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Speak Your Mind–Christine Hoechsmann
Christine Hoechsmann, co-owner of The Bedroom Furniture Galleries, and Ashley Furniture Homestore is a strong Cranbrook business leader and represents Ashley Furniture Homestore as a Platinum Sponsor for the upcoming Speak Your Mind, The 2014 Kootenay Women’s Show.
Q: Tell me a little about your business and your role in it.
A: The Bedroom Furniture Galleries has been around since 1977 and was started by my husband’s parents. My husband and I have been working in the business for over 10 years and are honored to take over the family business. I work in the office doing commercial projects, accounting, buying and pretty much anything that requires attention at that particular moment!
Q: As a woman, do you have to do anything differently in business than your male counterparts?
A: I think as woman we instinctively do a lot of things different than men. Our industry is dominantly male and I have had to grow to be more confident and assertive. I have had to put extra effort in my ability to negotiate which I don’t think comes naturally to women. On the flip side, being a woman in business I feel I am more cautious and patient. My husband and I are great business partners partly because we have the advantage of making decisions together which include a female and male perspective.
Q: What are some of the challenges you have faced in the region in terms of business and how have you overcome them?
A: Some challenges in the region in terms of business is local government. Our only way to overcome the challenges is to stay involved and make sure the community knows business is vital to all our survival. No business, no tax revenue to fix roads; no business, no jobs; no business, no donations to any fundraisers. The list goes on. The fastest way to kill our economy is for local government not to embrace current businesses and welcome new businesses in the community.
Q: Is there a person, or an idea that particularly inspires you?
A: Many people in my life bring me inspiration; from my children, my husband, my best friends to Coco Channel! One thing I have to work on every day as a business woman and mother is to shed the guilt; make your decisions and move on knowing you are doing the best you can. The minute you let guilt creep in, you diminish all that you were able to do. Find your balance and embrace it!