We love family business.
With over 50 years combined retail experience and as the former owners of a $6M retail store which was twice named one of the “Top 100 Independent Furniture Stores” by FurnitureToday, we’ve felt the responsibility of providing a living for our employees and their families. We’ve hired them, trained them and sometimes fired them. We’ve written newsletters and brochures and letters and manuals. We’ve built websites, created advertising, bought merchandise and dealt with customers. We’ve paid the bills.
We’ve made mistakes and we’ve had plenty of sleepless nights. We’ve also had enormous successes that we want to share with your business.
We now spend our time helping business owners do all the things you want to do – you know you need to do – but simply don’t have time to do.
We can build your website or develop a social media presence (we can even help you build your list of opt-in email addresses). We can train your sales managers and salespeople. We can help you understand financial ratios and employment practices.
Your livelihood is on the line when you trust your work to an outside source. We’ll tell you straight up if we think you’d get better results somewhere else. When we do help you, you’ll get experienced, accurate, compassionate and professional work that gets you where you need to be.
For those of you who need the “blah, blah, blah” long bios – you can read our full stories. But if you really want to get to know us, just pick up the phone and call 800-549-9206 ext. 1 or email [email protected].
David Lively has over 25 years of business ownership experience. In the retail home furnishings industry, he has worked in all areas from the sales floor to the warehouse to the boardroom. He has talked the talk and walked the walk all the way from family-owned, single-site stores to multi-state, multi-million dollar operations; from sales training to computer programming; from warehouse construction and operations to financial management; and from new store construction to complete renovation.
David currently serves on the Board of Directors of the North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) and has been a featured speaker at the Las Vegas World Market Center, the High Point Furniture Market and Myriad Software Annual User Conferences. From his start as a salesperson to his latest role as industry consultant and all positions in between, David’s wisdom was won on the front lines and his battle scars have given him a compassion for helping today’s business owners.
David has personally overseen the placement of over $400 million worth of product. As a furniture store owner, David was twice named to Furniture Today’s “Beyond the Top 100” list of independent retailers and was the 1997 “Ohio Retailer of the Year.” He has constructed, remodeled and even closed stores. He has operated full-line stores, in-store and freestanding gallery stores, single-line and specialty stores. David has sold on the floor and managed sales forces; he has chosen and implemented selling systems and successfully managed the results. He has made over 50 market trips to High Point and Las Vegas and managed the margins, turn and merchandising of the products that were purchased. David has managed operations for stores with one on-site warehouse to companies with several off-site locations. He is intimately familiar with back end office operations and, like you; he has agonized and rejoiced over cash flow, P&L’s, income statements and balance sheets.
David’s experience is now available to you as he applies his passion and expertise to his true calling – helping you achieve your dreams and visions for your company. David’s professional certification in Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) from the Great Lakes Region for the Association for Psychological Type (APT) will help you understand “why you do the things you do,” provide insight into the inner-workings of your management team and improve conflict management in your company.
David’s unique perspective and experience has led him to the forefront of a new phenomenon that will soon rock business owners like nothing that has ever come before: the transfer of authority, responsibility and wealth from one generation to the next. Four out of five family-owned businesses are still led by their founder, and 40% of them will change hands in the next five years. The surviving legacy of your company depends on your plan for transition, and David has developed a proprietary and unparalleled system for helping you identify your goals, strengths and opportunities during this crucial time.
Just for fun, David competes in full-distance triathlons (that’s 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking, with a 26.2 mile marathon for a cool down – all in one day). He’s currently training for a 100 mile ultra trail run. David Lively’s valuable insight into your company, your mind and the mind of your customer will add purpose to your business and profit to your bottom line.
800-549-9206 ext. 1
“What I love about retail,” says Amy, “is that it encompasses every area of expertise, every field of study – psychology, communication, history, marketing, economics, sociology, law, finance, art, business. (Sometimes zoology even makes a little appearance in your stockroom.) When you open your doors to the general public, you just never know who’s going to walk in next. A career in retail is nothing if not surprising.”
Amy’s retail career began at a locally owned and operated downtown office supply store back when “downtown” still meant lunch counters and mom-n-pop stores. Later, with Federated Department Stores and Victoria’s Secret Stores, Amy held positions in sales, management, store operations and corporate-level customer service. Amy managed over 100,000 calls and letters from mostly-disgruntled customers by creating systems for both responding and reporting. “Step one is to figure out what happened and pacify the customer with a sincere apology and a sympathetic ear, preserving that relationship while protecting the company. Step two is to make sure it doesn’t happen again by telling the people who can impact the situation.” Providing recognition for outstanding service and customer service training were also essential elements of her position.
Amy formed The Lively Pen in 1996 and maintained her relationship in a consulting role with Victoria’s Secret Stores and Lane Bryant Stores (then both divisions of The Limited) and developed additional revenue streams in creative writing, event planning and graphic design. Amy designed the client comment card feedback system for Victoria’s Secret Stores and managed the response and tracking of over 86,000 client comments. Amy’s intimate connection to the mind and emotion of the customer was a natural knowledge base for Meet Ms. Jones™, the customer personification and market analysis report The Lively Merchant offers in conjunction with R&A Marketing. Meet Ms. Jones™ takes you inside the mind, home, life and pocketbook of your female consumer. Told in storybook form, Meet Ms. Jones™ impacts every aspect of your business.
