Samantha attended a private Catholic High School in Taunton and from their attended Sacred Heart College with a major in Marketing & Business and a side major in Fashion. After she graduated she worked for the family business for a while and then decided to move to Virginia where she worked in outside sales for the Boston Beer Company. The work was challenging but she missed her family, friends and Boston. She came back and decided to pursue her dream of working in the business side of fashion with a local retail chain. Although she enjoyed it immensely, she finally realized her true passion was back where she started-her family business.
Thrilled to have her back, her Dad offered her the opportunity to “start her own business” within the business and launched a new line of product called Barrisol Ceilings and Walls. With no product presence in the area, Samantha faced the challenge of building brand awareness and developing a customer base. Because it is such a specialty product, her father sent her to France for training that would give her a deeper understanding of the merchandise and the confidence to sell it. With no existing customers, Samantha faced the challenge of forming the business in the traditional manner through phone calls, sending emails and offering lunch and learns to architects and general contractors. Business Development takes discipline and she has had her shares of no’s, but she says when she falls she gets right back up and avoids getting discouraged.
She shares that although her work environment isn’t totally male dominated, she can still be occasionally intimidated by those that work with a different mind-set, but says she overcomes that by “stepping into their world”. Obviously it works because in a short period she has landed 10 high profile projects including Ferrari and Audi.
She attributes her success to understanding the value of building and maintaining relationships and her attention to detail. Whenever a question is posed that she can’t answer, she always makes it a point to thoroughly research and follow up with the answer.
She also realizes the benefits of networking. Currently she is actively engaged with the MBC, IIDA, NAWIC, BBW and AGC’s BWiC Committee by attending an average of three events per week. Although it sounds like a lot, she says it’s a great way to make lasting connections.
When asked about a mentor, she says it’s always been her Dad. Even when it looked like she would be taking a different path, he fully supported her but always hoped it would finally lead her back to the family business. When she is occasionally having challenging moments, he shares with her his book of inspiring quotes he has collected over the years so she can re-focus her efforts. The family has also developed an open door corporate culture that encourages communication and growth. Every employee is genuinely appreciated perpetuating a family style environment.
As far as future options, she is currently taking Lean classes through AGC MA, and would consider taking CM courses someday to further broaden her education.
Her advice is to follow your passion and love what you do. Her business degree has given her a comprehensive education so that one day she could follow her father’s footsteps and start her own business. She says that “Experience builds confidence to be who you are—so don’t steer away from that, but always be a good person and do good things”.
There is no doubt Samantha and her family is doing great things and we wish them continued success.
Thank you Samantha for sharing your experiences and contributing to our mission of Building Women in Construction!