Special Episode – Best of the Local Lady Leaders

It is Women’s history month!

In celebration of our Local Lady leaders, we are featuring some great content from four of our past guests.

Featured in this special episode of Local Leaders: The Podcast are some of our favorite moments featuring the following guests:

Some great business tips here from some of the best to appear on past editions of Local Leaders: The Podcast so check em out!

Click on their names to view the original episode that they were featured on if you’d like to hear more from them.

Video Transcript (Beta)

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hi it’s tricia johnston residential realtor with later in bloom with your real estate tip of the week if you’re interested in buying a house but your credit score isn’t quite where you need it to be there are six things you can do to help improve your credit score first pay your bills on time second make more than just one monthly payment towards your bills third ask your credit card companies to increase your credit limit not so that you can spend more but so that the total amount you owe is a lower percentage of your total available credit fourth if you have any errors on your credit report make sure you dispute those to get them taken off fifth ask your bank to issue a secured credit card and sixth even when you pay off a credit card do not close the account keep it open and you may even want to use it periodically but just whatever you spend make sure you pay off at the end of the month your lender can help give you more advice and guidance on how to increase your credit scores but doing these six things will get you on the right path and one step closer to becoming a homeowner if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to reach out to me i’m trisha johnston with ladder and bloom and i’ll be back here next week with another real estate tip for you

you may have noticed the large building with the beautiful new and improved sign about a mile past jubin and just before pendarvis on the left and wondered what goes on in that place well i’m more than thrilled to shed some needed light on that and answer a whole lot more about that building with my guest for today who is director of southeastern of livingston which is located in the livingston parish literacy and technology center so with that welcome crystal hardison and local leaders of the podcast thank you so much it’s so nice to be here oh we love having you here we’re going to dive deep into all the exciting things that take place in the lp lit and tech center and really want to make people aware of all the services offered but first we want to learn some some stuff about you you have a deep history here i have i’m pretty much a native of livingston parish i’m born and raised here my career has been solely well i’ll say almost solely in higher education but in different capacities so when i look at that i look at the time that i’ve spent in each different capacity in higher education both through division of student affairs academics now in administration and how that’s really helped me to be able to be the director than i am today yeah um so i’ve lived in the livingston or the denman springs area all my life your whole life as a matter of fact you grew up in a family business right absolutely did um anybody over the age of about 50 years old probably has a tasty freeze or what later became a davises barbecue on florida boulevard there yeah or a wild bill story my grandfather was referred to as wild bill and you know they came from western tennessee my grandmother and he in the early 1950s he was a bricklayer and he loaded up my grandmother and my mother because work was slow there and came to louisiana so they kind of left everything that they knew there to start a new life here later in the in the 1960s right before my mom graduated from high school in 1965 he was approached to sell to buy into partnership for the tasty freeze and that’s when the family business came to be i was i came along later in 1970 and always remember having those stories being in that part of the family business you know when you’re in a family business you work i think i started working there probably at 10 or 11 years old yeah and um until the day they sold it and i think i was about 24 when they actually sold it well you know who made uh tasty freeze famous john cooker melon camp absolutely and then while bill added to it did he not absolutely right i think most people can can kind of give you a story of whether something happened in the parking lot or they remember the frito dips or whatever the case may be um from those from that time era absolutely and and why did they call him wild bill he was just he was just he was a character yeah i’ll say that he had a great sense of humor um didn’t meet a stranger so and i would probably say that contributed to a lot of their success because he was always around town whether he was eating at james drugstore breakfast in the morning getting his hair cut at sharps um drinking coffee in the old hibernia bank or whatever you know if we needed him we got busy we we knew where to call so he was making he was making his rounds awesome and it was a family business so you you’re very well-rounded in that uh you know you have academics as your as your older uh occupation i guess or your life’s work and then uh below that you have your your family business upbringing which you we’re going to get into some of the skills that you learned just through observation of people running that business your family uh and your questionnaire when i asked you about uh your early upbringing prior to college you said something that stood out to me so i’m going to have a few quotes in here and i’m going to call this crystal’s key quote number one and you stated i want to get this exactly right watching my grandparents work hard is where i view the development of my work ethic at a very young age they were hard workers absolutely absolutely my grandfather worked the day shift and my grandmother would work the night shift um and her ocd behavior was probably very well used in that because you could eat off the floor yeah i mean she was always cleaning and so nobody really always wanted to work with her at night because she would work you harder and you would work in the day shift but she was just you know she came up with the barbecue sauce recipe when they changed to davis’s barbecue she just started experimenting and figuring out until she liked the taste of it and so they came from the tennessee background and when mcdonald’s moved in and are built in the early 70s right there across the street on florida boulevard my grandfather was concerned that that was going to put him out of business because she was a hamburger shakes joint kind of thing so they came up with the barbecue um edition they still served all the other things they had but um and it was a big hit sure it was a great hit and that’s when they added on to the what you see as the original tasty freeze and it had a big pit in there it was always a drive-in it was not until uh the denim patty took over and made it a sit-down restaurant yeah kind of thing so um yeah so people would pull up sometimes there wasn’t a place to park which is always a good thing yeah there’s nothing wrong with that and you know and in your professional opinion let me ask you what you think about this so how important would you say it is for young men and women uh to surround themselves with people that have a strong work ethic i think that’s something that kind of makes the difference a lot of times when they get older in their work ethic absolutely i think whenever you can see someone uh model those behaviors and those skills for you because i don’t think it comes naturally so you have to be able to see those things and work through those things you know it wasn’t always easy but my grandmother which is one of my greatest influences probably in my personal life you know she always had the saying bloom where you are planted i love that and she would and she was the epitome of that like she was taken not taken she chose to leave you know her family and home and friends in in west tennessee and came down here to make her her home with her family and things like that there’s many things that have gone through in my life and she was just like you’re just going to bloom where you’re playing it yeah you know you’re not going to give up you’re going to just keep going and keep growing and and it’s just stuck with me all these years you know grandparents have the greatest sayings absolutely because they’re simple they’re just simple to the point and accurate and uh it comes from i’m sure that generation but uh but what a great statement there so after after you graduated high school you graduated from denham springs high school i’m very proud to say my husband myself and my daughter are all livingston made we graduated from dental springs high school and she went to live oak high school um from there we were um i was i kind of made up a little stint around the state with my college career i guess i started out at tulane university big brains that’s what that means i came back to lsu and then i landed in 1991 at southeastern and i haven’t left since and there is no regret at all they were great you love that absolutely you can tell uh just in talking to you how much passion you have for uh slu and that’s a fantastic thing uh but you did eventually graduate from southeast i did i did i didn’t leave long i did a short stint as a guidance counselor in east baton rouge parish because my degree my undergraduate degree is in psychology my master’s degree is in counselor education so i’m a mental health counselor by trade so i was the guidance counselor in ebr at hal park elementary for uh two or three years the first part of my career and then i came to um the university at southeastern for the university counseling center as a mental health counselor so that was the division of student affairs so it’s it’s important that you understand that students go to school for you know academics and education and things like that but there’s a whole standalone program with division of student affairs that help to make sure the students have things to do that they’re supported with the support staff whether it’s tutoring counseling whatever’s going on because sometimes this is the first time anybody’s been away from home and you know you can get some some issues with that sometimes a lot of our students are working full-time so there’s the stress of life and trying to make those decisions with education and things of that nature so you know from humble beginnings in 1989 big mike’s has long been a place for friends and family to gather for lunch dinner and drinks big mike jocelyn and their friendly staff invite you to come in and relax in one of their spacious dining areas or watch a game on one of the big screen tvs big mics is a place to meet old friends or make new ones big mike’s offers daily and nightly specials and they specialize in serving up delicious and fresh menu items big mike’s offers a catering menu for large groups and has private party rooms for up to 100 guests whether you’re planning a quick lunch or a large family dinner or just a night out with friends big mike welcomes you to experience a great time and don’t forget to grab some t-shirts caps or koozies in the gift shop oh or a bottle of big mike’s honey dijon it’s delicious big mike sports bar and grill we’re kind of a big deal