Persona-based advertising flows from the Meet Ms. Jones™ process, and Amy has written hundreds of television and radio spots for retail advertisers as well as web content copywriting that captures the essence of the retailer and the heart of the consumer.
Amy founded a ministry called The Neighborhood Café, through which she provides tools, tips and resources that equip women to host Bible studies with their neighbors. She is currently writing a book called “How To Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird” that will be published by Regal Books in 2015. She is an associate pastor at Life Church Ohio and a contributing writer for WomensMinistry.net and Not Quite Amish Living.
Emma is why we do what we do.
You probably have your own “Emma,” a kid who lights up your life—and keeps you up at night.
In between high school classes and college visits (and dates with a cute new boyfriend), Emma does special projects for the company. She’s heard business and marketing talk around the dinner table her whole life, so it comes naturally. Emma is a gifted writer whose pretty face belies a technical genius (her friend’s parents call her for help with their iPhones).
Emma has already been more places than her parents (two mission trips to Mexico) and she’s not done yet: she’ll travel to Italy, Switzerland, Austria and France this summer as a People to People Student Ambassador.
Working with Emma has taught us more about generational transfer than we could have learned from any textbook. From the over-the-moon joy of sharing your passion with the people you love to the pull-your-hair-out frustration when the job doesn’t go as planned… uh huh, we’ve been there.
Just call David the go-to-guy for everything. He’s the visionary behind The Lively Merchant; he sees ideas and turns them into opportunity for both the company and its clients. But overall, David just likes helping. In fact, he’s passionate about a phenomenon called “Generational Transfer” and his ability to help second, third and fourth generation family businesses succeed by working together as a family, meeting common goals and creating opportunity. And when he’s not busy making the world a better place for businesses, David enjoys running, biking, swimming and being a good husband to his wife Amy and daughter Emma.
Mark helps us maintain the philosophical vision and mission that embodies The Lively Merchant. As our Chief Spiritual Officer, he makes sure we pursue happiness and joy first and foremost throughout our lives. By emphasizing the importance of our families, friends and relationships, Mark helps us achieve the proper balance between life and work. When Mark isn’t guiding The Lively Merchant in its spiritual vision, he leads his own church, Open Door Ministries. He and his wife, Nicki, oversee a network of churches and ministries called the Soma Family of Ministries, which includes several schools of ministry & business schools across the United States and abroad. They have three children, Andrew, Austin and Alexandra, and reside in southern Ohio.
There’s nothing Jeff can’t do. His love of running has lead him to complete 11 marathons thus far (that number continues to grow as he competes in each state). He enjoys sports, music and the great outdoors, but when he’s not running or playing guitar, he serves as The Lively Merchant’s Director of Client Relations. In this capacity, he juggles more work than any normal person should be able to handle. Serving customers, writing exceptional copy, training and mentoring others, working with reps and more, Jeff really does do it all. Eager to help his customers and co-workers any way he can, Jeff’s hard work, positivity and enthusiasm is what The Lively Merchant’s philosophy is all about.
As a sales rep at The Lively Merchant, Casey’s high-octane energy makes her a great fit for the job. Her natural organizational skills and vigor lend well to understanding our customer’s needs and effectively communicating how our products and services can solve their problem. And most of all, Casey loves to spend time with her family – her husband of 11 years and four children – while running, traveling and cooking are also her passions.
Heather and her husband of 17 years, Don, have 4 children. In between her 3 sons’ baseball games, she enjoys running with her little girl in the jogging stroller and weight training. Heather’s high-energy lifestyle and her love for people make her a great fit as a member of The Lively Merchant’s sales force.
Lyndsie is passionate about helping others. At The Lively Merchant, she helps guide clients through the process of building a website from scratch. Working with designers and programmers, she makes sure things keep moving until the process is complete. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, reading, writing, and teaching fitness and nutrition classes. You can also find her training for and running races around the midwest.
Allison’s the go-to-girl for all of her client’s needs. She enjoys helping and it shows in her work and her client’s success. Whatever their needs, Allison is a pro at creating Websites and helping her clients maintain them down the road. She loves The Lively Merchant’s atmosphere and flexibility since she can be with her 15-month old daughter, Ellie, all day long while still having the ability to accommodate her client’s needs. When she’s not busy juggling motherhood and work, Allison enjoys playing with her Wii Fit, walking and nap time.
Jaimi loves people and helping them however she can. That’s why as an Online Specialist, Jaimi’s helpful and serving nature help our customers successfully achieve and maintain their online goals. When she gets the chance, Jaimi enjoys spending time with her husband and family; not to mention her fondness for shopping and her passion for running. And on the weekends, you can find her cuddled up on the couch with a warm blanket and a movie.