Julie Haack today is a diamond expert who knows how to weather a storm with a strong team on her back. Taking over her father’s business in 2007, she had just settled into her role as President of Donald Haack Diamonds and leading operational strategist when the Great Recession hit. Julie faced a crisis for which she was largely unprepared. She had established her career in computer training; out of undergrad she found a job in Visionworks’ computer training division and was overseeing Humphrey Instrument’s corporate training office in Schaumburg, Illinois when she decided to take time off to raise her two sons.
Eventually she decided to work part time for her father’s diamond business as a greeter but soon found she had a hidden talent. “I had no real interest in the business”, Julie explains in the podcast, “I was just helping out, but learned fairly quickly that I had a high aptitude for learning and sales. And I fell in love with colored gemstones and with that developed a keen interest in jewelry design.”
Her keen interest in jewelry design was put to the test as she faced the decision of her career. Never having weathered such a strong downturn in this industry, she suddenly found herself needing to decide if she and the other 9 full time and 2 part time employees she oversaw were going to keep the doors open. After deciding to press on, she and her team were able to survive and even succeed.
Julie’s story is an inspiration to us all. As small business owners, we often times find ourselves facing crises in industries in which we wish we had more experience. What strategic changes can be made? What are we missing that could take us to the next level? How can we reinvent ourselves? Julie’s story offers insight and advice that you don’t want to miss.
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