Monthly Archives: April 2023

Judy Briggs: Franchise Owner 1-800-GOT-JUNK, Men In Kilts Boston, MaidPro Metrowest -235

If you tell me I can’t do something, I’m gonna do it 10 times better than you ever thought I could. 
-Judy Briggs

We’re on the road for this episode of The Story Behind Her Success, featuring the story of Judy Briggs, mother of 4 and franchise owner of 3 thriving synergistic businesses:  1-800-GOT-JUNK, Men in Kilts/Boston and MaidPro Metrowest.  Recorded in Judy’s offices in the little town of Hopkinton, Massachusetts which is famous for being the location of the starting line of the Boston Marathon, this interview is full of wisdom for entrepreneurs, both future and present!  After pursuing a career in the insurance business, Judy purchased her first franchise in 2003 and has never looked back.   She loves what she does, often appearing at the town dump in a skirt and heels for a 1-800-GOT-JUNK drop-off.   Her four sons have played a role in the development of her businesses, and Judy speaks candidly about the joys and challenges of a family business while always maintaining the belief that no success in business can trump her loyalty to her family.  Judy’s tireless work ethic comes from watching her mother, a single mom who earned her living in a hospital cafeteria work endless hours just to make ends meet.  Judy became a mother at 21 to twin boys and in this interview, she shares how she taught her boys the value of an education by doing her homework around the kitchen table with them, completing her undergraduate degree, and achieving her master’s degree in business.  As an employer, Judy vowed to never treat an employee the way she was treated and prides herself on creating a family environment where relationships are everything, especially when it comes to growing her businesses.  A supporter of the Genesis Fund Judy was the first woman to rise to board chair for the organization.   Her best advice?   “Don’tsweat the small stuff. Do what you love and most of all, don’t ever allow anyone to tell you that you can’t do something.  If you are passionate about it,
do it!”  For 20 minutes of plain talk from a fearless entrepreneur, hit that download button. #entrepreneur #franchise

Katherine Tallman: Executive Director & CEO, Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation -234

Once upon a time, it was a grand event to go to the local movie theatre.  
 -Katherine Tallman
In this interview, we meet Katherine Tallman, a lifelong lover of cinema. She’s the Executive Director & CEO of the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, Massachusetts,  one of America’s most iconic movie theatres.  Originally built as a church in 1906, it was re-designed as an art deco movie palace in 1933 and after suffering hard times throughout the 1980s was purchased by a real estate magnate with a love for theatre who leased the building to the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation.  Today, the Coolidge Corner Theatre is a non-profit, independent cinema and cultural center and Katherine’s mission has been to not only steward this much-loved landmark through the pandemic but to also assure a bright future for the theatre with a 12.5 million dollar expansion. Born and raised in Detroit, Katherine was one of 4 children in a blue-collar family where she was taught to be both responsible and hard-working.  In this interview, she recalls going to the movies every weekend with her friends, often choosing foreign films and independent films over more mainstream offerings.  As the first person in her family to go to college, she accepted her first job in Boston at a real estate investment firm and as she climbed the ladder in business, she discovered that she was often the only woman at the table.  After serving on the board of the Coolidge Theatre, she was tapped to become the executive director.   A true believer in doing what you love, Katherine says:  “I bring my A-game to everything I’ve ever done. I work with really smart people who have the same passion. Most of all,  I lead by example.  Having this job is like a fairy tale movie story.”

Maggie Van Galen: award-winning children’s book author, -233

When I was a teenager, I had one of those diaries with a little lock.  I kept it under my bed and I would pull it out and just start writing.  -Maggie Van Galen

Do you love to write?  Meet Maggie Van Galen. Inspired by her father’s incredible ability to tell a story, this award-winning children’s book author and wordsmith has been writing since she could hold a pen.  Maggie grew up in a tiny town in Northern Michigan where “everyone knew your business before you even did it.”  She went to Michigan State wanting nothing more than to be a number and majored in Journalism until someone told her she would never make any money at it, so she pivoted to advertising with an aim to be a copywriter and ended up in corporate sales.   It was when Maggie became a mom that her father’s story of Keeno & Ernest resurfaced in her memory as she re-told it to her sons.   Teachers who heard the story urged her to put pen to paper and the series came to life, as The Adventures of Keeno & Ernest won the coveted Mom’s Choice Award.  Her latest series is a collaboration with a doctor of pediatric occupational therapy called King’s Day Outwhich empowers children as they navigate life’s adventures.  When she is not writing, Maggie shares her talents by offering her services as a ghostwriter, editor, proofreader, and content creator for social media, marketing, and websites. Says Maggie:  “Words are my gig. When I sign my books, I write:  always follow your dreams.  Sometimes, dreams are not right in front of you and that’s because life takes you in different directions.” #writer#author  #childrensbooks

Anna Nieman Couture, -232

I don’t just make pretty dresses.  If I design a dress that doesn’t excite the woman who is wearing it, this is not good enough.  Every piece of art should excite you. -Anna Nieman

Born in Belarus in the former USSR, Anna Nieman learned all about perseverance and hard work from her parents.  Her father was a messanger for the resistance during World War II. Captured by Stalin’s army at only 17, he was sent to the gulag for 5 years.  Always an artist with a deep love for nature, Anna spent her days as a child, painting pictures on the banks of the Nieman River, eventually immigrating to the United States in 1991 in search of her dreams.  When the plane touched down in New York City, she knew only one word of English:  “taxi” which came in very handy.  Her rise in the fashion industry is a testimony to her strong belief in freedom, entrepreneurship, female empowerment, and the American Dream.  Once a nanny, she learned how to speak English by taking ESL classes, talking to people, and reading books. While the children took naps, Anna combed through the Boston Globe and saw an ad for a fit model.   Not knowing what a fit model was, she noticed that her measurements matched the job description, so Anna applied and got the job.  She would spend years honing her craft working with J-Jill, Talbots, Appleseeds, and Chadwicks of Boston, soaking up every piece of knowledge she could from fashion industry pros who looked at her early designs and encouraged her to go out on her own.  In 2010 she launched Anna Nieman Couture   Recently voted Best in the City as a designer of women’s formal wear by Boston Common Magazine, Anna describes her design style as “classic, beautiful, feminine and flattering.” Her devotion to her customers is what motivates her.  Says Anna:  “I give myself a grade and if I see a smile on a woman’s face, and I make her happy, goal achieved!”  For a tutorial on making your dreams come true, just hit that download button.   #americandream #fashion #formalwear