Do what you love and love what you do. Words to live by… am I right?! When I think about how the Lord has blessed me immensely with Scarlet & Gold, that is the exact sentence that comes to mind.
My name is Allison Dismuke, and I am the Director of Wholesale at S&G. There is nothing that I love more than spending time with my husband and chocolate lab, pinning home decor on Pinterest that I will probably never buy, and shopping on Etsy for giant sparkly bows for my future daughter arriving this July! I am also a firm believer of making to-do lists, retail therapy, and eating every last Thin Mint in the box.
I have been with S&G a little over a year, and I can honestly say that THIS is my calling. I have always been a “people person” (don’t ask my boss because she thinks I’m an introvert compared to my husband) so being able to work hand-in-hand with people each day is such a blessing. I graduated from the University of West Florida (go Argos!) with a degree in Public Relations but lets be honest… PR is a cut-throat industry and I’m just not a cut-throat kind of person. So instead of diving into the PR world, I decided to go the complete opposite direction and take a job as an apparel and accessories buyer! Pretty much the same thing, right?! I had been in the retail industry since I was 16 years old and always dreamed of owning a boutique so I thought “THIS is it! Thanks God for leading me to my dream job!” And it was. For a season. I loved getting to travel to LA every month to basically shop for a living, but there comes a time in life where you have to actually think about your FUTURE instead of the present. I always pictured myself having a big family with lots of children one day, and I knew that the career path that I was on would not allow me to do both. So as much as I didn’t want to give up doing what I loved, I knew I needed to start planning ahead.
In walks Megan. I met Megan when the boutique that I worked for sponsored a launch party for S&G, and we immediately clicked. Megan and I are very similar: we are both extremely independent, driven women with a passion for building relationships. Feeling unfulfilled at my current job, I jumped at the opportunity to become the Wholesale Account Manager. I had gained experience as a Sales Representative for a showroom in Atlanta right after I got married and completely fell in love with the industry. Thank goodness for modern-day technology because with a sales position you can do almost everything on a computer. PRAISES. One thing that I love most about Megan is that she is extremely family-oriented, and that totally speaks to my love language of quality time. Megan advertises this business as a place to be able to work AND have a family… something that I knew would be important to me one day. Now THIS was it God, THIS is my dream job! Being able to lift some of the financial burden off of my husband while being a mommy AND being a good steward of the gifts that He has given me… sign me up!
As the Director of Wholesale, my entire job is to grow the wholesale side of the business. That means researching new boutiques, composing marketing techniques, and maintaining account relationships. Let me tell you: it’s a ton of communication and closed doors. The Lord sure does have a sense of humor… who knew that by growing up with 3 older brothers who picked on me every chance they got would prepare my heart for a world of “no’s.” But for every decline that I receive, it fires me up that much more to turn their no into a yes. That has been the biggest learning lesson for me: knowing that you cannot satisfy everyone. There will be people that build you up and bring you down in this industry, but your outlook on the situation is what will carry you through.
I know as entertaining as my journey with S&G is, let’s start off with some of the FUN aspects of my job. Let me share my 5 must-haves for a successful day in the office:
Shop Bando Planner- This thing has my whole life detailed out in 12 months so without it I would be completely lost! I love the fun, flirty stickers that come with it so that I can spice up the look of my week!
Scout Lunchbox- The girls at work always tease me because I bring the same thing every single day: a PB&J sandwich, Triscuits, a cottage cheese cup, and a yogurt cup. Do I sound like a 1st grader yet? Am I the only girl who wakes up hungry on the reg and looks forward to my yummy lunch each day?!
Work Out Attire- Thank the good Lord that Megan allows us to wear comfortable clothes to the office! I think we can all agree that if you’re in a t-shirt and leggings that you’re more likely to get things done!
Val Marie Paper Prayer Journal- I adore this. Valerie did such an amazing job of sectioning out prayer requests and recording them easily in a book where you can track the Lord’s goodness each month! You never know when something will come to mind where it brings you to your knees in prayer.
Wholesale Spreadsheet- I spent the first 4 months at S&G building a spreadsheet of boutiques across the country. I researched high and low through social media to find names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and names of owners of boutiques where I feel as though our products would fit well! This is what I like to call my "work Bible"... I have saved it approximately 987 times in 5 different places so that I can AWLAYS access this beauty!
See all of those tools above? Those things allow me to flourish in this position on a daily basis. Those things allow me to have many proud moments. Do you want to know my proudest moment to date? Let me tell you a little story…
Megan hired me in December 2014, one month before the wholesale side of the business launched. At the time, S&G was still a growing company and Megan didn’t necessarily have the funds to offer me a full-time position. She encouraged me to “create the demand for my salary” which fired me up! I was hustlin’ y’all. I was working over 10 hours a day on a part-time salary but I knew that is what I needed to do to prove myself and to see results. Only 4 months into the year, Megan approached me with a full-time salary offer along with a commission structure… PRAISE HIM! All of those late nights and closed doors led to this moment. And by the end of the year, I had grown the wholesale business from 0 stores to 150 stores (with lots of help from our Megan and our fabulous designers who created thebomb.com products). I had a personal monetary goal, and I surpassed that by 20%. If that is not a God thing then I don’t know what is!!!
What I love most about working at S&G is my support system here. I can honestly say that the girls that I work with each day are some of my best friends. They see me at my best and my worst. They speak truth into me when I need it. They lift me up when I’m down. We are all such different individuals, but the Lord brought us together to do Kingdom work with S&G. I also love the fact that I get to work with some of the sweetest, most supportive retailers in the world. They are the ones that keep me going and encourage our business by placing orders. Without them, I would not have this job!
My biggest advice for those wanting to get into sales is to keep on pushing! Trust me, I am the type of person who gets extremely discouraged and offended when people turn me down. But if there is one thing that I have learned it is to be persistent. In the words of Christine Caine “God didn't give you gifts so that you could babysit them. He gave them to you to grow and multiply, to be fruitful and faithful with them.” The Lord blessed me with of gift of communication, and that is exactly what I bring to the table here at S&G. Late nights, lots of coffee, and a few closed doors along the way are completely WORTH it.