you graduated from college but interestingly you got married while you were in college absolutely you know um how was that to balance this year i can’t believe i’m saying this i’ll be married 30 years this year and um for the first five years of our marriage i was in college wow and one of the biggest claim to fames that i’m very proud of and you know attribute most of it to my husband is i graduated with no debt no absolutely no debt a huge thing yes huge thing i mean that’s uh it was very important yeah for us yeah and and uh you know student debt i mean you see it i’m sure it can get out of control quick absolutely and uh and the cost of education as a raise you know has been so high at the same time but yes you know yes but you did you may you obviously made it through and and you graduated and and you’ve been married 30 years i’d say it’s a pretty successful marriage as a marriage and family counselor i think that’s important to make sure that i have some credibility yeah that’s right yeah absolutely so um on the subject of marriage and family you have a daughter also and you mentioned her a little bit a live oak grant yes and you’re all three lp made as you said so you obviously love your parish you grew up in and and all those sorts of things and and uh you’re still active in this community of course your your business you know it’s it’s right there in walker so it’s it’s not uh it’s not far away from where we’re recording right now uh and today we want to we want to talk about that and really clarify what you what it is that goes on there and that big beautiful building i’m going to talk about uh the influences in your life uh you stated in your in your questionnaire that your grandmother had more influence on your life than you realized at that time uh personally and you also said that your mentors uh their record you know it’s important to give the give recognition to those people that in your professional life have kind of meant towards you so you describe these moments as light bulb moments um and this leads me to your key quote number two which stated i think it’s very important to give recognition to your mentor when they make those events uh this also serves as a measure of my developmental milestones when i look back on my experiences so essentially um when you look back and you reflect on on times in your life maybe where these mentors mentored you um you think it’s important that there’s recognition offered there give me give me an example of something that maybe a mentor uh you know reflecting back that a mentor did for you that you still used to just a shout out to all my counseling mentors um the late sharon feife paige moody dr mary ballard dr june williams dr lorette swank dr tina golding all these strong wonderful role models that when i look back at that toolbox in my life i can look at these different milestones and it was like you know they were always women in my life that would straighten my crown not knock it down so and i think that’s so important as young women come up that that they know that it’s more important to make sure that that person we’re all going to hit obstacles we’re all going to hit the brick wall or whatever and i can look back at a lot of those things whether it was when i was in graduate school learning to become a counselor after that point and i got my first position as a counselor and something went wrong and i had to call that person and debrief with them or you know my first administrative job and i was like oh my gosh what do i do my first teaching job i taught 20 years in a college classroom and i remember my first few weeks i just got through by saying i was smarter than the students in front of me you know i mean you know because it was one of those things i hadn’t done so i just took my counselor skills out of my box and i just put them towards the classroom so i just looked at it as a big group so all of those things when i look back at the at the mentors and the people that actually there’s always a tool in that toolbox that i can attribute to maybe that life’s that life uh obstacle or that life milestone and how i’ve gone through it and you know i hope that as a mentor or you know someone that is respected in the community or as a leader that i’m always adding to somebody’s toolbox too yes yes i agree very important um i used to tell people i used a little bit different i love the term toolbox that’s because that’s exactly what it is and i would describe to people something that i’ve kind of done probably my entire life don’t know where i picked this up from but i would find you know you can learn things from almost all people you know everybody has quality of some sort and i used to tell people all the time that i would see something in someone else that was working and if i felt like it was something that i could do i would i almost described it like a sponge i would almost i would i’m an observer of people so i would watch them and i would try to mimic what they’re doing in my life if i felt like it would work and benefit my life and it was something i needed that maybe i was lacking and that was kind of like i guess my toolbox you know and and i’ve had a lot of mentors throughout my life and but it’s funny we we as we get older we reflect right absolutely so we look back and it’s that’s why i do this or that’s why i work hard you know is because my grandmother worked so hard or uh whatever it may be and it’s uh it’s not something you may necessarily do when you’re 20. you know it’s it’s actually at that point you’re putting stuff in your toolbox you should be looking for those things and i guess as a career development teacher educator all these years i’ve always told my students you know if i’m doing my job i’m working my way out of a job because i’m giving you the skills that you need in order to move to the next level so you’re you know you may not always need that tool but it’s always there for you to go back and access it and use it and see if it’s working for you yeah sometimes we gotta throw things out sometimes we have to do some spring cleaning and get new tools yeah so it’s just you know it’s just kind of that life process so i always you know talked about it i talked the talk and now i can feel it in my in my position in my job and in the community and think i’m i’m walking the walk so i’m actually doing the things that i used to teach about yeah yeah and you know you’re what you do and what you’ve made your life’s work is interesting in that you are touching people

