2022 NEA Women in Business: Cathy Tedder

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Cathy K. Tedder
Eleven Point Fragrance Merchants/Scentations located in Walnut Ridge
Residence Pocahontas
Education Bachelor’s degree in marketing and business, Arkansas State University

What was your dream job and why?

My dream job would be continuing to do what I’m doing but with unlimited funds. I like being able to provide employment for good hard-working people.

What has been the most fulfilling moment of your career so far?

Knowing that I was able to purchase the company I worked for since graduating college. I purchased with knowledge and confidence I could continue to operate and grow the business to its full potential.

What advice would you give young women who are at the beginning of their careers?

You’re not a true salesperson until you have learned to say no. With that being said, it’s OK when things get hard, just keep trying and most of all learn something new every day that can help you grow as a person. Know and recognize your limits professionally and personally.

How do you spend your time away from work?

I am a full-time sponsor for our 16-year-old son, Rex’s, baseball career. Spending time with my family and friends is always special as we are all busy living life. I love to travel, and I am an avid lover of outdoors and hunting. During the summer, I love growing zinnias in the garden. I want to grow about 2 acres of zinnias on our farm in the coming years.

If you have a bucket list, what are the top things on it?

I want to visit Italy, visit all Major League baseball stadiums, and build a house on our farm or remodel.

What character traits do you feel have benefited you in your success?

I am very transparent with clients and employees. Everyone is busy and I respect their time. I also just keep trying my best to be better and keep an open mind.

Who have been mentors who’ve influenced your professional career?

Sandy Jones. She is the epicenter of the company. The knowledge and experience she contributes is top-notch. Her career started in 1985 as one of the first employees of the company founded by Peggy Fender, Mary Pace Shannon and the late Jo Larsen. These women started a company during a time when it was not the norm for women to work. I want to continue to honor and try keep the legacy of the company growing.

Nadine Lerner is our incredibly talented graphics director. We have met each other in person two times in eight years. She has taught me design, communication and to think outside the box. I trust her completely with the creativity and branding of the company. She always has my back and sets met straight. I would consider her my life coach and family.

Teddi K. Holt is vital to my continued efforts to learn and keep a fresh perspective on trends and life. I’m so excited for her to be joining Sandy and myself in this ever changing industry.

Todd Smith and Charlie Goppetti — no words to express my love and admiration for their contributions to my success and the home decor industry. I also want to acknowledge all the people I have worked with locally and across the country. Without these relationships, I would not be where I am today.

Can you share how COVID impacted your business or organization?

The biggest challenge during COVID was finding a new production facility that could accommodate our growth. After 35 years in the same location we moved successfully in a matter of less than 20 days during Christmas, extreme cold and the majority of our team quarantined. By Jan. 3, 2021 we were producing in our new location in Walnut Ridge.