January 26th, 2012
by Dan Gold
Sometimes a great idea just hits you and it becomes imperative to follow it to see where it goes. For busy mom, Annette Giacomazzi, that idea meant making her 10 year old daughter’s cast, now covering her 6th broken bone, look beautiful. After designing a few cast covers and sling sets, Annette’s once great idea became a reality; CastCoverZ! was born. But rejoicing over the company’s birth was met with some challenges.
Within the first year of her new “discovery”, Annette was diagnosed with cancer and needed to put some things aside to heal. But the ever-determined Giacomazzi is not one to stay idle for long and in just three years, CastCoverZ! began blazing a trail. With a simple mission to provide fun and functional products that comfort orthopedic patients, CastCoverZ! are now available in notable orthopedic clinics across the country. The current line, proudly made in the USA, features nine CastCoverZ!-branded product creations, five companion products (recently added) and distribution reaching into the European marketplace.
Annette is found most days juggling family and work demands sporting her favorite work outfit: jeans and slippers or cowboy boots depending on her mood. Her indomitable energy is fueled by her faith and lives the Henry Ford adage, “If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you can’t,” By embracing hard work and caring for family, Annette believes strong women develop character. We were pleased Annette agreed take a few moments to be interviewed. Her answers below reveal a true Wild Web Woman dynamo!
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Tenacious, optimistic, energetic
Where do you find inspiration to continue growing your business?
My customers, my employees, my children, my faith and my debt. And not necessarily in that order.
What online social media platform has you addicted? (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn…etc.).
Facebook allows me to engage with my customers at the moment they need us. Whether it is about their delight with their CastCoverz! products or they have a question about our products, it is an opportunity to hear their story and respond to it.
Please share a professional phobia or obsession….confession session!
This one is easy and embarrassing. Every week (and mid-month) I tally up orders, hits on my website, revenue generated, the typical KPI’s. Then I set a forecast for that month. That’s all well and good. But I always set my budget on the received revenue. This is due to the (unrealistic) fear of never getting another sale. When I stop and think about it, I honestly think there is a possibility that sales will evaporate. Poof. Gone. Stop. That’s limiting thinking because my revenues increased 150% over 2010 and sales continue to climb every month for the past 8 months roughly 20%.
What do you believe successful “wild web woman” traits are?
An openness to new ideas. Transparency in recognizing the need to ask for help. No blame, no excuses, just do!
How do you indulge yourself (every once in a while!) to stay healthy and balanced?
I get to bed early (8:30), so I can read any book I want, uninterrupted for about an hour, and then get a good night’s sleep to rise and shine at 5:00 a.m. Yes, I know I need to get back into my beloved aerobics and stretching, too. One thing I do every day is sit on a big, red ball at my desk. Pure nirvana. NO CHAIRS!
What are the top three most vital marketing ingredients that have helped you become the professional you are today?
Total_Web_Domination Really. Think about it. Total (make good and smart use of every tool available that is appropriate for my business), Web (successful practices to leverage the power of the web), Domination (never give up!).
When you are faced with a setback or an enormous business challenge, what do you do to keep moving forward?
I look at the 30,000 foot perspective and what my vision is. When I remember what I am building, I can relax and take an objective look.
Who is your personal role model? What about this person do you truly admire and aspire to?
I’d have to say Jesus. Here’s a guy that forgave everybody regardless of their transgression, helped people develop their full potential, reminded them to focus on the important things in life and never got off track (he stayed true to his task and mission). Wow. Doesn’t get any better than that, does it?
What has been your biggest achievement recently that you are proud of?
My children, my business and co-founding the local Y.
What are your goals for this upcoming year?
Position CCZ! as the orthopedic marketplace, increase internet retail sales 150% and wholesale sales 100%, leverage all the web tools to engage customers, incorporate off-line marketing techniques to connect with medical professionals, become a content aggregator and thought leader in my industry, innovate, hire more people so I can do what I do best (sales), secure placement in mass retail.
What do you think is the most challenging part about being a female entrepreneur?
I recognize not every female entrepreneur is a mother. But, I know most of us are. With that in mind, turning the switch from fixing problems and completing tasks because they have to be done to encouraging my children and teaching them how to do something so they become self-reliant and responsible (vs. me just doing it for them). . I do not want to raise a child that gets overwhelmed, thus paralyzed, with life.
What is the ONE web marketing best practice that you would share with other Web Marketing Therapy readers?
Surround yourself with people (books, blogs, podcasts) who know what they are doing and who support and believe in you; then DO what they recommend over and over and over until it becomes yours.
Learn more about Annette Giacomazzi, and CastCoverZ!.
If you are a Wild Web Woman who would like to be featured, or if you want to recommend a woman for us to feature,
get in touch we’d like to know!