Gravity Lingerie has quickly become a Winnipeg favourite. Owners Judy Cheetham and Sherry Valentin have both worked in lingerie stores in the city and absolutely love the industry. Two years ago they combined their passion and talent to create an environment that they were proud to present and their clients would feel comfortable shopping in.
“We can’t believe that it has been that long already. It’s been a fantastic ride so far and it’s our customers and friends that help in making this so wonderful!”
We had the opportunity to sit down with Judi (J) and Sherry (S) to find out a little more about them and Gravity Lingerie for our Breakfast with the Boss series.
What was your first job?
Sherry: “My first job was at the Manitoba Museum, Visitor Services at 16.”
Judy: “Mine was McDonald’s at 16.”
As a partnership, what is your management style?
J: “With respect to our store it is necessary to communicate with one another on the direction we are going. Sherry and I discuss store procedures, buying, events, etc. and are really open to being flexible. With respect to the people who work with us, again communication is key. Not to sound cliché, but customer service is always, always first for us and our employees.”
Who can say they love coming to work every day because it is so much fun?”
You’re going into your third year. What lessons have you learned since starting?
S: “Where do we start? With respect to owning a business, don’t take things personally. There are always going to be doubters but you need to believe in yourself.”
J: “You don’t have to be a bitch to succeed. A positive attitude is a great attitude to have. With respect to everyday at the store, when you have fun working your clients will pick up on the vibe. We always underestimate, but over deliver and always give your clients a great experience.”
What strengths do you bring to the business?
J: “We each have our own strengths which brings a great balance to our business.”
S: “I guess our only weakness is our impatience. We have so many ideas but we just can’t implement everything all at once.”
Being a small business owner can be stressful. What motives you?
J: “We love what we do and we love working with our clients. Who can say they love coming to work every day because it is so much fun?”
What has been your biggest challenge?
S: “Location would have been our first challenge but we are so lucky that we are in such a great neighborhood. We faced a few other road blocks, but instead of feeling defeated we worked around them and things worked out even better.”
What do you do like to do for fun?
J: “We are both homebodies and being with friends and family is the most important. We also love to travel so it is great that our buying market is in New York every year.”
S: “She forgot shoes. We love buying shoes!”
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give someone starting their own business?
J: “Patience and never, ever stop believing in yourself.”