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um so i get an email from an and i’m teaching i’m a faculty member teaching career development classes at southeastern i get an email from my dean um and then i also on the same day i get an email from the provost and for those of you that aren’t familiar with that that’s the person right underneath the president and it just says request a meeting my dean says i need to meet with you as soon as possible and the provost says i would like to meet with you on you know april 1st whatever and i’m like yes now just so happens april fool’s day is also my birthday yeah so for the last 50 years i’ve had just about every joke played on me for april fool’s day yeah so i’m thinking what’s going on you know so i’m quickly get in touch with my dean and she goes oh crystal i’m sorry i didn’t mean to send that to you and so then i’m a little bit more suspicious what are the chances that you get two emails from two people you know and you’re thinking what have i done am i in trouble it’s kind of like going to the principal’s office yeah and then um it’ll drive you crazy right when i called back to confirm with the provost um i happened to know her administrative assistant and i said hey um i just i have a really stupid question to ask and she goes crystal you know there’s no stupid questions only the ones that aren’t asked you know you always have right answer and i said is this an april fool’s joke and she goes no why should it be i said okay just just forget i asked forget i asked like that so when i went in to talk with dr golding um she said um i have an offer for you i’m not sure what you know i’ve she has everything laid out that i’ve ever done at southeastern in front of me and i’m like wow she’s really done her homework so i’m talking about that strong mentor like she’s she’s so strategic and such a wonderful person to work for and she goes i just feel like you need to be in livingston and i was like oh okay you know have i done anything she said no absolutely not she said we need somebody with your connection to run this program and i think you’re the perfect person for it and before i left her up she goes i just want you to think about it my mind was already made up i already had already said that’s perfect that’s where i want to be that’s what i need to do next kind of thing yeah so it was it was it was really it was really fun and interesting and those words came back bloom where you were planted bloom where you were planted and you know it’s it perfect decision you couldn’t have someone with with better roots here and uh to to kind of spearhead that and and really really get that center rock and him rolling uh okay so tell us um a little bit of the history behind the the tech center you know uh how did it come to fruition well it’s it’s a joint effort it’s a partnership between livingston parish school system and southeastern louisiana university it was originally funded through the combustion class action suit so that was in the mission of the whole center and things like that is to better educate and make life better for livingston parish citizens because of where that money came from and you know the the hazardous waste that was dumped here and things that had happened through that it was to turn that around and make it a place where people could be educated where they could go for whatever needs that they needed and things like that one of the things when i got there the livingston parish center miss kim alban which is the career and tech ed person has done a wonderful job i mean they have flourished and and and done so many wonderful things there i was a little confused as to where i kind of fit in right and i went back to administration i said you know i said we already have a brand yeah southeastern is our brand i said we need to be southeastern livingston center i said we need to set ourselves in the partnership absolutely promote everything there but let livingston parish know that southeastern is here yes and that we’re a convenient location because many of our students come from the livingston parish area alone but also surrounding areas ebr ascension um east feliciana and we’re kind of that halfway point so to speak not that we’re trying to do anything to take away from him in america because southeastern has changed its its demographics and everything as far as the the student that we see now before southeastern was a commuter campus yes and not now now we’re a destination for education i mean they are many students that i mean between the southeastern scholarship programs the housing scholarships our new fabulous dorms are you know a big draw for all students to come but not every student is going to live on campus so that’s where the southeastern livingston center works perfectly we have kind of a motto so to speak cut the commute yeah so it allows students i don’t know if anybody’s looked at gas prices lately but gas has really gone up yes and sometimes you know that tank of gas is is detrimental to a college student if they can come to our center take a class you know maybe cut the commute so they don’t have to go to hammond five days a week they can come to the walker campus two days a week or we have a computer tech lab there or we have wi-fi they can study they can you know catch up on anything that they need to do there along with you know if they need to do a zoom meeting where we have the cameras for them and and things of that nature just to be able to help supplement anything that they need that they may not have to go all the way to hammond farm we’re just there to kind of fill in that gap for students that may not be able to live on campus or take take you know um advantage of the resources that are there on campus every day yeah it’s huge the benefit is huge and and you have a lot of programs there uh and i want to kind of discuss let’s discuss your programs absolutely so first and foremost we have southeastern uh college classes there the same class you take in hammond is the same class that you can take in um walker the thing is is that we offer mostly gen ed classes though we’re not going to offer maybe some of your upper level specialty classes like a kinesiology 475. if that’s even a class i’m not sure but i just made it sounds good but you know we’re going to offer more of your biologies your your basic gen ed classes your uh english math um communication everybody that has to take those same 45 to 60 hours for the most part that’s what you’re going to find at our location fantastic yeah and also you started some some programs there yeah we we kind of developed kind of a non-credit uh coursework which is called lifelong learning i’m a big learner i’m a big advocate of never stop learning it doesn’t matter what it is if you want to learn to do painting drawing you know some of these are more leisure in nature i’m hoping that you know within the next few weeks we can get you on the list and do some personal branding for businesses i’ve got a lady that wants to do quickbooks for startups for startup businesses we’ve got facebook live you know a lot of people are in social media now we know how important that is to get our our message out there but some people are a little scared of it or don’t know how to use it properly which you know i’m school of hard knocks i’m trying to figure it out yeah um here and there but uh we’re offering all different kinds of things but we just we want to know what the community wants so we’ll throw it out there and you know sometimes it’ll be a fancy sugar cookie decorating and i can have a pre-covet 45 people in a room you know and and it’s amazing some of the things that people just want to do and be able to get out tonight we have easter cookie decorating earlier this week we had spring door decorating with you can do the the whole bow making class um we had the cricket machine how you do all the vinyl stuff and things like that so we’re offering whatever anybody wants to take we have a great following with our act prep program and all this is through lifelong learning and you can go online you can look at it you can register you can pay so we’ve made it very easy as as well as we’re trying to offer some virtual things too for people that may not feel comfortable getting out in the community we do um adhere to all of the social distancing rules everyone must wear a mask whenever they come into the building so we’re we’re we’re going along with the flow yeah yeah and and you know let’s talk about that for a minute because covet uh i would say you have a pretty unique perspective and that your world relied heavily on the attendance of human beings right so take me you know through that process when when kovit presented itself and you had these challenges in front of you right i mean you were no different than anybody else none of us knew what we could do what we couldn’t do it was kind of you know back march of of last year it was kind of like everybody was glued to you know the internet and the tv trying to figure out every day it changed right so the problem with you is uh or with the business that you’re in is that you know these are face to face brick and mortar yeah yeah so you know so we have the the livingston paris side on their side so they were they kind of you know closed their doors we were asked to close our doors almost a year to the date and not knowing what it was and i guess one of the things i kind of used um it was like a kick in the gut and i know this this community really understands that because the flood of 16. you know i everybody always says before the flood or after the flood and now we’re referring to times before covet and after covet so those are going to be monumental times in our community and many people after the flood of 2016 were just now getting their feet back on the on the you know playing field and and feeling good about it and then they were kind of forced to close their doors again some temporary some longer than others and things like that so you know i had to close our lifelong learning classes we had to go strictly online which is a great alternative it’s an awesome way to be able to deliver academic information but not everybody learns the same

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right podcast everybody teaches the same so all of us found ourselves in a world you know i think we’re all probably well versed in zoom calls and you know google meets and you know team microsoft team and stuff like that so skills that will always forever be in our toolbox yeah at the same time i kept saying i kept hearing people say when we get back to normal yeah when we get back to normal and i think we just have to create that new normal and stay within our guidelines so everybody feels safe and getting our community back but you know we have a commitment we were able to reopen our lifelong learning our classes were somewhat face to face we kind of did a hybrid for the fall we did a little bit more face to face in the spring we’re hoping to do as much as we can that the guidelines will allow us to do for the fall and have as many face-to-face classes as we can fantastic and you know the numbers are really they’re looking good relatively speaking right now i mean they’re ticking down and nationally and and uh uh here in louisiana a lot of that you know people that uh want to get vaccinated are getting vaccinated and all those sorts of things so hopefully that will continue and uh because my personal feeling is face-to-face learning is important and um you’re right thank god could you imagine if there was no zoom right i mean people don’t think about that but this hasn’t been around for 50 years i mean uh that technology you know really to where everybody could use it it was user-friendly has only been around about 10 years um so thankfully we were we were kind of going through this in a time where that technology existed and people understood how to use it and uh because i couldn’t imagine i mean what would we have done without it and not only in your world but in all worlds i mean everybody was zooming in march of last year right so um so just an interesting thing there now one thing people may not realize is that essentially this campus is a satellite campus of southeastern as you uh as you stated and that they offer the same college credit that you can uh you can get at the university in hammond we talked about that a little bit do you find that it’s common for folks to assume the course credit is different just because it’s a different campus absolutely absolutely so that’s they’ll actually say but what about the southeastern class and i said it is one in the same so there is some education that maybe they assume that it’s remedial coursework or not the same coursework or this is the big question i get but will it transfer to southeastern i’m like we are southeastern yeah that’s the big thing yeah yeah and i i feel that it’s it’s good because of my former well academic career as a as a advice academic advisor the division of student affairs and stuff like that like i have those contacts when they come i can show them or i can educate them as to how all that fits together so i feel like everything i’ve done up to this point helps to for me to be more successful and helps me to play to my strengths i agree and that’s situation 100 so i can have a student come in and help them understand if they’re looking to transfer if they’re you know i can talk i can talk to them and get them to understand why this class will transfer is this or why this class won’t transfer for that kind of thing so i’ve just got that that ability to be able to help maybe give a little extra rather than just handing them off to the next person yeah yeah and and so uh students out there prospective students that you know it’s just like going to southeastern it’s just you ain’t got to drive as far that’s basically it if you’re in livingston parish it’s kind of a no-brainer if you you know i mean uh to me go right there it’s you know think of the time per week that you save if it you know so consider that um now let’s discuss your event rentals at your center and uh you have some amazing facilities i’ll you know i toured these facilities uh and they really are amazing you have several options there uh for events i know prior to kovit you even hosted a real life real crime podcast very popular podcast here locally uh they did they did a deal there that was extremely successful so take us through the process what’s offering and how can folks take advantage of that through our auxiliary services we actually do a rental contract through them i does send everything to cali berner over at our contract office over there because she’s well versed in all that we have classrooms that have audio visual we have the auditorium we have a community music room in the back that i got to give a shout out to my girls from abstract soul they’ve been my number one for the last year and a half um since we started uh lifelong learning they do the yoga and guided meditation every tuesday and thursday abstract soul love the name that’s awesome so uh leanne and uh casey are absolutely amazing so they use that facility they use my my community music room in the back not to mention we also have southeastern’s community music school there that offer lessons um they come to southeastern to the livingston center and offer piano voice

