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Ep. 11 with Rea Faber from Amaranth Designs

By November 29, 2018July 28th, 2023No Comments

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Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

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Episode #52 with Eric Oelson from Mortise & Tenon Store

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Episode #43 Part #2 with Nikki Jacquin from Nikki's Portraits of Childhood

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Episode 14 with Kristen Hill from Kristen’s Cultures

Episode 13 with Cyndie Knorr from Cynergy Coaching

Episode 12 with Paul Burch from EchoLotto Inc.

Episode 11 with Rea Faber from Amaranth Designs

Episode 10 with Brandi Good from BLG Business Solutions

Episode 9 with Dr. Gina Grandy from Hill | Levene Schools of Business

Episode 8 with Candyce Fiessel from The Style Academy and Shear Escape Salon and Spa

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Episode 6 with Jordan McFarlen from  Conexus Business Incubator

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Rea Faber is the design inspiration behind Amaranth Designs, a local women’s fashion line of clothes for real women who want clothes that fit and flatter at the same time!

Connect with Rea @ Amaranth Designs

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Barb McGrath 0:07
Hi, Barb here from Above the Fold Canada. We are down at the 91.3 FM CJ tr station here in Regina. And I will be going live with Rea Faber from Amaranth Designs in just a couple of minutes. So give us a couple seconds to get everybody hooked up and ready to go. And we’ll be ready for our live show. Interesting.

There we go. Okay, we have everybody hooked up and ready to go. So I will tears up.

So, we have about about a minute until we’re live. While we’re waiting anyone who said who is watching and tuning in welcome. We’ll be live in just one more minute.

Rea Faber 1:52
Yeah, sugar water on Saturday. Sunday.

Barb McGrath 2:01
I have to keep this in. accidently didn’t. It wasn’t us on our on air. Hey, Brandi. Thanks for joining us.

Rea Faber 2:10
It’s on December 7.

Barb McGrath 2:14
I like your checks live in today. Our goal is not to break anything right Brandi? I know we got the memo did we coordinate or what?

Rea Faber 2:25
Spotlight featuring amazing or carefully the technology to you and be up to you if something goes wrong?

Barb McGrath 2:36
I always say we’re really just having a conversation over a glass of wine. Just the wind we can have fresh

Rea Faber 2:46
Fresh fish visit us on the corner.

Now 147 affordable way to advertise while you’re making great 77 and ask for information on the 91.3 fm and here we go this billboard get local support. Support 91. Radio

