CW: When did you decide to go into the business you are in?
“I took an after-school job at a family-owned jewelry store in Columbia when I was 15. I stayed there through high school and full-time while I was at the University of South Carolina. After graduation, it seemed like the right time to do something on our own.”
CW: How do you find your passion?
“I love hearing ideas and stories from other people. I always learn something that sparks an idea or gives me a new perspective. It’s exciting to figure out how I can apply that to my business.”
CW: What habits do you implement in day-to-day life that you attribute to success?
“I’m an old-fashioned list-maker. I try to tackle every day with a list in my calendar of the things I need to get done and calendarize follow-up notes for future dates.”
CW: How have the past year’s challenges changed you?
“We had to think on our feet and figure out how to take care of our staff and our customers, while adapting to a constantly changing situation. We had customers calling and stopping by just to check on us, and it’s hard to even express what a blessing that was.”
CW: Tell us about how you grew up and what or who shaped you into the woman you are today.
“My dad was in the military, and my family moved around a lot. I learned to adapt and be resourceful early on, which is really important in business.”
CW: Who influences you in your life currently?
“I have an enthusiastic team around me that’s always coming up with ways for us to improve and take better care of our customers. After working in this business for a long time, it’s so exciting that there are still new ways to challenge ourselves.”
CW: If you could have dinner with anyone (alive or passed away), who would it be and why?
“Nothing would be better than dinner with Jackson, my youngest son, whom we lost a few years ago. He was kind and funny and so much fun to spend time with. It would mean everything to get to do that again.”
CW: Tell us about your family.
“My husband and I started Polly’s 35 years ago within a few weeks of getting married, so we’ve been a team in everything from the start. Several years ago, our son and his wife joined the business, and it’s been fun to experience their energy and perspective. Our daughter and her husband are also close by, and they both work for local businesses. We all get to learn from each other and spend lots of time with our grandchildren, which is fantastic.”