Stacy Stout, VP of Marketing at Frenchies, Has Jumped into Franchising with Both Feet
Name: Stacy Stout
Brand: Frenchies Modern Nail Care
Title: Vice President, Marketing
Years in franchising: 2 full-time; 4 consulting
No. of units: 30
What attracted you to franchising?
The opportunity to be part of an emerging brand truly revolutionizing an industry was the initial attraction. As I become more involved in the business, I love the opportunity to work with a variety of really smart, motivated professionals – our corporate team, our vendor partners, and most important, the franchise owners who have successful backgrounds that they bring to the table with the desire to put their own stamp on things through our brand.
What was your first job in franchising?
My initial experience in franchising was as a consultant helping to shape the Frenchies brand to launch into the marketplace. Helping this young brand find its voice and articulate a message to potential franchise owners and consumers has been challenging and rewarding in more ways than I could have imagined.
What do you attribute your success to?
Not being afraid to jump in and get things done. While my title dictates my level of responsibility, it does not indicate blinders to work within. We are an emerging and growing brand, which means we jump in where we need to – even in the studios! As someone new to the franchise world, I didn’t assume that my expertise in branding was all I needed to be effective. I am a sponge and continuously look for ways to add value to our brand and our franchise owners. That openness to continuous improvement and learning has proven to be the most important as we grow as a brand and as a team.
What challenges and obstacles have you overcome in your career?
The biggest obstacle I have had to overcome is getting out of my own way. As a woman in the advertising/marketing industry I have had more experiences than I’d like to count with being dismissed or not taken seriously, but I chose not to let that define my trajectory. I can’t change what others’ hangups are with doing business with smart young women, but I could control how I reacted and how it defined how I moved forward. I chose to learn all I could to add great value, to ask good questions, and to not apologize for having conviction on a direction. I never expected to be given a seat at the table, I earned it.
Describe your journey to your current position
As a young woman, I thought I was going to be a CFO or an auditor. My mom and dad are numbers people. I’m good at it too, so I thought that was my path. Lucky for me I am also good with people and got involved in lots of “extra” projects in early jobs I held that typically had nothing to do with the accounting department. The CEO of a job I held in college challenged me on my career path that led to a pivot to marketing and branding. From there I went to work for an ad agency and then on to hold marketing positions for several organizations before I started my own strategic branding consulting practice. One of my clients was Frenchies. Now I am helping this new brand, in a fragmented segment, launch a revolution in the nail industry. So my experience as a branding specialist combined with a propensity for numbers has served me in this new role well!
What are your future career goals?
I want to help take Frenchies international! I have lived around the world and am drawn to learning and embracing new cultures. It would be another level of challenge and growth for me and our entire team to see that come to fruition. In the meantime, my goal is to continue to help in growing this brand and nurturing a team working every day to help our franchise owners realize their dreams!
Advice to young female executives in franchising
As a marketer in the franchising business, I would say “Know your business!” That is true about any marketing role, but especially important as you support and help a brand grow. By walking in your franchise owners’ shoes and understanding what they are faced with, you will have more credibility and empathy for supporting them to reach their goals. You cannot operate with blinders in this environment – things move fast and there are a lot of voices at the table. To be effective, you must have the perspective to know how to prioritize what really matters.
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