Barb McGrath 3:20
Welcome to The Secret Life of entrepreneurs on 91.3 FM CJ tr Regina community radio. We’re live with a local business owner who’s making a difference in y qR. Stay tuned to learn their secrets about what makes them tick. What help them become successful and their role as a leader in our business community. You’re listening to your host Barb McGrath, business owner, founder of the get found on Google live program and marketing expert who helps businesses succeed with ease using their website, social media and online reputation. Our wonderful guest today is Rea Faber, owner and designer at Amaranth Designs here in Regina. She’s going to talk to us talk with us about running a successful design shop, finding time to run marathons. I think she does it in her sleep actually. And parenting two very active boys. So welcome Maria. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business. Thanks for having me. I started amaranth designs back in April of 2000. So we’re climbing up to just about 20 years in business really doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. I design and manufacture everything in Regina. So we do ladies where we specialize in ladies where we do custom design and alterations on the side as well. Excellent. And how long have you had your business? 18 years? Wow. 18 years Okay, I didn’t realize that part. Sorry if I just missed that. So it tell us a little bit about like how did you get into this I always like to sew. When I was a kid, my grandma and my mom did a lot of crafting, knitting sewing, and I kind of picked it up from there. And then along with my guidance counselor, we found a career for me that I could use my sewing. So I studied fashion design. I did a year in Saskatoon. And then I finished my studies in Vancouver. Once I was done with fashion design, I moved back to Saskatchewan. And so your business has always been based in Saskatchewan, then it’s always been based in Regina. Yeah. Okay. Can I get you to just lean into your mic a little bit there? Yep. Excellent. So okay. I don’t know what your story was like. But when I told my parents what I wanted to do at university, they both kind of looked at me and thought, and what are you going to do with that? anything similar? happened to you? Yeah, I had a lot of people kind of wonder how he’s going to make money with that, that it would be more of a hobby, or something fun to do, but that it wouldn’t be a main source of income for me. So I kind of proved them wrong. Wrong, I guess. I think so. Yes. So how many different stores Do you have your designs in nowadays? Um, well, there’s been several over the years, but currently, there’s two in Regina. So that’s havoc. And then Caracas and IV. Okay. And then in some sandbox in the city in Saskatoon. Oh, sandbox in the city. I don’t know the know that, sir. I’ve never been there before. It’s a really neat store. They carry a lot of different ladies wear a lot of Canadian brands. And they do a lot of like personal shopping with with people so they can really get the full service. Yeah, the full service experience. Absolutely. Yeah. Okay. So where does design inspiration come from? I, I’m creative when it comes to visual. But like, there’s days I can’t put myself together. And yet you’re putting other people together. So where does your inspiration come from? How do you know what’s gonna look good on so many different women? Like, where does all that come from? Well, it’s easier to dress someone else than it is to dress yourself. Because there are days where I can’t dress myself either. Excellent. I’m not alone. No, you’re not alone. I don’t know, I guess it kind of comes from everywhere. I’ve been known to be in line somewhere and take out my phone and take a picture of the back of someone’s jacket because I like the detail on it. And I want to like, save that for inspiration for when I’m designing maybe the next collection and that kind of thing. Like right now I have a huge file on my phone that has a whole bunch of different pictures that I’ve either I like taking pictures off the TV, which is very bizarre, but Okay, all over the place, just try to like, maybe it’s a detail on a sleeve on this, or I like the neckline on that, or whatever it might be. And then I kind of put all that stuff together when I’m putting a collection together. And I really have to listen to what people tell me to when they’re shopping with me. So if they’re like, like, I need sleeves to cover my arms, I keep all those types of things in mind too, when I’m designing so that I kind of capture all that so that those people that do shop with Mr. designs, know that, you know, if they need certain things that they’ll be able to find that within my designs. So are you also able to, to customize the design. And so let’s say for example, if I was buying the dress that you’re wearing today, but I wanted it with no sleeves, do you find that you do that for a number of customers, or, you know, are people kind of picking from your line and to kind of do a little bit of everything. So we can customize, ready to wear pieces that we already have. Or like we can do like if someone wanted this sweater, but they wanted it in a different fabric or different color. Most of times we can accommodate that we do anything that you buy from us, we alter for free. So everything’s included, because we want to make sure that what you get fits, and that you’ll Yeah, and that you’ll wear it because we don’t want people to buy stuff and then it sit in the closet or end up in the donation bag. Because some of our pieces, I mean, we want you to get your money’s worth out of them. And that you’re going to wear them for a long time and that there’ll be staples in your closet. I like what you just said staples in the closet. So when I look at your lines, I always see that the classic lines that you’ve created, and I can imagine someone purchasing something and having it for years. This is not a trendy while it is trendy, but it’s not. It’s not like trashy trendy, where you only spend a few dollars on it and you wear it for a season. And it’s gone. Right? Like I really see your stuff as being something that stays in the closet and and goes with so many different things. Yeah, that’s definitely the goal because we don’t do the fast fashion. We are very particular with what fabrics we choose. We want stuff that’s going to wash really well that’s going to last a long time that’s not going to pay I’m not gonna fall apart. You know, once all of our garments are made, we do go through quality inspection. Sometimes we reject things where we have to go back and fix them. Make sure that seams are sewn properly, that nothing’s going to come apart. And then we kind of test laundering to with the fabric To make sure that they aren’t going to last a long time to they’re not going to fall apart. So I guess that’s the proper term fast fashion. Yeah, I should Why?

Rea Faber 10:10
I’m not the fashionista here.

