My Office: All signs are pointing to success

Written by Jill Phillips

11:46 AM, Mar. 5, 2011|

Beverly Miller remembers the thrill of making her first sale. She was an intern and working toward an accounting degree.

“When I got the opportunity to do this, I realized I had the knack for talk and going out and encouraging someone to buy into a product I felt passionate about,” she said.

So, with her husband’s support, Miller opened A Sign by Design and started
selling for herself.  Miller’s 35 employees include her husband and two of her children. In December, the National Association of Women Business Owners named Miller its Business Woman of the Year.

Her office is a showcase for family photos, including one of her in Grade 3 and a touch of “bling” here and there. It has a feminine touch, while letting visitors know she’s in charge.

Why did you go into the sign business?
I did signs because it was a male- dominated field. I wanted to be in a field with more men than women because I felt there was more opportunity to grow and advance. I did get a lot of comments when I first started that I wouldn’t be successful. I proved them wrong. I still know the person who told me that, and I want to say, “I’m still here.”

What’s it like to be the wife, the mom and the boss?

That is a juggling act. To know what hat you wear can be a challenge. During the day, I am the boss because my job is to make sure I promote sales and control expenses so we have a profit, and we all survive. When I go home, I’m the wife, mother and grandmother.

Do you often look out of the window to see what’s going on in the shop?

When we first moved in here, I didn’t like the window. I don’t want people to think I’m a micromanager. Now it’s neat to look out and see the work they are doing. I don’t look out it often.

Tell us about the frogs in your office.

One is from when I was a baby. I found it and wanted it in here. It brings back memories of my family and my father.

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