Tag Archives: Ithaca

The Women of the Goose (Part III): The Big Cheese?

Hi there! I am Kelly Moreland, the owner of Mama Goose and Mimi’s Attic. I am so grateful to be celebrating 15 years in business, and am super psyched to have our winter Mama Goose get a new outfit and welcome a sassy tween to our gaggle. Stay tuned for the unveiling later in the month!

We talk a lot about “The Big Cheese” at both Mama Goose and Mimi’s Attic, and the interesting thing is we are rarely referring to me as the Big Cheese. I think this is because, when I first opened Mama Goose, I read a book called The E-Myth by Michael Gerber, and was inspired by the concept that business owners should work on their business rather than in it. I definitely miss the early days when I did everything and knew each and every customer, but I also know that – most days – the most helpful thing I can do for my staff is to get out of their way.

This is former Mama Goose Manager, “Cheesin’ it” as we like to say. When Managers are on vacation or otherwise unavailable, senior staff takes their turn as “Big Cheese”.

So with all these “Big Cheeses” around, what exactly do I do? For many of the last fifteen years, I spent the bulk of my work days on marketing communications and print graphics (such as flyers, forms, signage, email blasts and ads) because I love that stuff and love collaborating with the team on creative endeavors. Those projects are now spearheaded by Communication Assistant, Heather Eriole and Operations Manager, Violet Goncarovs, but we all continue to collaborate as much as possible.

Another big part of my role in the company is what I call “connecting the dots”. This is basically a lot of communicating and making sure everyone, throughout the company, is on the same page. It also means tirelessly working with the team to hone organizational systems, policies and procedures. These systems may sound boring, but I have always believed that they are our secret sauce. Not only do they help us make sure the customer experience is consistent, they also create a work environment that allows each team member to shine and bring their best game because they are not bogged down and burdened with inconsistencies.

One of the true pleasures of being a part of these stores (besides shopping at them!) is seeing the growth and empowerment of each staff member. As I look back on the old photos we have unearthed for this anniversary, I feel grateful and inspired by all of the amazing women who have helped Mama Goose grow and flourish.

This is a photo of my daughters, Olivia (left) and Geneva (right) that was taken about a year after we opened. The idea for Mama Goose grew out of my love for seeking and finding gently-used clothing for my daughters that appealed to their ever-changing tastes. I still enjoy finding gently-used bargains that I think they will like!

Last, but certainly not least, I am truly grateful for you – the fabulous community of Mamas, Papas and goslings who continue to inspire me every day with your commitment to live your values and shop locally and sustainably.