Barb McGrath 10:13
Yes. And I love that. I mean, I have I have clothes in my closet that go back 20 years, because I invested in them. And you know, my body shape has probably changed, you know, a little over the years. But, but generally, like, that’s not something that changes all lot, right? And so yeah, if you view invest Well, in those classic pieces, they will last forever. So tell us a little bit about your current line, I’m sure you’re well into preparing your spring and summer line. But tell us about the current line that’s available to people right now. Yeah, the current fall Winter Collection is called comfort. So that’s really what kind of inspired us with all the pieces that we designed. So you’ll find like a lot of nice cozy warm sweaters, a lot of tunics, and a lot of dresses. And the thing that we design a little differently this year with our dresses, is most of them are a pull on dress. So you there’s no zipper, there’s no closures so that you can dress yourself. Because a lot of times I pulled a dress out of my closet and my husband was already gone for work. And I could not do at the very top of the zipper where I had like four inches left to go. And I had to take the dress off because I couldn’t zip it. So I try to keep that in mind guys. Yeah, that you know, pieces that you can actually dress yourself in the morning in terms of the dresses and not just stuff that’s really easy to travel with. I know everyone’s so busy that they don’t have time to go to the dry cleaner. And it’s expensive. And it’s really hard on the environment. So a lot of pieces that you can wear several times before you can you even have to wash them is kind of the key for this season. We wanted stuff for had a lot of pockets to some really cute little details. We did a lot with buttons, buttons up the back on some sweaters on the side, just to add a little bit of interest to

Rea Faber 11:58

Barb McGrath 12:01
So I think almost every woman has that story where you’re trying to get dressed for work in the morning. And yeah, you’re stuck on that last four, six inches of the zipper. No, your boys are old enough that if you ask them to come and do that, they’ll be like mom, even though everything else is covered up, right? I know if I asked. I asked my daughter, she would gladly help. If I asked my son at this point. He’d be like, Oh, mom like gross. So fortunately, either again,

Rea Faber 12:30
Yourself. Yeah.

Barb McGrath 12:32
Oh, I know. I’ve like run around with like my hands, like pretty much stuck behind my head trying to put myself together. Yeah, yeah. And nearly getting all sweaty before you even left the house. Yeah. Going through your workout it’s trying to get into you’re trying to get into your clothes. And it shouldn’t be that way. So I love that idea. A comfort line. That’s awesome. Can you give us any sneak peeks into the spring one I can, I’m not going to give away what the name is or anything like that. Um, but kind of the idea behind the upcoming season is pieces because our summer season is so short. And there’s not a lot of hot days where you can wear that little crappy little dress or anything like that we tried to design pieces that would travel really well. So we know that a lot of people go in the winter. So the pieces that you’ll be buying this upcoming spring summer from us will be pieces that you’re going to wear here. But then you’re going to throw them in your suitcase when you’re going on your holiday or going away in the winter. We’ll kind of keep in mind too, that a lot of the dresses can be worn in the winter, as well if you layer it, so if you’re putting on like a shirt underneath it, or you can do cardigans, and sweaters and jackets overtop of it to really get that full year long wear out of those those garments, that’s really our intentions. There’s just so much waste in so much. Fashion is is really hard on the environment. So we’re trying to really be cautious of that with the fabrics we pick and with how we cut our fibers that we’re not wasting. And then when you buy a piece that you’re really able to wear it a lot as well, but you have less pieces in your closet. But the pieces that you have, you can wear them in a lot of different ways and make them look look different. Exactly. Yeah. And you’ve talked about the environment a couple of times. So talk a little bit about, you know, how do you source a fabric and how do you pick a fabric that’s more environmentally friendly than something that’s not right. The environmentally friendly fabrics are more expensive. So we have to kind of mix the organics and the natural fabrics with some that are manmade, but we try and keep it as a good mix. So those that want or that maybe have the means to spend a little bit more can buy that. That means that bamboo top or the beech wood that’s a new fabric as well that we started using. It’s called ngmodel. It’s a great it’s super soft, it’s fabulous, it washes great, but some of those are a little bit pricey so we have to keep that in mind. So we are still using, you know some of the polyesters I know a lot of people snub their nose when they Hear the Word rayon or polyester, but it’s not the same as it was in the 70s. So they’ve come a long way, the technology has come a long way, it breathes a little bit better than it did back in the day. And it washes really nicely, a lot of it doesn’t wrinkle. So it’s great for traveling, that kind of thing. So we try and mix everything together to get that good balance of all the different fabrics. Okay. I’m gonna interject with a little bit of a story here.

