, and all the millions of little things she does on a daily basis shows her tremendous work ethic. I used to see her in the store all the time (so did many of you), but the tasks of running a business are many... I know she'd rather be out greeting and chatting with all the Riffraff customers, but she is dedicated to the long-term success of the business, and setting her shopgirls up for success (and letting them take much of the day-to-day credit). I love a boss who isn't afraid to roll up the sleeves and do the hard stuff.

4) She's spots talent

It's no surprise that Riffraff has a remarkably great staff. Their creativity is unmatched, they're consistent and efficient, and they have great customer service. Plus, everything looks amazing! Every new window display blows me away! Well let me just say, it's not all luck. Kirsten spots talent, embraces talent, and cultivates its growth. She has a knack for the getting the most out of her employees; obviously a trait of any great boss.

5) She inspires

I don't think it's any one thing she does that inspires her employees, but rather a culmination of everything she does. Whether it be trusting employees with special projects, showing her own creativity, or just letting her record of success shine... her employees, and me anytime I shoot for Riffraff, feel inspired to deliver a product to her that is worthy of the Riffraff name, and worthy of the KB stamp of approval.

Lastly, Mere and I notice that she does these same things in her personal life, which makes it really easy to call her our best friend. Congratulations, Kirsten, on Riffraff's fifth birthday! We're excited to see first hand what your world will be!

Talk to you soon,

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