SheBrand Superstar: Annette Giacomazzi

As a serial entrepreneur and Founder of CastCoverz!, Annette de Lancey Giacomazzi has lived the ups and down of starting a business and knows how to grow a sustainable one. She shares, “The very nature of our business (92% of our customers are first-time and only-time), means we have to reinvent ourselves, every day!”

The CastCoverz! “aha” moment came when Ms. Giacomazzi’s then 10-year-old daughter broke her 6th bone. Annette pulled out her trusty sewing machine, and boring orthopedic products didn’t stand a chance. “My daughter was the inspiration, my son named it, and my husband financed it.” 18 branded products, 4 distributed lines, and 4 fabulous employees later, CastCoverz! is the classic Made-in-the-USA family business story. But, it wasn’t without adversity. The first year produced a failed business partnership, flawed initial manufactured goods and a diagnosis of a very rare breast cancer. Giacomazzi’s deep faith and unquenchable approach to adversity make her a survivor. Giacomazzi is married and is the mom of two great teenagers.

 

Name: Annette Giacomazzi

Occupation: CEO of CastCoverz!

Website: http://www.castcoverz.com

Twitter Handle: @castcoverz

 

1. What are three words that best describe you?

Customers come first.

2. Tell us why you’re awesome in two sentences or less?

Recognizing that every human being craves to be understood, believed and valued – this is embodied by making a connection with every soul we touch. Only when connections are made are they remembered and talked about; our job is to make that connection a memorable, positive experience and that makes a great life and great business.

3. What are your three biggest indulgences?

  • Watching HGTV
  • Eating one raw cookie dough piece mid-afternoon (Pillsbury pre-cut, ready-to-bake cookies are the ideal portion size!)
  • Heated seats in my car

4. What’s currently your favorite…

Restaurant: The Inn at Tres Pinos (wedge salad is my favorite)

Shopping Destination: Santana Row and Stevens Creek Westfield Mall in San Jose, CA

Hangout: Starbucks (or as my 15 year old daughter says, “Starbs”)

City: Truckee, CA (in Tahoe)

Food: Caprese Salad

Cocktail: Cosmo

Book/Author: The Bible

Song/Artist: Eclectic mix of Journey, Casting Crowns and Canadian Tenors

Website:CastCoverz! (my business’ website )

Magazine: Success

5. What is your biggest pet peeve?

People who have a critical and complaining spirit. One of the ways I have mitigated this peeve, is I ask those I have daily contact with (my family and my employees) that if they come to me with a problem, accompany it with 3 solutions how to fix it. That forces them to replace the grumbling with meaningful dialogue. The end result is people are empowered with creative problem solving. Oftentimes, I don’t even know there was a problem, because they’ve taken it upon themselves to solve it.

6. If you could have dinner with anyone (living or not) who would it be?

Jesus. He was the ultimate customer service person. He connected with every soul he met and each connection was memorable. He did this over and over, effortlessly, because he saw the value in every human being, lovable and even, and especially, the not so lovable.

7. What does it mean to you to have a strong, engaging brand and how has having one helped you?

Even though CastCoverz! isn’t about me (it’s about our customers and empowering my employees with a fun job and flexible workplace), I recognize that people identify with a brand. So, I intentionally created a brand that exemplifies cheerful, easy, empathetic, get-the-job-done, and fun-to-be-around qualities. If you want fashion, fun and function for your orthopedic device, and you want real people with responsive hearts helping you, we’re your company.

Building my brand gives me the daily opportunity to practice what I preach and to continually fine-tune it. For example, our products are not ours. We are only stewards of our customers’ orders. When a customer hits the “BUY!” button an expectation is created. The customer is eagerly anticipating comfort and fun to arrive on their doorstep. We want to exceed that expectation with quality products, fast delivery and memorable customer service.

8. What is your #1 tip for fellow women entrepreneurs?

Execute! My idea isn’t brilliant or even one-of-a-kind, but I executed. Everyone has at least one idea. Nothing happens until and unless movement is made. If you’re fearful of making mistakes, know that you will. That’s part of the territory. If that still terrifies you, list what is the worst that can happen. Once you face it, you can fix it or you can move on. This effectively eliminates the “What if’s?” that plague so many of us.

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