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Baby Boomer Retirement Story - Mary Riggs Develops a Successful Online Business

May 17th, 2012
Mary Riggs started an online store in 2006 and was simply a fluke. She stumbled upon the “niche” of girls plus size clothing.

A Real Baby Boomer Story
Mary Riggs Develops
a Successful Online Business

Mary Riggs started an online store in 2006 and was simply a fluke. She stumbled upon the “niche” of girls plus size clothing.

They say that men define themselves by the type of work they perform. 

Unfortunately, I have been plagued with the same ailment so I can attest to the fact that it is not gender specific. 

My Human Resource work defined my very being, the job was who I was coupled with the large corporation in which I worked for 29 years of my adult life.

At the beginning of my retirement  I continued taking Continuing Education classes, SHRM certification test and attended seminars. Who was I kidding? 

I knew “grow with the company” in job ads equated to “young.”   I read the Job Ads of the Sunday paper first as I had done for 30 years.

I have conducted many seminars on transition into retirement over the years only to have found myself unprepared for the challenges that the loss of self brought.  If I was no longer “Jason’s Mother” or “District HR Manger” who am I now?

I have stood in front of those having worked for the same major corporation as myself and ask what their plans were for retirement.  This question usually received answers such as “fish”, “play golf everyday”, “travel in their RV”,  the list was endless.

None of the soon to be retirees answered with “fish when I don’t have a doctor’s appointment.”  After all they had finally reached their destination, retirement.  Now they would have the time to do any and all the things they had dreamed about for years.

Newsflash! I would say to myself.  If you don’t fish (or golf, etc.) before retirement, you probably will not in retirement. This was sad, but had been my observation over the years.

I had seen retirees come to visit the office on their way to lunch with former co-workers, some of which would leave and never darken the door again, some that relished a retirement party and others that wanted to leave quietly.

My transition to what I do today came from a lifetime of Customer Service, now known as a transferable skill,  that was ingrained in me.  The online store I started in 2006 was simply a fluke from selling my grandson’s outgrown clothing on Ebay.  Then I stumbled upon the “niche” of girls plus size clothing and I felt empathy for parents trying to find the much needed sizes that I had encountered for my son years ago.

I had never worked a day in retail sales, attended an apparel market show or thought of myself as a sales person, yet I needed something to start from the “ground up” to call my own since my husband was and still works.

The choice was mine with the total support of a loving husband. I could watch the weather channel, daytime TV or 24 hour news channels.

My family has always had a joke about my mathematical abilities.  They don’t think I can add or subtract without a dollar sign in front of the number!  Keeping that in mind my efforts had to be attached to income in addition to being a passion.

Has it been easy?  No.  The learning curve was steep.  I have job descriptions, much like any HR Manager would write, for all the hats I wear and jobs I perform myself.  I have never worked such long hours or been so determined to make something a success in my life. 

Recently I was interviewed by Entrepreneur Magazine for one of their Start Up Guides “Kid-Focused Businesses” that will go on sale in the Fall 2008.  Does this mean I have arrived? Hardly.

I became an LLC in May 2007 and have recently applied for the Federal Trademark for Cute as a Bug that expired on 1/17/08 and will take 18 months to get the application processed.

In August 2008 I added an important team member, Ward Consulting, a Mother/Daughter Team from Florida that I met in a Google Adword Seminar in Charlotte.  I mention this because even trying to wear all “hats” you have to know when you need to hire the experts.  I knew no more about Adword Campaigns upon completion of the seminar than before and didn’t want to learn.  The seminar fee was worth every penny to have found this out and stop throwing good ad dollars after bad.

Consider Building a Website to Support the Marketing of Your Business

My “passion” evolved over time, but with a little thought of what you love to do coupled with drawing from those transferable skills from your previous employment you can find your retirement niche.

Get a Quote on a New Online Business Website or for a Website Makeover

Mary Riggs
Childrens Plus Size Clothing

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