violin i think anything jifka is wonderful the director of that program and she she coordinates all that and comes in twice a week to be able to teach um students in the livingston parish area if they’re interested yeah and you know the the auditorium you brought up that is just an awesome facility it’s almost like a mini assembly center or something just think of it like that um and it is spaced out right now to where you can you know uh follow regulations and guidelines as far as covets concerned now is the time more than ever to support local business alisa verret interiors and custom workroom is working hard to use made in the usa products for all their clients window coverings schedule your appointment today for a consultation on roman shades drapes shutters outdoor sun shades and even woven woods need a virtual appointment no problem call alisa at area code

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now you can still meet it’s a great space i mean if you need it you know of course with the the social distancing we are limited for the number that we have sure but for the amount of rental that you get for the space it’s undeniably the best so if you’re ever looking for a workshop for a talk um any kind of conference or anything like that call us up and let’s see if we can you know do something i also have a conference room that we can rent out if for anybody that needed like a professional conference space yeah and uh it’s a great facility and it’s conveniently located absolutely it’s right there off florida boulevard and you know right when you get into walker and so it’s not so far off the beaten path that if you are doing some sort of class or event that uh you have to drag people out into the middle of that water so to speak i mean it’s it’s right in the middle of town pretty much yeah so um very clean uh guidelines are followed and so you don’t have to worry about that um and even in the auditorium section they have it kind of marked off where this where you know where you can sit so it makes it easy ain’t got to kind of guess at it i have the best staff there between um claire and floyd and stephanie they help the place people are there now for vita which is the partnership with um united way for volunteer income tax assistance and i have at least somebody come by my office at least once a week say y’all have the cleanest bathrooms ever or this facility when did it open and when i tell them 2005 they’re like no way that blew my mind yeah that it’s been open for almost 16 years now and you know it it’s been well taken care of and we we take pride in that yeah it was it’s a beautiful facility and and uh and all those sorts of things and roger’s pope he played a key part in that early on sally clawson and rogers pope got together and and formed this partnership and went through all of that and had the original seed money from the lawsuit dedicated for that shout out roger spoke great job uh so with all of that you have given back to your community as well in your 25 years of experience through education you give back in a lot of ways right so you’re a community partner with the livingston parish library you you also have are a partner with the my community cares organization tell us about that that is an organization that is here in livingston parish it is made up of casa it’s made up of um casa is a great absolutely um family services there’s a lot of community partners a lot of local churches and things like that they get together to look at the needs that aren’t being met for youth in livingston parish as well as other places we’ll have a monthly meeting or something along those lines and i just try to help give referrals in the in the uh parish any kind of services we had them reach out to us over the

the christmas holidays and we were able to it was food focused through it was somebody that can that had connected through united way and my family care or my community cares called and we got them hooked up with uh mighty moms

yes absolutely so they were able to be able to provide uh lunches meals and stuff like that so when the schools were closed the students that wouldn’t have to go without um kind of things so you know it’s such a wonderful position because i can i can kind of help connect people i may not be i may not be able to do the service myself but i can get them in touch with somebody that can’t well that’s huge yeah that’s that’s one of the biggest parts and you’re also a member of the hispanic workforce development program yeah we have started that dr baraya which is our latin american leadership initiative director at southeastern he is very interested in the growing hispanic population in livingston parish and maybe not being as served in some of the areas that they need to be we met just this past week he’s starting to look at a leadership institute for students 7th grade through 12th grade to kind of introduce maybe some different areas where maybe they wouldn’t be looking at going to college how can we start developing these leadership skills and allowing those students to see that that college is an option hopefully southeastern will be that option um and we talked about a six-week program coming up starting next fall and then continuing it through the summer to do like a leadership institute for those students fantastic and you know let me ask you this in your opinion how important do you feel it is to give back to your community absolutely as a career educator i’ve always taught students that you have to know what your work values are hopefully your work values and your personal values line up there’s going to be some times that they do not one of my biggest work values as much as my husband would like to change it to be high income it is contribution to society yeah it’s always been my number one i i feel better when i am doing something that’s making a difference one person a community whatever but contribution to society has always been my number one work ethic or my values and that speaks to who you are as a person you know it’s interesting when i was younger uh much younger um it seemed like some of my life was a lot about taking and you know you look you’re starting out in the workforce and it’s like i want i want everything i can get right so you’re going out there your head full of steam and and uh eventually you realize that’s not really what it’s all about and it’s it’s about um uh i guess as you mature you realize it’s about giving back and and you know something about that’s just good for the soul right absolutely and uh and so you have done an obviously an excellent job of that being you know livingston parish should be very very proud to have someone like you uh right there you’re right there in town uh so in the questionnaire one of the questions i asked you was uh the characteristics that you specifically look for in a leader and this leads me to crystal’s key quote number three and in my opinion the best one of the day this one really got me and it’s you said great leaders are people in which others have confidence in and respect for they have clear goals but are open to alternative perspectives they care about those that work with them but are capable of making the tough decisions when necessary they are self-confident without being loud aggressive or dominating couldn’t agree with that more absolutely that’s my measuring stick

