By Tomboy KC | Photography by Stephen Bimson
Michelle Newbery’s title alone is very impressive – President of fine furnishings site The Mine – but beyond that she is a mother of two and an avid runner. Before she joined The Mine, Michelle rose through the ranks at Lowe’s and then was appointed to lead The Mine (formerly ATGStores.com) through an amazing rebrand with new marketing, new partners and new initiatives. We only have one question: Where does she find the time?!
TKC: You’re the President of The Mine, which recently transitioned from ATG Stores. What does it look like to be the President of a company in the middle of a rebrand?
MN: It is great to see the team’s hard work paying off every day. It rewards us all, to see customers and the industry resonating with our new branding. It is a very busy time for us. We are thriving on the energy, enthusiasm and positive momentum. We work hard to stay grounded, and keep things in perspective.
I have a “first world problems” jar in my office. If anyone on the team is overly stressed, they can come into my office and put a poker chip (millennium pink poker chip, of course), in the jar. We use it as a moment to reset, and refocus, as needed. It is an intense, crazy, fun time, and I love every minute of the ride!
TKC: What aspect of your work is the most meaningful to you?
MN: Interacting with the extended team, and hearing from customer service representatives who talk with our customers every day. I participate in roundtable discussions with individual contributors at The Mine. This is the absolute most meaningful part of my day, because it enables our senior leadership team to connect with the extended team, and continuously improve our customers’ experience.
TKC: It’s amazing the breadth of product showcased on The Mine. How hands on are you in deciding what makes it onto the site?
MN: We have an amazing team who does an excellent job of continually ensuring that we are on-trend, and that The Mine is relevant to our target customers. The beauty of our model (we do not hold inventory) is out ability to react, be nimble and keep our products fresh.
TKC: We know this is hard with so much to choose from, but what is your favorite thing on The Mine right now?
MN: Right now, I am incredibly excited to see many new exclusive collections on The Mine, which include an amazing collection of vintage items. For holiday, we will be sharing with our customers exclusive, richly-detailed vintage items. Our style director, Eddie Ross, has a large influence on the looks and collections we pursue. Eddie recently discovered several new lines on a trip to France – they are truly fantastic, and an inspired way to treat your friends and relatives over the holidays.
TKC: All of that, and you are a mother of two (arguably the hardest job out there!). Any advice for working moms?
MN: Force a balance (it will never just happen). Find your small wins, celebrate and run with them. I take my kids Nicole (14) and Ryan (12) to the bus stop each morning, and I savor five minutes of quality time with each of them. While that is a short amount of time, I am committed to not over-scheduling our family. When I travel, I make sure to text them regularly, so we can start our days together, and stay connected.
TKC: If you had a motto, what would it be and why?
MN: Polite persistence for the win.
TKC: Who have been your greatest supporters or mentors?
MN: My family has always been a source of inspiration and support for me. My dad and I have a special connection. Early in life, I learned from my dad the importance of building relationships, and getting your hands dirty, when needed. My Instagram mentor is Sara Blakey – I have mad respect for what she is accomplishing, as a woman in business, a mom and a wife. Watching her recent Virgin strive biking event in Africa makes want to aim higher.
TKC: What does your work “uniform” look like (i.e., what would we find you in if we popped in to your office)?
MN: Either cropped pants and a blouse (maybe with a jacket, depending on the day) or a dress. Recently I have been working with a local stylist who is pushing me out of my comfort zone! (Do not be afraid to ask for help ladies!) If it is a Blue Friday, you will always find me in a Russell Wilson jersey and jeans, supporting the Seahawks.
TKC: Name one beauty product you couldn’t live without.
MN: Too hard to pick just one, my top two are, Vitamin C each morning and face oil each night.
TKC: Coffee or tea?
MN: Unsweetened green ice tea is my go-to.
TKC: Lipstick or lip gloss?
MN: Lipstick for events and work, quick lip gloss for the soccer mom weekend time.
TKC: Instagram or Snapchat?
MN: Instagram for me (multiple times a day, great way to keep up with the designer industry). If I need to check in on my kids, then Snapchat wins out!
TKC: Is there one moment in your career that stands out where you felt like you finally “made it”?
MN: I have been fortunate to have a lot of great moments. If I have to pick one, I would say it was about 90 days after rebrand. A long-term employee (+10 years) came to me and said how proud she was, to share with friends where she worked. She shared that she was genuinely passionate about our new direction. Hearing directly from our employees is what really brings the most satisfaction & accomplishment to me.
TKC: What advice would you give to 22 year old Michelle?
MN: Play a long game. Do not be discouraged by a “no”. Learn from it and move on. And definitely… have more fun, you have got this!
TKC: What can we expect to see from The Mine in the future?
MN: A lot! Stay tuned… we are just getting started!
I have a “first world problems” jar in my office. If anyone on the team is overly stressed, they can come into my office and put a poker chip (millennium pink poker chip, of course), in the jar.
In the post:
all product is from The Mine