How long have you been with Yarid’s? I am in my ninth year. Yarid’s is a fantastic company. 2018 will be our 100th year. I think what is so fantastic is that it is almost impossible to find a small, locally-owned business that’s been open for 100 years. They are obviously doing something right. It’s exciting for me to be part of that.
What impact do you hope to have in the lives of your customers? Trust is a big deal to me. Sometimes that means you may not get the sale necessarily, but they are going to come back because they trust you and what you’re telling them. We want our customers to go out, represent us in the community, and look good doing it!
What styles are you most excited about for 2018? Everyone has been excited about 2018. We’ve had a couple of stale years style-wise in my opinion. This year, everything is luxe. Embroidery, velvet, and so many rich fabrics are showing up. Any heel goes. There is not necessarily a height or shape of heel that is more popular. It makes it wearable for everyone.
What do you like to do to give back to the community, and what are the causes closest to your heart? Animal rescue takes up a large portion of my time. I have found that I really enjoy the hands-on, in the trenches volunteering best. I do media appearances for the SPCA, and I also volunteer with Franklin County Humane Society. I spend most of my time there actually rescuing animals and bringing them into the shelter.
Do you have a quote that inspires you as a store manager? “I work hard so my dogs can have a better life.”
Who is your biggest inspiration and why? My mom. She is a breast cancer survivor and she has somehow mastered the “live in the now.” She has the most positive attitude, she’s always having a good time, and she has great style.
You all took over Punch Boutique in May. At what moment did you decide that taking over the business was what you wanted to do? Whitney Greene: I have always had a passion for both the apparel industry and entrepreneurship. When the previous owner approached us about purchasing the business in late spring, we knew at that moment we didn’t want Roanoke to lose such an amazing business in the community. It was an amazing opportunity neither of us felt like we could pass up—and the support from our customers really affirmed our decision. I knew that it was something I couldn’t do without Catherine though, as we both have different backgrounds, personalities and perspectives. I think that really makes us a unique partnership.
Catherine Justice: I have been with Punch from the ground up. Our former boss taught me everything I know and I continuously want to know more! I love Punch and saw this a natural progression. There is nothing else I’d rather do, and no one else I’d rather do it with than Whitney!
What do you enjoy most about your job? WG: There are so many things! The customers that have become a part of our lives, the fact that each day is different and always requires us to think creatively and problem solve. I also enjoy being able to bring fashion and unique products to my hometown and spread my passion with everyone here. I love being a part of something bigger in the community.
CJ: The relationships. I absolutely love my customers, coworkers, and vendors. I thrive on building and keeping relationships. Finding that perfect outfit together is the heartbeat of my job. Also, the clothes…it’s pretty much every girls dream job right?!
Do you have a favorite quote that guides you in your role as a business owner? WG: “Always keep your eyes open, keep watching. Because whatever you see can inspire you.” Grace Coddington
CJ: “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” Michael Jordan
You can’t be the best on the team without going to practice or failing!
Who is your biggest inspiration? WG: My family and our customers. Both are the reason were lucky enough to be in the position we are. My family constantly supports my dreams without question and our customers constantly fulfill my dreams.
CJ: My husband is my biggest inspiration. He works harder than anyone I know. No day is more important, he gives 150% every single day and it is very admirable.
What is your favorite style for Fall 2017? WG: There is a strong emphasis on sleeves for fall. Dramatic shapes and fresh details make arms key focal points. It’s classically romantic and feminine. I think the diversity in style, silhouette, and substance is what makes fashion great.
CJ: It’s all about velvet! All ages, all styles…you have to have something velvet or with velvet on it!
How do you hope your customer’s experience in Punch Boutique impacts their daily life? WG: We constantly strive to provide each customer with a personal experience. We are so lucky that many of our customers have become our friends, with whom we share our highs and lows. We wouldn’t have it any other way. We want customers to feel like even though we are a ‘dress shop,’ we truly want to be involved in the process of dressing them for all the occasions in their lives. We want to be a part of helping them feel and look their best for all their needs. We also know that our customers work hard in their daily lives, so we like to ask ourselves how we can make life easier for our customers: by being a one stop shop for clothing, shoes, and accessories. Our customers (hopefully) leave with a friend in our employees (& us), a personalized experience, and a phenomenal outfit.
CJ: I want women to feel confident in their Punch attire. It isn’t shallow or superficial to feel good on the outside because that is the first step to feeling good on the inside. “Retail therapy” is a real thing and I see it happen on a daily basis.