casey have you called the plumber about the sink in the break room yep they came this morning i can’t believe you missed them what was their name again giotts plumbing wow that was quick and they did a great job they did and when you need plumbing services of any type give giotts plumbing a call with over 50 years combined plumbing experience the team at giotts plumbing can handle all of your plumbing needs so whether it’s residential commercial new construction or reconstruction give giotts plumbing a call at 907 6282 and get scheduled fast geats plumbing a proud sponsor of local leaders the podcast yeah that’s my measuring stick yeah i believe leaders never have to say they’re leaders it’s it it does yeah it’s apparent in the way they carry themselves and the way in which they execute in their personal life and their business life um and you know sometimes when you’re aggressive and dominating and you do this or do that you’re not getting anything out of people and i don’t have all the answers i mean how good of a leader are you if you’re not listening to other people giving you alternatives i mean i agree you know you there’s always a different way always a different way and it’s funny um you know i’ve had a lot of leaders on this show and and learned some excellent things and one of them in particular told me uh he said um the best leaders are people that realize what they’re good at and what they’re weak at and the things that they’re weak at they hire people that are good you know the problem with some people is they especially business owners they think that they are good at everything and it’s hard to admit to yourself you know i’m not a salesman or i’m not a you know a numbers guy or whatever it may be your numbers gal and and uh so when you can admit that and then you put people in those positions that are really good correct you’re probably a pretty good leader my opinion and what you said was totally accurate thank you so i just feel like in in a leadership position if and and in my particular position i get to play to my strengths every day every ever of course my weaknesses come up of course we’re going to always learn and things like that but i’m thankful that i have many people in place that allow me to grow through those weaknesses and you know and try to turn them into a strength but also they can pick up that slack where my weakness is yeah so you know i surround myself with wonderful people and they are they’re just great awesome awesome what a blessing and uh so we’re gonna do something fun for a second and i do fun facts on this show and and i enjoyed these fun facts more than just about any other ones i’ve done i did them on higher education okay since that’s kind of what we’re all about today and i did some specifically to southeastern so um hopefully something to you you might uh so here’s some southeastern university specific fun facts it is actually the state of louisiana’s third largest college a lot of people wouldn’t think that um i was one of them i didn’t i didn’t realize it was that high up on the list um lsu is i’m sure number one probably is somewhere in there but maybe not i don’t i don’t know who the second was um southeastern has over 15 000 students and over 150 programs of study that’s awesome so basically if you want to go to college they probably have what you need that’s southeastern is what’s what that is saying um the student to faculty ratio which i was very impressed with that is less than 20 and 19 to 1. that’s huge yes we do we we pride ourselves on that yeah for sure that’s a big deal now uh southeastern is also rated in the top 60 in the nation for colleges where students receive the best return on their investment what we were talking about earlier college is already expensive enough right get return on your investment uh young people so um so that’s fantastic that says a lot but here’s the big one this is the one you know as a father twin girls i loved this and that is southeastern is rated number one and considered the safest university in louisiana wonderful wonderful that is not something that i’m i’m not surprised i taught you something yeah i taught the teacher something in america is is a place to be like i said destination for education for sure yeah and safety uh is a huge thing you know us speaking as a as a southeastern parent my daughter’s graduating in may in communication science disorder she lives about five miles off of campus and i’m looking at other grad schools and you know or she’s looking at other grad schools we’re looking at areas around there and there’s some concern about that you know where she’s looking at going i would love for her to stay at southeastern unfortunately they we don’t have the audiology program there so we’ve got to look elsewhere but she has completed her degree program in three years and it has been a wonderful wonderful experience for her and so much she’s accomplished through you know whether it’s in the classroom or outside of the classroom absolutely why are you proud of her absolutely that was awesome so some general fun facts on on higher education you might find interesting over one’s lifetime a person with a bachelor’s degree stands to earn one million dollars more than someone with a high school diploma although higher education can be expensive the payoff you know usually i mean you’re going to make about a million dollars more typically i mean there’s exceptions to everything but uh the stats are the stats right so college is still important you know still involved yes um 50 58 years ago 50 years ago 58 of us college students were men today 56 percent are women maybe ladies are smarter i don’t know probably so i attribute uh you know the that little flip right there 50 years ago it was a whole different world for women i mean these days you have dual income households 50 years ago that was very rare yeah so uh shout out to all the ladies out there that are that are getting that education and and actually they’re they’re killing us men right now they’re in the college world uh but interestingly enough i found this one interesting the first woman with a bachelor’s degree was named katherine brewer that’s her she graduated she graduated from georgia female college in 1940. uh 1840 oh wow not common at all no in 1840 right she was you know she was probably uh a super special lady i loved it i i might even do some research i’d be curious how she

to get a bachelor’s degree wow so crystal hardison staying on the subject of women casey mac staying on the subject of women some may not realize it’s national women’s history month right so in honor of this local leaders the podcast has chosen five of the top female leaders in the community who make a difference every day which you certainly do so it’s our honor to present you with this plaque that casey’s gonna walk on that screen and give you uh commemorating your lifetime of service to education and your commitment to livingston parish you are a 2021 local leader’s leading lady thank you for all you do for this community thank you so much well we appreciate you and uh before we you know wrap up i want you to tell everybody where you’re located uh give an address and shout out your website your facebook or whatever y’all yeah we’re located at 9261 florida boulevard our facebook southeastern at livingston it is not the at symbol it is a t so southeastern at livingston is our facebook our instagram is southeastern underscore lc and our website is southeastern.edu forward slash livingston fantastic and a lot of the things that we talked about all of the things we talked about today i’m gonna link in the description of this video make it real easy for people just to go down and click on it and it’ll bring them to to all the fanta you can see pictures of of the building that we talked about today right there in walker and get all the information you need on the on this uh this particular uh location so and if anybody wants any information on it you can also call me and we can put you in touch with crystal especially for the the events side of what they do in the classes uh if you’re interested in in teaching a class or whatnot on on whatever yeah you know bacon cookies yeah whatever we’ll figure it out yeah yeah absolutely i do want to thank oh and follow them on facebook and they’d appreciate it and it makes us look good so i want to thank the always entertaining casey mcmurray for all she does in her role as executive producer of a local leadership podcast she’s invaluable to our success i want to thank everyone out there for viewing and listening to local leaders please continue to like comment subscribe and share the podcast thank you to all our sponsors of what as well including premier cruddic tricia johnston realtor big mike’s bar and grill william waldrop of twfg insurance sport and center black sheep creative sr enterprise elisa verret interiors and custom workroom geats plumbing tiffany c card of home key mortgage buddies barbecue in denham springs and i trade exchange we could not do any of this without all of you and stay tuned next week we’re going to be announcing our second of five uh leading ladies on local leaders and we’ll have another great episode until next time i’m jim chapman reminding you to love your community support local business and keep leading thank you jim we’re swamp with these podcasts and i’m in the mood for some local barbecue for lunch barbecue casey the problem with barbecue is the speed that would take forever not at buddy’s barbecue with the drive-through line they can get us fed fast in that sauce mmm yum it is right in the heart of denim springs do they have specials yes they have plate lunch specials every day jim and i bet you didn’t know they offer some of the best catfish plates you’ve ever tasted on fridays and on saturdays they have smoked ribeyes they are as flavorful as you can find anywhere okay i’m hungry what’s the number i’ll call it in no just go online and place your order by the time you’re finished i can head that way that is convenient and really smart yep just like me a local business and you know what i always say oh yes jim chapman loves local correct and that makes me smart oh please if you’re in the mood for barbecue go see buddies barbecue at 105 florida avenue southeast right in the heart of denham springs they’re a proud sponsor of local leaders the podcast

