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Building Jophiel: Learning The Skills

Growing up, we all have grand plans for our lives; maybe big dreams, ambitious goals, life-changing love.  For some of us, those could all be wrapped up into one.  We interviewed Jophiel president and founder Julie Clancy and learned that 32 years of retail, opening Jophiel in Fort Wayne and styling has been a pretty wild ride.  But all of it has been an adventure of love, life-long learning, new levels of commitment and a dream that started small.

You had worked in fashion for many years prior to Jophiel.  What was the store like where you used to work?

The Forgotten Woman was my first job in fashion and I started as a commission only sales team member and completed my tenure there as store manager of the Michigan Avenue store and company trainer for new management team members.  So you could say I learned a lot!

What key retail and/or business lessons did you learn from your experience there?

The Forgotten Woman was my first exposure to so much: quality designer clothing, alterations, selling techniques, styling, merchandising, management and more.  I worked with amazingly talented and confident women and some not so confident and terribly territorial.  I learned never to be territorial!  I had an amazing store manager, in fact we started the same day.   She had been hired to turn the staff and store into an efficient, clean and honest working retail environment.  The store produced amazing selling numbers, but the territorial stylists were ruining the work environment.  She changed it to a well-run and fun environment that allowed me to learn the trade and I loved it.
Being hired there changed my career forever.  It took me on a path that I could never have imagined, but was totally God-directed. 
Business People Interview 1999
Business People Interview - 1999

I probably would say that working for a woman entrepreneur played more of a role than I gave it credit at the time.  The owner of the Forgotten Woman was a dynamic woman, full of New York spit and vinegar with southern charm thrown it.  She knew fashion and she was persistent in getting the quality and talent out of every designer she selected for the store and from her employees.  I am not saying she was perfect or likable all the time, but she was good.  She succeeded and achieved and made you want to do the same.  I was exposed to so many things through the Forgotten Woman.  I was given the chance to learn and grow on the job.  She saw something in the me that I didn’t even recognize and I will always be grateful.
Stay tuned for more from our Building Jophiel series!  Julie talks about why she chose Fort Wayne We've got lots to share.

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