Yeah, and to me, it’s a very interesting story. Maybe it won’t be to you. But just join me on this one. So a colleague, I won’t call him out by name. He shared with me about a month ago now that he’s a crossdresser. And he shared his Instagram profile with me where he dresses in women’s clothing. He has a number of large corporate sponsors, who who provide him merchandise for free, okay. And like I’m talking the high end stuff, I’m talking the stuff that myself as a woman, I often don’t go and invest in, because it, it seems too expensive. So having this knowledge and having this conversation with him, just yesterday, we got into a conversation about nylons. And he was telling me how much he likes these two particular brands of nylons. And when I had heard of and when I had never heard of. So I just said like nylon for real, like they are the world’s most uncomfortable piece of clothing. And he said, Oh, no, like, you have to try this brand. And you have to try that brand. And because they’ve been given to him. And because he Chan you and Lee enjoys wearing women’s clothing, he has been able to find kind of that joy in our clothing that I think as women, we’ve kind of lost, right, we’ve lost that femininity of why we wear nylons and why we wear certain pieces. So you know, even as I was having the conversation with them in the back of my head, I’m thinking I’m having this conversation with a man. Right, but I give him so much credit because because he enjoys the clothing. he invests in what he buys. So that, yes, when he’s in Toronto, when he decides to go to a transgender club, he’s got nice clothing to wear, where when you’ve got a whole closet full of clothes, you know, some of its good, some of it’s the cheap stuff. Right. And so it’s kind of a reminder to me that, yeah, investing in the good stuff, makes a lot of difference in how it fits, how long it lasts, how it wears, and the comfort level for it. Yeah. So have you ever noticed too, that if you get dressed in the morning, and you don’t feel comfortable or you don’t feel good in your outfit, it sets the tone for the day, I find literally put on a pair of pants and they feel tight and they’re uncomfortable and they don’t move. I have a terrible day. But then if I put on this dress, I look in the mirror like I look fabulous. The whole day, you’re like you’re in a good mood, everything’s going right. Like the day goes by quickly. It just it totally sets the tone. So I feel I can tell with people that come into especially my studio where they do like a private shopping appointment. They come out of the room, and they’ve got like a smile on their face. And they just love the outfit they’re in. And then there’ll be times where they’re looking for something specific and they put something on they come out and you can just read their face. I’m like, Hey, take that off. I already know. Like, I don’t know, I can’t decide like No, you’ve already decided even though it hasn’t really clicked for you yet. Yeah, I can tell that this is not the one for you. Exactly. Yeah. So yeah. And that’s so true. Because I think when we, when we feel we look good. We exude that we exude the confidence that comes with it. How ironic that you and I both show up in red today, right? I mean, it’s it absolutely litters my closet. My husband and kids both tease me that everything I own is random. It’s not there’s like a little bit of black and white and gray in there. Right. But But yeah, when you find a color you like or, or even a, like a color, you would know the right word here. Like the color depth. Like I like strong colors, not pastel colors. But I think you wear a lot of strong colors too, because it goes well with your complexion. Yeah, and so Yeah, I agree with you. We usually go and get your colors done by there’s a couple gals that do it and they’ll like tell you what season you are and what colors look good on you and that kind of thing. But I think subconsciously A lot of us already know what those colors are. You’re like, you know, you see yellow and you’re like, I can’t wear yellow but sometimes it just depends on what shade of yellow it is as to whether you can wear it or not. Because there’s so many it’s like, even with the reds. It’s like is it blue red, or is it an orangey? Red? You know, those types of things too can make a difference as to how it makes you feel and how the it blends with your complexion. Yeah, absolutely. And I try and kind of stay away from black because we have enough black in our closet, I try and inject a little bit of color into everyone’s closet. Cuz it’s like you open the closet doors, and it’s like gray, white, black. So you know, the amaranth is on pieces gonna stick up your clothes a little bit, because it’s going to be that red is going to be that blue or green or, or those types of colors. No, and that’s actually really smart to think of it that way. Because I do I have black jackets and black sweaters. And I mean, every woman has many pairs of black pants. And yeah, and just you need I mean, you can absolutely to be able to have those pieces to go with everything. But you know, everybody has those favorites already in their closet. So I don’t need to get locate that design that’s already been done that you already have that you like, so I’m gonna get you those pieces that are going to match to go with some of your favorites as well. Excellent. I’m just going to do a quick station ID and then we come back. I’m Rea, have you watched any of the past episodes where we do fast questions? Yes. Okay. So I’m going to do a station ID. And we’ll come back. I’ll give you a hint. We’re going to talk about running for your fast questions today. Okay, so I brought was it won’t be hard. All right. You’re listening tonight views The Secret Life of entrepreneurs and 91.3 FM CJ Tr retana. Community Radio. We’re introducing local business owners and talking about acts of audacity right here in our community. So thanks for tuning in today. Whether you’re online live or listening to your radio, we’re talking with Rea Faber from Amaranth Designs. Before I ask you the fast question, something I forgot to ask at the beginning. And you did tell me this one day in passing, but let’s tell everybody else, what isn’t amaranth amaranth is actually it amaranth this and it’s a flower. Okay? I’m just gonna shorten it. A lot of people know it. You’ll see it a lot in wedding bouquets. So it’s like the little spiny kind of worms that hang in either red or green or white. Okay, and you can do a lot of things with it. So it changes throughout the season. It’s a lot of different things to different people. So that’s why I kind of thought having that as a fashion brand. It associates well. Yeah, it does. When you give it that explanation. That’s Yeah, that’s that’s a really cool brand name then two people a long time to remember it. But once you remember, you will forget it. Oh, okay. I get it clicked for me right away. I just didn’t know what it meant in the beginning. So that makes good sense. All right, let’s ask Maria. Three fast questions. Ready? Okay, how many marathons? Have you done? Five longest marathon? I only do half. Only only do a one a 1.1? kilometer like, all I do I have? Oh, it’s only 21. I how many marathons? Are you hoping to do? Like total? Do you have a goal? Or do you have a ultimate half marathon that you want to do? I kind of like to do maybe like a Disney one or something like that. I’m hoping to get to the point of being in the 10 times club with the CUCM.

