Receiving the Most Significant Accomplishment award was the last thing Jodie Orange expected, so she was not even listening when the announcement was made. “I was saying goodbye to friends and thanking them before they scurried away,“ she recalls with a laugh. “I was shocked. I really did not think that what I do on an everyday basis was worthy of recognition.”
Although it’s a franchise, Living Lighting on King is one of a kind; it’s a hip, downtown showroom and online destination that defines “next generation” thinking and lighting merchandising and marketing. From its exposed brick walls to the sounds of tribal background music and inviting coffee house aromas, the showroom is out to make buying lighting an enjoyable and memorable experience. Orange and her team have worked long and hard to bring the expertise and guidance required for business success. “We strive to have an engaged and passionate staff by giving them the tools (knowledge and great product), a fun dynamic work place and a caring leadership team,” Orange says.
Last year, devastating life events helped Orange discover that her team of individuals had truly come together as a family. A divorce came first. Here was the staff’s opportunity to grow stronger and closer by coming together to give a colleague the support she needed.
Then Orange’s father was diagnosed with cancer. “At first I tried to keep it from my staff, not wanting to let them see me emotionally weak. Once I told them, they stood beside me. They went over and above to make sure that everything in the store ran smoothly so I wouldn’t have to worry about anything,” she says. “I’m someone who truly believes that our staff is the most important part of my business, so I find it very validating that they took the reins and were able to keep the show going without me. Their emotional support was everything I needed to help me get through an otherwise terrifying year.”
Going through tough times might not be a conventional business accomplishment, but for Orange said the experience “confirms everything I believe in about my team being connected and passionate about their work culture and relationships. Despite all the personal issues we were dealing with, we still managed to increase our sales and our profit margins.”