commercial business on range avenue no kidding well that’s a fun fact i didn’t know i learned it myself recently interesting there you go so not only are you going there and getting good dentistry work you’re becoming a part of history all the folks over there they make you feel at home when you walk in uh you want to talk talk about someone with good bedside manner i guess you could call it it’s hard to beat dr don there’s no doubt about it he makes everybody feel calm that the you know the businesses that really dug deep and and made changes where they had to after covet or maybe you know they they said how we you know we’re going to keep moving we’re going to keep doing dentistry work and so we’re going to make everybody feel comfortable and let’s come up with a plan and those are the people that that really um you know had the the benefit of still maintaining their their patient count or customer count or you name it i’ll tell you it’s been it’s been different we’ve had a lot of you know unique things going on that we had to go around with you know spacing out patients and you know cleaning the rooms and the turnover and you know having patients waiting in their cars and all that kind of stuff things that i think honestly have kind of turned into a good thing yeah yeah well i saw an interesting stat um on the news the other day and it was uh the flu and they said you know they’re it’s almost non-existent right now because you know at one point they were talking about the flu and kova being there at the same time and being like a super co-fitter right right i was like i don’t want a super covey for sure but um but no flu hardly any flu cases uh so that that’s interesting that’s great yeah i think people are more aware they’re washing their hands more they’re you know they’re they’re conscious of what they’re touching and putting their hands in their mouths and in their eyes and all that so i think it’s really kind of enlightened a lot of people on proper hand hygiene it really has in that and that’s a good way you know we try to put a positive spin on everything and and one thing i will say even me personally i would wash my hand i was always a good hand washer but it was like three seconds you know it was so sh you know i’m too atd to sit there too long and uh i’ll tell you what since covet hit i do kind of do that 20 second deal you singing a birthday song now i gotta go one two three four yeah somebody told me about the birthday song got alexa’s in our house and and you know the kids even rely on these things they’re like hey alexa set a two-minute timer while i brush my teeth yes yeah anything that makes things easy for us i love it i love it so you bring up a good point there it has helped people with hygiene and just just and hopefully once you get in a habit it’s hard to kind of break that habit that’s right it’s a good habit to have good habit to have um so you’re a hunter as well you like to hunt a little bit i do like how was hunting season this year hunting season was a little slow um so my hunting seasons are a little different these days the boys come with me now so i’m more of the guide than the hunter so uh but man i tell you it just brings a totally different aspect to honey yeah it’s a lot of fun they did good they got some good deer this year really yeah awesome i appreciate having you on today is there anything else you wanted to mention that maybe we haven’t got to i think we covered a pretty good bit yeah and what i’m going to do with this so i want to tell all the listeners out there everything we talked about today i’m going to link in the description of this video including dr don’s website uh give us a shout out on your website yeah it’s going to be advanced dental care yeah there you go so go check that out and i’m sure he has some information on there all about a lot of the stuff we talked about but i’m gonna link some other things in there that uh and and maybe even pull some pictures off his facebook and stuff like that there we go of the things we’re talking about yeah if they go on and check that out they can even request an appointment from the from the website yeah make things a little easier there you go yeah or just when you call you’re gonna you’re gonna either talk to heather or keaton yeah when you call and you hear keaton or heather’s voice you know exactly who it is you just you know you just don’t have that five minutes to make a phone call you can do it right there on the website that’s good to mention so we appreciate you coming on again thank you uh i hope you enjoyed it new office new podcast room fantastic neighborhood stuff so yeah uh we’re very very proud to feature uh local businesses like yours and uh you know always anytime you want to come on you’re welcome i’d like to have you on again when when it gets close to doing the uh the military stuff that definitely yeah that’d be a great thing to give everybody a little reminder yeah before we do that that’d be perfect absolutely absolutely i do want to thank the lady off camera it is casey mcmurray she’s off camera she does so much to help local leaders the podcast is our executive producer uh until next time i am jim chapman reminding you to love your community support local business and keep leading thank you

tell me that yeah well so we wanted something that was catchy obviously you know we wanted something that was simple and easy to remember though and everything we you know we went through hundreds of names and a lot of them were catchy and sounding good but they weren’t simple you know um they weren’t memorable so um we ran across a shop uh driving called uh the red barn door or something like that you know and it kind of the color in there it made it memorable to me you know i thought well that’s so simple and it’s memorable you know so you know when we were opening at the time and still now a lot of people were doing the blue doors on their houses it was kind of what was in i was thinking about incorporating that and i actually originally came up with blue door mercantile yeah i like the word merchandise i do too it’s a nostalgic it is you know it makes me think of the old times but uh my wife didn’t like it you know a lot of people i don’t know what mercantile means so i said well you know i want it to be simple so we went with blue door market and um you know i i wasn’t in love with it right away yeah but every time i told somebody the name they’re like yeah i love that you know it’s simple and it’s easy to remember to be an easy logo to make so we stuck on that and it has worked you know people just a lot of people just say blue door you know yeah i’m going to blue door you know and stuff like that so it’s easy to remember yeah yeah it really is and it and it you know some names just kind of fit it just kind of fits right you know that and you’re right it’s it’s a simplicity to it but it it tells a little story of what you do there to me i picture you know those old nostalgic blue doors right yeah and and all those things so kudos on on choosing that name that was great obviously uh so you opened blue door market and you hit the ground running you were doing pretty good uh especially with your social media which i do want to mention i looked today over 12 000 fans this guy has that’s pretty impressive uh you know it is no easy task to get people’s funny you can have 500 followers on facebook and you tell them follow me on my page and and a hundred of them do it right and it’s like what do y’all love me anymore what’s up with that but you got 12 000 people that uh think enough of your business to follow the page that’s pretty awesome uh and it’s huge of course social media is always important especially to small business it helps small business compete with large business in my opinion it’s a cheaper way to advertise than than some you know ways that you might think of but i think it’s vital for your industry especially antique shops furniture shops places like that uh after coping 19 showed up you know where would you have been without social media yeah i mean social media has built my business i owe everything to social media most of my products are visual you know period they’re unique and you know in today’s times people like to sit on their couch and shop you know and so how do i compete with the big guys well i have to get them to see my unique products and so you know daily and just try to keep people engaged and you know somebody may follow me for three or four months before they ever actually come into the store but something will catch their eye eventually that’s unique they haven’t seen and they’ll come in a seed and then they’ll realize how many more unique products we have so yeah social media is uh you know it it takes a lot of time and a lot of effort and it’s a little stressful at times you know but um it’s i owe everything to it you know i mean it it’s huge it’s uh you know and it i’m a big believer in innovating your business and kind of you know kevin 19 hit jeremy and it was like uh whether you were in your business or whether you were in a restaurant or you were a hairdresser you name it it was like what are the rules what can we do and yeah kind of two choices there you can bury your head in the sand and just say the world’s gone nuts and uh you know i’m out of business or whatever or you could innovate you innovated you know you probably i’m sure ramped your social media up and said this is how we’re gonna have to show furniture for a little while and uh so tell me some of the steps kind of that you all took during that time well interesting um we uh we were moving from the old location to the new location in march yeah which is about when the shutdown yeah so actually i was already going to be closed for a couple weeks yeah so it kind of worked out a little bit timing-wise yeah it could have happened at a better time right right he gave me a little extra time to get the shop you know because i was rushing so get the shop ready and um so once we got the shop ready we and they had the shutdown going on we were doing curbside sales i was actually doing free local delivery just trying to keep the business going so anybody that purchased anything 20 or more i was hopping in the van and taking it to them you know as long as they lived in lewiston parish yeah and so that kind of kept kept scoring that and the curbside pickup and everything and then um and we used social media you know to reach out and show people what we had and and so um we have since we’ve been at the location cove has been around so i don’t know what it’s like to be open at the new location without covid so yeah a lot of people saying got to be better well yeah i mean a lot of people say how has it affected you i don’t know because i don’t know what it was like before you know probably the biggest negative is uh in the district you know the spring fest and the fall fest are really big huge you know huge forest and then you know they have the ladies night out the girls night out and the wine tasting and all those events haven’t happened since i’ve been there so you’ve missed those you know those are a benefit to all the shops in the district so i miss those and i’ll be glad when those come back but other than that like i said we don’t know any difference you know yeah and something i’m curious about so you have other these other shops in the district and are you all all friends or y’all are rivals how does that work yeah uh actually most of the shops are friends you know i don’t know everybody uh personally but most of the people we do know and you know we’ll share share ideas and we do work together a lot of times you know um a lot of the shops are part of the merchants association which is a group that’s basically to benefit all the merchants in the district you know doing um different promotions and working on these festivals and stuff and um yeah a lot of the guys work together i’m very fortunate to have a lot of shops that kind of helped me you know uh when i got started and then all my neighbors are really good to me you know we help each other out and we work together so very good i don’t you know if if if somebody’s a rival in the district to me i don’t know about it yeah you know to be honest with you because um we stay so busy down there we just you know we just mind our business and go to work every day but yeah if we can help anybody out we’d be glad to do that and everybody seems to get along pretty good so well and yeah y’all have a you’re unique in that district and that your furniture is you know majority of its new furniture it’s it’s uh and it’s rustic in in its character right and uh where a lot of people in the district they might have antiques that are 100 years old i mean it’s just a totally different type of furniture um so that’s something that’s unique that you can get at blue door that you may not can get anywhere else in the district is that brand new just beautiful you know buffet