Nice. Yeah, I’m halfway there halfway. Hmm. Excellent. When did you start running? Um, I think I started just after I had Eric. So Eric is 10. He’s your youngest. Right. Yeah.

Rea Faber 23:16

Barb McGrath 23:16
Yeah. So probably around that time,

Rea Faber 23:18
Like 2008.

Barb McGrath 23:20
Yep. And like, never taken a break for permit been consistent ever since. So that’s your thing. Yeah. Do your thing. And you just kept going. Yeah. So how do you find the time? When do you run? Are you morning, nighttime daytime, when the kids are at school? I kind of just put it wherever I can fit it. It works better if I go first thing in the morning for your day gets really busy. But sometimes it’s like at lunch or maybe it’s like 10 in the morning. Whenever usually not in the evening. I’m not really an evening runner. Yeah, so I did do a little extra training when I did the nine o run with the CUCM. They do a five k on the Friday night when on the weekend of the CUCM. Okay, so I had to practice for that one because it felt weird to be running in the dark. Yeah, Yeah, no kidding. And I don’t know about you. But myself as a woman. Anytime I run at a time, I feel so much more on edge. Like I don’t feel relaxed if I’m running in the dark, which makes it really tough this time of year. It’s dark from like, five o’clock till eight o’clock. Yeah, it in the morning. It’s dark too sometimes, but you have to kind of pick your path to because there’ll be some spots where it’s really dark or there’s been like, some of those city lights or whatever aren’t working. So this week, one particular street might be dark. So usually in the morning, if I’m running, I run with a friend. Okay. But if it’s a pre like today, I’m a treadmill runner. So we have a treadmill at home with the TV so it makes it go by really fast because treadmill running is dreadful. Oh, it’s Yes, yeah, treadmill at home too. It doesn’t hang close. I’m proud to say that. But I would note that there’s dust on it at this point. Yeah. So you know, one of the reasons I got away from treadmill running is we have a dog And we adopted him when he was six, and he was treadmill train. So his first family tried desperately to control the barking slow down the barking. And of course, exercise is one of the things that they tell you with dogs. So the treadmill trained him. So as soon as I would turn the treadmill on, he’d be on there with me. Well, you try and share a treadmill with a dog and you’re tripping. And he’s getting kicked off and stepped on. And so he actually turned me off the treadmill for a while. And I think he’s kind of cool this heels at it. But we can put him on like, it’s not fast, but we can put them on and he’ll keep going. He’ll he’ll keep walking or running. And he’ll let us know that he wants to get off by starting to squeak squeak. Yeah, it’s quite cute. All right. Can you think of a time in your business where, you know, maybe it was the best laid plans? Maybe it was just something that took you by surprise. But there’s always those those situations those times where you don’t see it coming? And when you look back? In hindsight, you’re kind of like, Uh huh, no way, you know, like, looking back, I probably would have done it a little bit different. But any of those lessons in your business that you can share with folks. There’s so many but because with, with my business, I am kind of considered a small fish in the sea because I compete against big companies. So I’m competing against michael kors and Ralph Lauren, and all those big companies. So with the fabric companies, for example, that I use, I try and keep keep it Canadian. So they’re a bit smaller companies too. So when I order fabric, sometimes I’ll order a little bit, do some stuff, and then it it gets a good response. So I go back to order again, and I can’t get it anymore. So then it’s okay, gotta come up with Plan B. So the longer I’ve been in business, the quicker I’ve been to be on top of that, so that I know that if something’s going quite well to do it right away, and rather than wait, because if you wait, it’s gonna