More than 50 years ago, women across America went on strike for equal rights, better childcare assistance, and the right to medical abortion. Today, Women’s Equality Day lifts the voices of those making an impact while recognizing advocates’ tireless work over the years.
We do our best to leave our corner of the industry better than we found it while doing our part to be a good neighbor everywhere you find Toad. This means empowering people and giving back from coast to coast… while not taking ourselves too seriously.
Today – and every day – we cheer on our women-led partners as well as the many driven and hardworking equality advocates. From the beginning, Toad has been women-driven: from our female foundings in 1991 to today’s 75% female leadership team, and the fact that we're 70% female across the organization.
Inspired? We’d like to introduce you to 4 Toad-ally inspiring women who we’ve had the joy of working and collaborating with.
The All-Female Retail Management Team at our Maine stores: Giuliana, Sam, Ally, and Lindsay
Toad&Co: Hey Sam! As our Operations Manager, tell us about your typical workday at the new Portland store:
Sam: A typical day for me is always changing. I might be receiving a big order from our warehouse, opening packages that customers have sent in for ToadAgain Trade-In, or cleaning out a storage unit! It's always different and variable. I get to move quite a bit throughout the day, bopping between Excel spreadsheets, packing ToadAgain orders, taking product photography… ya never know!
Toad: Who is the most influential female in your life or a woman who you admire?
Sam: Most influential/favorite women are my sisters! I don't think a day goes by without a funny message in our group text. They're the best to hang out with and always have my back.
Toad: What's your favorite part about being part of the retail leadership team in Maine?
Sam: I love seeing how far the Maine team has come in the last 3-5 years. I've had the pleasure of really growing with the company through the last 6 years. The evolution of the Freeport store, the expansion to our new Portland space, and the launch of ToadAgain have all been amazing benchmarks. It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, but when you look back at even one year ago, we've done a lot!!
Toad: When you’re not at one of the stores, what fills your cup in your free time?
Sam: I love hanging with my dog Benji, baking elaborate cakes, growing beautiful flowers in my garden, and enjoying the great state of Maine!
Toad: Finally, what is a favorite piece of advice you've received that's empowered you or helped you navigate life and leadership?
Sam: You are your own best advocate!
Toad: Love it! Looking to Giuliana now, our Sr. Retail Manager: who is the most influential female in your life?
Giuliana: The most influential lady in my life is my mom. She works hard, plays hard, and always reminds me to get outside!
Toad: Sometimes we all need that reminder to get some fresh air! What’s your favorite part about being part of the Maine team?
Giuliana: My favorite part about the Maine Toad&Co team are the people who I work with. If you're surrounding with optimistic, dedicated, and fun-loving folks, no days are bad days.
Toad: The workday is wrapping up and it’s time for some free time: what fills your cup?
Giuliana: I love to explore the food scene in Portland. Sharing good food with friends is my favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Toad: Finally, what is a favorite piece of advice that you’ve received that’s empowered you or helped you navigate life and/or leadership?
Giuliana: Always be curious. Ask questions and approach problems with an open mind so you can learn from and collaborate with your team.
Toad: We love that advice! On the note of “teamwork makes the dream work…” we want to ask Ally, our Freeport Store Manager, what’s your favorite part about being part of the Maine team?
Ally: I love developing staff. Being able to work so closely with such a dedicated team allows me to foster an environment where everyone can develop their skill sets, learn new things, make mistakes, and grow. From developing our sales staff to working more closely with the other leadership in the store, I can always come to work knowing that we are making an impact on someone's life.
At the end of the day, all I want is for my team to learn something, gain something, or know that they have the support around them to take them wherever it is that they want to go in life.
Toad: Relatedly, what is a favorite piece of advice that you’ve received that’s empowered you or helped you navigate life/leadership?
Ally: My former boss gave me such a simplistic piece of advice during a pivotal time in my leadership career that has stayed with me throughout my journey in leadership. He advised me to never speak when emotionally charged.
What he was trying to tell me is that there will always be events, scenarios, and so many unknowns. It's okay to pause, gather your thoughts, and allow yourself to digest what is happening before addressing any issues. As we know, leadership can be rewarding, but also challenging, and that we as leaders need to be as effective as we can during any type of communication.
Toad: So much inspiring advice being shared! We’ll ask Lindsay, our Portland Store Manager, to leave us with a final nugget of wisdom. Lindsay, what is a favorite piece of advice that has helped you navigate life?
Lindsay: My favorite piece of advice that I've received and empowered me throughout my life is that "no" is a complete sentence. Saying “no” helps create personal boundaries and isn't something that should make anyone feel uncomfortable or guilty. “No” is sometimes the only explanation needed.