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There is No Better Friend Than A Sister, There is No Better Sister Than You!

Yes, I am Mary Jane's sister! My name is Janelle and I am the Buyer and e-Commerce Manager for Mary Jane's. I love working for my sister, but more than that I love working for such an amazing company that Mary and her husband, Steve, own. They are amazingly smart and kind business owners and bosses!

Having Mary Jane as a sister is like having a celebrity in the family. Growing up Mary was the COOLEST big sister! She knew how to french braid hair, had the best clothes, the cutest boyfriends and the biggest hair!! She was an amazing role model. She had the best grades and worked multiple jobs to earn money to buy all her heart's desires, including a waterbed (whatever happened to waterbeds? They were so cool!). As I got older Mary has become such an amazing friend and was always and still is the source of great advice!

When she called me in July of 2017 and asked if I would be willing to move my family to Colorado to manage her store in Steamboat Springs, I was thrilled. Excited for the adventure, eager for something new, and extremely flattered she was entrusting in me one of the stores she and her husband had worked so hard to establish. So after the consent of my husband, 2 kids and 2 dogs, we packed up and moved to Steamboat Springs, CO. I immediately fell in love with Mary Jane's! Working in retail management was not new to me, but working for such a cute boutique was. I loved what I was selling, which makes a difference! I developed a passion for making connections with every guest. I shared hugs (pre-COVID), laughs and tears with many customers. Each one I would tell my story to would tell me how great of a sister I was for moving across the country to manage one of my sister's stores and each time I would assure them that I was the lucky one to get this opportunity.

Let's fast forward to February 2020, COVID-19 was just a distant threat and wasn't at the forefront of everyone's attention, just yet. My family had just made a decision that the mountains, as beautiful as they are, were not our ideal lifestyle (AKA the only winter sport we participate in is snow shoveling). I balled my eyes out as I called Mary to give her my 5 month notice, that after the school year we had decided to move closer to our parents, and farther away from snow, in Texas. GRACIOUS would be the word to best describe her reaction. I wiped the tears away that day as I hung up and walked out the door into what would soon be a pandemic filled world. Those 5 months flew by now that I look back. Filled with uncertainty, lockdowns, online school, and planning a move.

I was surprised when in May, I received a call from Mary to ask how my job hunting was going in my potential new destination. When I shared with her that I had not found a new employer yet, she made me an offer I couldn't refuse, she asked if I would accept an offer for my current position as buyer and e-Commerce manager of our new website,! I again was excited and flattered and let me assure you, this new position has been every bit as amazing as it sounds!

My favorite part is going to Trade Shows at the Dallas Marketplace! If you have followed us on Facebook or Instagram, I document the shows I go to and my beautiful daughters attend with me as assistants (they hold the clothes while I make the decisions). It is so much fun to pick out what super cute items we will carry and it fulfills that urge to shop without having to spend any of my own money. Mary has always stressed to pick selections that tell a story. The environment inside a Mary Jane's store is so

much of that. A story of a beautiful dream they had to own a store where people can get so much more than an item, but an experience. It begins with our staff welcoming you to become part of our story and ends with a perfect bracelet, a beautiful dress or wall art as well as those laughs, hugs, and tears I mentioned earlier.

I am so excited to still be a part of Mary Jane's as we continue to thrive and grow, even through one of the most difficult times I can ever remember our world facing. Mary thinks I am crazy because I have the notifications on my phone set to alert me every time someone logs onto our website. My phone consistently "dings' throughout the day to alert me of visitors from Kona, HI to McKinney, TX to Erie, CO to Japan checking out our website. And every time it goes off I get a thrill seeing how far our story is reaching. Maybe one day I will turn off the notifications, but today is not that day.

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I love this story!! How fun to work with your sister! Aloha from Waimea!

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