be gone. It’s gonna be gone on. Yeah, yeah. Yep. So have you ever had to sort of adjust your line partway through because that had happened? Just whatever season? Oh, there we go. So you’re good at making that adjustment? Yeah. Yeah. Designing on the fly and making changes is constant. So Oh, wow. To go with it? Yep. Yeah, exactly. Wow. Okay. All right. We have time for one more question. So your comment in your last answer here, when you talk about competing in a big pond? Like, where are the trends going? Are we moving towards more local designers? Are we moving towards more global and national designers? like where do you think fashion is gonna take us in the next little while, it’s kind of going gonna go wherever it wants to, because I think there’s going to be a lot more people wanting to support local and buy from a small business and really get to know the people behind the label, I’m finding that a lot more rather than people just maybe shopping online and buying stuff, that people are really being a little more cautious of where the dollars are going and getting to know the people and wanting to support those small businesses like I, I sell on Etsy, and then I sell online, and then I sell on all these shops and shops and that kind of thing. But with my Etsy shop, I’ve had stuff go all over the world. So I’ve had stuff to the US. I just sent a package out to Germany here a couple weeks ago. So I mean, we are getting support from all over. But people are just embracing what I’m doing and how I’m approaching fashion and that kind of thing. So it seems to be kind of global, I guess. Excellent. And that’s going to be good for your business to have some kind of global awareness and have the opportunity to find customers throughout the entire world. Oh, yeah, for sure. Yeah, that’s awesome. All right, folks. Well, it’s time to wrap it up here today. I can’t believe how quickly the show goes each week. But I want to thank you, the listeners for joining us here today on 91.3 FM CJ Tr retana, community radio. And I’d also like to thank Maria from Amaranth Designs for joining us to talk about fashion and fitness and a little bit of conversation in there about the boys who keep us all on her toes. And it really appreciate some of the insights that you’ve given us. Because, you know, I think for most of us, we go to the store, we pick something off the rack, if it fits good, you know, more and more, I think people are starting to think about the environment and think about the impact of our footprint. So it’s great to hear you talking about already doing that. I’ll be back here on December 12 with Paul birch from echo lotto, and we’re going to learn a little bit about his story. His company is developing new technologies to help nonprofits and charities raise more money with less volunteers. And we all know how hard it can be to get volunteers out sometimes now. If you’d like to be a guest on the show, you can reach out to me directly by email at Barb at Above the Fold or find us on Facebook and Instagram at Above the Fold cap Just a reminder, you can submit questions in advance of the live show. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, local business owner and Google guru. I change that every week. It just changes. Thanks for the opportunity to be here today. Sherry will be back with you next week at 12 o’clock on Wednesday. Remember, you worked hard for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.


Barb McGrath’s been cracking the online code for nearly 20 years. She helps local businesses get to the top of Google with digital marketing training, web design, SEO, online reputation and advertising. Most importantly, she’s earned the trust of Google.Barb runs the only Google-approved agency designed to show you how to turn the online “stuff” into in-store buyers.If you depend on in-person customers, you need Barb’s step-by-step, online marketing plan to generate a steady stream of onsite buyers and make it rain money. She is the host of the Secret Life of Entrepreneurs, a local radio show and iTunes and Google Podcast.