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let me ask you this and i want to talk about a lot of the wonderful items y’all sell um the first time i went in there i had no idea what and i’ll give you a perspective of a customer okay went in there i thought the building was beautiful but i had no idea what to expect i knew you had furniture in there because i could see it through the deal but i walked in and i’m like wow they’ve got all kinds of stuff in here i mean y’all have got gifts you’ve got furniture you’ve got uh you had some i think sectionals in there even at that particular time which people may not realize you have yeah um you had uh some interesting snacks and stuff like that you even had some neat little uh louisiana themed uh koozies and things like that so one thing that i want to make sure you get out of this podcast is that people realize it’s not just a desk in there there’s hundreds of them and they’re beautiful but you have stuff for everybody so i definitely uh recommend anybody you know follow follow jeremy on facebook at blue door market and check out what they have because you have a lot of great pictures as well on facebook so what would you say is as far as rustic furniture that y’all carry what’s the hot item right now well the uh the hottest style is all the rustic white with the with the dark stained top that seems to be the most popular um as far as items you know the uh we got a little a bunch of little side tables little accent tables you can use for anything like nightstands and end tables and you know side chair tables and stuff so those sell really well um all our buffets sell really well yeah we just have such a unique blend the only negative is is keeping it in and getting it restocked in time you know we’ve had a hard time with that um getting stuff in but i do want to mention that we did get a truck yeah this monday

yeah 300 pieces of new new rustic pieces and about 280 of them are new styles that nobody’s seen yet it’s all new stuff so really it’s similar to what we have but some new colors and just some new you know new styles so we’ve been working hard this week getting that stuff out displayed wrapped and unwrapped in price fantastic and i’ll tell you reasonable very reasonable on price so you’re not going to walk in there and uh and just knock your socks off you know just insanely expensive they’re very reasonable on their price i have several pieces here right here in my office that uh that i bought from you guys and more than happy with it the quality is what you would want it to be and the look is what i wanted it to be so yeah we appreciate it all our uh with all our furniture is solid wood it’s all solid wood all solid and it’s heavy good good solid wood stuff yeah absolutely and you don’t stop at furniture either you carry candles in there right we’ve got can we got a a great selection of gift items so we got about three or four different can candle manufacturers um green leaf and circulate are our main two yeah circle e everybody circle he’s been around forever the bird of paradise everybody loves that candle and then the green leaf has a lot of great candles and um but we have all kind of gift items yeah you know so dish towels and t-shirts and sunglasses and um yeah so we got a great selection of stuff yeah and i really like in your shop that it a lot of it is tied into like the local community or louisiana in general it’s you know uh so you’ll find something that’s kind of close to home there and that you may be looking for and they’re unique they’re some of that stuff i’ve never seen anywhere else only at blue door markets so that’s one of our main goals is to try to be unique you know people can find a core all over the place absolutely we try to we try to have unique stuff and what a lot of people don’t know about a a lot of our decor is a lot of is locally made i have a lot of local people that make decor sell it to me that i turn around you know and you know just play for the customers so we have a lot of locally made stuff that’s interesting i’m trying more and more to bring in more of it you know so anytime somebody walks in the door and says hey look i make cutting boards or you know i make you know what whatever you know uh wood signs porch signs i always listen and if you know if they have a fair price i try to work with them you know because uh i’m a local business you know absolutely i think that’s what makes us unique is you can come there and find stuff made you know here locally you know it really is and you’re you’re supporting other people who are local that’s right and that’s you know you’re here today and and you’re supporting us and we’re local and we’re all we’re all trying to help each other and and uh in that sense but i did not know that you had some stuff there that from locals so that’s that’s good to know uh so feel good when you walk in blue door you’re supporting your local business and in those local businesses that even jeremy does business with so you also have wooden swings those are cool yeah we’ve got uh i’ve got a guy an older fellow that builds me some nice pine porch swings stained and then with a nice coat of urethane over them to protect them from the elements with nice heavy-duty chains he builds rockers for me uh crawfish tables right now we have a good yeah a good selection of crawfish tables right now um gliders stuff like that so in and all solid wood stuff none of it nailed together all screwed together so very which which means it holds up a lot better in the elements absolutely and what i’m going to do uh is i’m gonna go on your facebook and i’m gonna get some pictures of the stuff we talk about and as we’re talking it’s really cool all this stuff i can do with editing now i’m gonna make those pictures pop up that’ll be awesome so when you say cross crawfish table it’s gonna pop up on there and so that way the people watching this uh they’ll be able to see right there firsthand what we’re talking about right that’s awesome that’s why i love doing podcasts where it’s visual man i can really play with that editing now you you uh we talked about the snacks that you offer you you have swamp pops in there yeah yeah uh soda it’s a soda company out of lafayette louisiana yeah and um they they have a cola a root beer a cream soda an orange strawberry and a ginger ale and it’s it’s really really good a good taste and stuff it’s made with pure cane sugar so they’re a little sweet you know but i like it yeah and they’re they’re really really good so we and we have several local items we got some dip mixes made here locally uh cousin boudreau’s dip mixes yeah that are awesome um and uh he makes some pralines too he does and um all kind of stuff we just started carrying some products um some some spices and some uh spicy pickles and stuff like that locally yeah so awesome man you’re really giving back then to the community by right putting their wares i guess you could call it in your shop and and letting people discover what they do as well uh the cousin beatrice guy i actually know as well and uh yeah he’s a character yeah yeah that that he is a character and he got his start writing thibodeaux and boudreaux joke joke books is that how he got his startup that’s how he got his start and he would always put he would always put a few uh uh spice uh recipes in the back of his books and um once he sold enough of the books people weren’t buying anymore he started doing the dips there you go innovating yeah you know for him he’s uh that’s innovating your business now and speaking of your business your family in business right that’s right you have a lot of people in your family involved in in the kind of day-to-day operations of blue normal market yeah yeah i mean um i i’m the main person that operates it my wife you know she’s always working at her store but she helps me with ideas and stuff like that behind the scenes stuff but uh just about everybody that works there is related to me instead which is such a blessing for me you know because uh you know i’m doing a lot of behind the scenes stuff ordering and organizing and restocking and stuff and so i don’t work the counter as much as i probably would like to and um i got a few girls that worked for me uh you know nieces of mine and relatives of mine they do an amazing job and i’m very lucky probably the best thing about my business is my employees because uh you know it you get a couple bad experiences you start getting a bad reputation and it’s i know how important that is and so i’m very lucky let me tell you you you set a mouth full right there and most successful people that i sit down in this chair when i ask them about their business and one of their keys to their success they’ll say my employees yeah because it doesn’t matter how good you or i are if our employees are aggravating people or not giving them the service we would give them and and uh all those things you could lose a customer over it and most times people won’t mention it they just won’t come back right right and so yeah it is a blessing and and i’m glad to hear that your employees you know are so good at what i know every time i’ve been in there they’ve been more than polite awesome and all those sorts of things so yeah you know i got casey over here she’s behind the scenes but she helps me a lot and she’s well everybody can’t have good employees

