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On the Job With Kate Whiting Henry

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

"On the Job With..." is a regular feature of Sunday Inc. Today's feature is with Kate Whiting Henry, owner of several businesses including Blush Albany.

Q. What was the first thing you spent money on when you received your first ever paycheck?

A. I never spent it, I still have it saved and in my drawer at home.

Q. What's the single most effective technique you found over the past two years for keeping employees motivated?

A. Treat them right, and they will treat you and your businesses right.

Q. What was your first job?

A. After babysitting, I worked at the Parlor Boutique part-time with my retail-savvy Mom.

Q. What led you to your current position? Why did you want to operate your own business?

A. My business partner talked me into it and it was the best choice I could have ever made. I wanted to work for myself and see how successful I could be. At this current time, Ana Condit, my business partner and friend, have opened our second location recently in North Atlanta in Kennesaw. We are always looking to expand and grow.

Q. Do you have a role model or mentor in your career?

A. My husband, Bo Henry has to be hands down, the hardest working person that I know. He keeps me motivated and ready for growth. I look to him for any and all advice. He needs his own column.

Q. What is the biggest lesson you as a business leader learned from the recent recession?

A. I learned to keep price points low without sacrificing style. Not everyone has an endless budget, including myself. If I wouldn't pay for something, why should I think someone else will?

Q. If you could turn the clock back on one aspect of technology -- examples e-mail, automated phone systems, cell phones, PDAs, etc. -- what would you most like to see go away?

A. Probably my cell phone. There is a love/hate relationship with the two of us. It's so vital but also so annoying.

Q. What is your favorite work-related gadget?

A. My laptop. It keeps me on top of the game.

Q. What was the last book you read? Do you have things you read daily or regularly?

A. Don't laugh. . . the "Twilight" series. I like vampires and easy reads. I love fashion magazines. I read several a week to stay on trend.

Q. I'm up and going by? And what is your morning routine?

A. I am up and going by 7:30 a.m. The dogs are my first priority in the morning, then myself. At the shop there is also the daily routine of checking Facebook for orders and checking several voicemails. We try to get all of this done before the doors open at 10 a.m. That never happens.

Q. Favorite hobbies or activity outside work?

A. Traveling and spending time with my husband, family, friends and my dogs. I love concerts and the beach. We love Las Vegas and all the great eateries there, as well as the black jack tables. But we also love just being at home with our two furry babies.

Q. If you could take back one business decision you made in your career, what would it be?

A. Any bad decisions I've made in the past ... I try to live, learn, and forget them.

Q. Best thing about your job?

A. Flexibility in some aspects and being the boss.

Q. Worst thing about your job?

A. Being the boss.

Q. The most beneficial course I took in school was?

A. Speech Communications.

Q. What would be your dream job if you were able to pick a position outside your current career path?

A. I always wanted to be an actress when I was younger. Now, not so much, but the perks would be nice. Just something dealing with fashion or music and I'd be just as happy. Now, I do wish that I could sing. I have a somewhat raspy voice so everyone thinks my singing voice would be cool. That's not the case, though.

Q. Finish this thought; "on the first anniversary of my retirement, I see myself...

A. At my newly-owned beach house celebrating with family and friends. And then I'd probably start working on a new project the next day.

Q. What is the one trait a strong business leader cannot afford to be without?

A. Good communication skills.

Q. Crystal ball time: What's your call on when the economic recovery for our area will be in full swing?

A. Any day now. We have to be positive about our recovery. The media needs to quit scaring America into not spending money.

Q. What kind of music might I find on your list of most played on your iPod?

A. Ray Lamontagne, Bo Henry Band, Jodi Mann, and The Beatles.

Q. What do you think is the biggest change Albany will see in the next 10 years?

A. More growth towards our area in the northwest side of Albany and Lee County.

Q. What is your favorite tradition?

A. My husband's Christmas stocking he gives me every year. Lots of goodies in there from all over Albany. He never ceases to surprise me with what you can find at a Walgreen's.

Q. What was the best vacation you've ever taken? Why?

A. My honeymoon. It was eight days of Bo and I in Mexico on the beach.

Q. What are the biggest changes you have seen in your specific line of business over the past few years?

A. How much business Blush gets from Facebook. Girls love our clothes. We buy five or six items of one style and that's it. Bigger chain stores make several of one style, so you know your "twin" may be at the same party as you. We will continue to grow and love every minute of it. Our customers keep us busy and we love them for it.