Female Fast Risers - Somia Farid Silber
Name: Somia Farid Silber
Brand: Edible Brands
Title: Vice President of eCommerce
Years in franchising: All my life
No. of units: U.S. & Canada, 972; international, 6; corporate, 6
What attracted you to franchising? I grew up in franchising. Some of my earliest memories are visiting franchisees across the country with my dad. What I love about franchising, especially for a brand our size, is how integrated our stores and franchisees are in their communities. Our nearly 1,000 locations are all locally owned and operated by small-business owners who care and understand their neighborhoods. They are bringing joy to people by way of fruit gifts and treats. It’s so special to be able to have the small-business feel while being a national and international brand.
What was your first job in franchising? I started working in the Edible store when I was very young. I would go after school and with my dad on weekends. In the beginning, I spent most of my time in the back of house dipping strawberries and wrapping arrangements. By 13 or 14, I started taking orders over the phone. These early days were really important because they taught me so much about customer service. Most customers called to buy something that was going to be a gift, which made the ordering process so much more special because all I wanted to do was help the them find something that was going to wow the recipient, no matter the occasion. I learned so many little tidbits, like “Always smile when you’re talking on the phone because the customer can hear it in your voice.” I also learned the idea of wowing every customer, which is still core to our business today.
What do you attribute your success to? First and foremost, I have an amazing support system. My husband, parents, and siblings are extremely supportive and encouraging. Second, I get to learn and absorb knowledge from my dad on all things Edible, entrepreneurship, and the ins and outs of running a business, which has really helped me excel in my career. Third, I would say that I am very goal-oriented. It’s important to me that I have personal and professional goals going into every year to help me stay grounded, and also to help me understand at the end of every year how I have grown.
What challenges and obstacles have you overcome in your career? Two challenges and obstacles I think have had the most impact. First, I’ve had to learn when to let things go and that I can’t get everything done myself. Over the years, I’ve learned to build effective relationships with peers, as well as how to delegate responsibilities to team members. It took me time to learn how to do this effectively, but it has changed how I approach my work and day-to-day responsibilities tremendously. The second is more of a personal challenge. I have had to learn over the years that my age should not get in the way of how I work and present myself. I went through a period when I felt that I wasn’t prepared or ready to excel and take on more because of my young age. Once I let this go and focused on my growth instead of what other people thought, or even my own thoughts on how I may not be able to do something, I’ve been able to excel and find myself happier with how I approach my work.
Describe your journey to your current position: In 2018, I started leading Netsolace, the IT arm of Edible. In this role I was leading project management and product development across all of Edible’s IT applications, from the e-commerce platform to the POS system in our stores. In 2019, I transitioned into my current role. It was pretty seamless for me to go from managing the back-end systems to leading the team generating traffic and transactions on edible.com.
What are your future career goals? Edible is my family business. I’ve grown up with the brand, and it’s been so incredible to see how it’s evolved over the years. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to learn so much from my dad by watching him in action over the last few years. He’s worked hard to build the company from the ground up, and I am excited to continue growing it to new heights. I look forward to leading Edible Brands one day.
Advice to young female executives in franchising: My biggest piece of advice would be to set personal and professional goals, but to make sure they are flexible. Having goals for the year and beyond is a great way to understand how you’re progressing and reaching milestones. I love to look back at my goals from my first couple of years into my professional career and see how far I’ve come and how different it is from where I am today (in a good way).
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