no she does a great job she does a great job

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uh so so moving on from that uh i will say that you know as we discussed earlier you kind of help fan the flame of my furniture addiction i’ve got a a major furniture addiction because i’ve you know i grew up in the paint business and and uh i’ve worked 25 years for the same paint company and and so i’ve been able to take furniture and do this whole chalk paint thing and all that and i’ve experimented with it and the process i kind of fell in love with it i had an idea that i was going to do that and then just sell it on facebook or something and i never sell any my wife’s like dude you got to get rid of some of this furniture i’m like this is so beautiful what are you crazy right but anyway uh you definitely helped me to fan that flame but what uh you know i love everything about that business from the aspect of my furniture addiction but also from the aspect that it’s family-owned right uh and that uh i’m supporting a family in business that’s important to me now one thing i asked you in pre-production was some advice you would recommend to another business owner maybe and uh i wanted to quote you because this is a good quote i really love this and basically what you said you said work hard never stop trying to better the customer’s experience and use social media daily to engage your customers i couldn’t agree more yeah that is uh you know your customers are while we’re there and uh no matter what you’re doing and the better experience they have the more likelihood they’re gonna come back and be loyal to you and and uh and everybody that’s going in there that i know of including myself it just raves over the experience they have going in that’s good to hear yeah yeah it’s it’s got a great reputation now on the end of that quote you said um use social media to engage with your customers also agree 100 um i would say this to business owners and i’m sure you’d agree if you’re not active on social media you need to get active that’s right um keep an active facebook or an active instagram or both and put a ton of stock into social media because i can guarantee you if you have an active uh non-active social media presence and you’re in business right now not a good thing right somebody else your competition is probably innovating and so uh so as you said earlier it’s been a huge part of your business absolutely so any uh what are y’alls plans for 2021 y’all just going to keep rocking and rolling with uh with with you know just got an 18-wheeler furniture and uh yeah where i’d be going to once this podcast airs that’s gonna be gone so yeah we actually we’re unwrapping it this morning sold three pieces before we even got them priced you know right off the truck so we’re we’re working hard to get that but we’re always looking for ways to bring in new items you know i have regular customers that come in all the time yeah and they’re not looking to see the same thing so i’m constantly challenging myself to bring in new items we actually are starting to carry rugs now floor rugs five by sevens you know six oh that’s good so eight by ten so those are in we just gotta get them out displayed so that’s something new we got some other plans coming some big plans that i’m not gonna i don’t wanna i don’t wanna say anything about but uh yeah we’re going to keep growing let me just say that we’re very good growing so uh and we just like i said we try to keep the experience you know new and exciting for our customers yeah absolutely and i’ll be in there and you know one thing that speaking of growth we’re growing here at local leaders of the podcast and i’m going to need a bigger table so so uh i’ve already got on the agenda there to go pop by and kind of check out your tables and okay and uh find something that suits my taste and and snap it up right there we got plenty to choose right now it’s a good time maybe come about friday once we get all that new stuff unwrapped and uh we’ll have a great selection yeah i’ll pop by this weekend and check that out now if you’re in the market to purchase a home or sell your home then tricia johnston of latter and bloom realty can assist with over a decade of experience in the area trish’s vast knowledge of real estate makes her the perfect realtor to represent you for more information trisha can be reached at area code 225-754-2000 or via her website at tricia johnston.com tricia johnston building a strong foundation of trust one home at a time one thing we do on this show jeremy is we do fun facts this is this is actually casey’s favorite part of the show she loves fun facts they uh they are fun facts on whatever your business is and in your case i wanted to do furniture obviously for obvious reasons and i came up with a few one of them uh that will say right now the average lifespan of a sofa now you wouldn’t believe this but the average lifespan of a sofa is 2 958 days which is roughly eight years wow the office chair was actually invented by charles darwin who knew charles darwin invented the office chair he added wheels to the chair to actually get around his study quicker so uh he thought of it before anybody else and he wrote a weird book on apes so why do kings sit on thrones if anybody’s ever wondered that in early history chairs or thrones were generally used by people of higher society people with less rank in life i guess sat on stools so if you sat on a stool you i guess you were a lower part of that society but uh but now we talked about your facebook and um and so i want you to go ahead and tell people where they can find you on facebook yeah we just look up blue door market on facebook and then on instagram is blue door market one yeah yeah so we’re on both but if you follow us on one you can get the same pictures we post and it goes to both so fantastic follow us on one of them and then so i do want to thank you for coming on the show is there anything else you want to mention uh shout out any uh any any new new stuff y’all got well we already talked about the 18 wheeler load you got uh yeah so we we just got that 18 wheeler load about 300 pieces of rustic furniture we’ve got uh i know if you’ve been by lately we’re low on on swings and stuff like that but we’re working hard to christmas wiped us out so yeah the christmas season so we’re working hard on getting everything replaced so it’s good if you haven’t been by the shop in a while come by and see all the new stuff you know yeah definitely and on your swings and stuff do y’all have the painted swings too yeah okay so tell me a little bit about that before we go yeah so on the we stock five foot porch wing is what we stock but we can have it made any width you want i mean it it can be a random you know if you’ve already got chains hung and they’re four foot three inches or five foot five i can have it built takes about two to three weeks um you can have it oh wow yeah that’s good information right you can have it painted you can have it stained um you can get it unfinished some people want it unfinished so they can paint it you know with their own paint to match their shutter you know what however you want it so uh the guy’s real flexible he’ll do you know whatever you need do y’all do chairs too as well like the i don’t know what you call them but the chairs that kind of have a little angle on them well we the adirondack chairs yeah so we can do that i don’t stock those right now um but we can do them we’ve built some for customers we do some custom stuff um excellent uh it’s it’s uh if you can visualize it he can generally build it and like i said we do really great with our rockers double rocker single rockers and gliders and stuff too fantastic crawfish tables very good yeah i want to check out the crawfish table too that’s i’m going to end up spending too much money in that seat all right wife’s going to be on me so let me ask you this too jeremy um as far as all the furniture that you stock and and all of those sorts of things do you deliver to people okay so you do yeah so i don’t the blue door market doesn’t have a delivery truck but we have a delivery service we use okay and good people that we know so um we can get it brought to you they you know there’s a charge they charge but it’s it’s a fair charge and um yeah we can get it brought out and if it needs most of the stuff comes together but if you need something put together they can take care of that too so fantastic absolutely what are your hours over there um we’re closed on mondays um tuesday through saturday is 10 to 5. sunday is 12 to 5. so we’re open six days a week oh wow very good very good so yeah i know in the antique district some some are open some days some are open others so i definitely wanted to mention your operating hours there and so all you people out there go by and check out blue door market trust me you won’t regret it they’ve got anything you could possibly be really in the way of furniture and if you don’t have it he can custom make it for you no problem at all i do want to thank you again for coming on the show i enjoyed it i’m a customer and i can vouch for everything blue market uh does over there in the way of furniture if uh any listeners out there have not had the pleasure of checking them out please do so we always want to support our small businesses and our local family owned companies so i do want to thank my right hand lady behind me you can’t see her on camera but she’s casey mcmurray for all she does in her role as executive producer of local leaders the podcast she is invaluable to my success i want to thank everyone out there for viewing and listening to local leaders the podcast we’re now up believe it or not jeremy to almost 5 000 local subscribers on youtube yeah that was a tough go but uh we are rocking and rolling now and almost up to 5 000 our local views uh per episode or over 6 000 on youtube so please continue to like comment subscribe and share local leaders on all social media platforms as we strive to spotlight all our local businesses here in livingston parish i do want to thank my sponsors including premier credit corporation tricia johnston realtor big mike sports bar and grill william waldrop of twfg insurance black sheep creative sr enterprise painting elisa verret interiors and custom workroom geats plumbing tiffany c card of home key mortgage and buddies barbecue denim springs for all their support until next time i am jim chapman reminding you to love your community support local business and keep leading

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