Hey there, Kate here.
I would like to share a love story with you. It’s my story of how I, rather reluctantly, got involved in the family business, and how it changed my life.
I grew up here, coloring at the wrapping counter after school and working in the shop all through high school. I was at Elms College for Nursing when Dad asked if I would come back to Cooper’s as Manager, just for the summer. That was in 1988. I was so not interested but Dad was very convincing, so I said “Okay, JUST for the summer.” That was 30 years ago. (Really?!) Time truly does fly when you’re having fun!
Once I started doing more than just sales, the buying, the merchandising, the marketing…I was hooked. I was working 7 days and 2 nights a week for a long time, but I loved every minute of it. We were in a deep recession, but Cooper’s showed consistent growth each and every month. I brought in new lines, had a ball creating displays and loved developing meaningful relationships with my customers.
I added help as Cooper’s grew, and I was very blessed to find staff that felt like family. Once I met Prince Charming and the babies started to arrive, the Cooper Crew kept the place afloat while I made a life outside of work. Each one of our 4 kids came to work with me for the first 8-9 months. I had a crib and a playpen in my office and I was constantly juggling. But, how blessed I was to have them with me! If it were not for my dedicated and loyal employees, I would have never been able to keep the store open and have a family. And, when I lost my parents, they grieved with me and helped me pick up the pieces. I am forever grateful to my dedicated crew.
Owning a business and having a young family does not allow much time for volunteering and doing the charity work that I yearn for, so I’ve developed ways to incorporate that into the store. We recently added the Round Up Program, which we’ve proudly been able to donate over $11,000 to local charities. It’s the generosity of our customers, and we just provide the vehicle to drive it. I am very proud of that. I still have the heart of a nurse, and I have a need to help and make a difference.
I have made friendships that have stood the test of time. I’ve watched babies be born, grow up and shop now with their little ones. I’ve assisted them in finding the perfect gifts for all the happy and the sad occasions that life sends us. I consider myself lucky to have had the honor to help them choose gifts that speak what is in their hearts, and turn their homes into havens with personalized decor selections.
So, that is my love story. I am so grateful for the twist that my life took, and I would not change a thing. Thank YOU for being a part of my love story.