Mandy Farmer, Red Hot Woman Entrepreneur
OK, how many of you out there can say you have a Red Hot Woman for a boss and not get slapped, fired or sued… lol. Well, Chatelaine and Profit Magazines have done that for Accent Inns. Oh that is they named Mandy Farmer one of the 7 Red Hot Woman Entrepreneurs for the year. Have a read of the article from the Chatelaine written by Tralee Pearce.
When you visit an Accent Inn, you’ll see Mandy Farmer’s humorous touches everywhere – from the rubber duckies in the bathroom to the notepads beside the bed with headings like “Note to Self, Don’t Forget to Steal the Pen.”This lighthearted visionary wasn’t supposed to be in charge. Her father started the BC hotel chain in 1986 & told her that none of his children were going to inherit the business. “My dad said this way we wouldn’t have any entitlement issues or pressures. It was a great gift because it allowed us to pursue our own passions and follow our own paths. Mine just happened to be hotel too!”
She took over as president & CEO in 2008. During that recession the business took a hit, & a focus group revealed the inn had the reputation of being a bottom-of-the-barrel motel chain. “At the time we were all crushed to hear this, yet we picked ourselves up off the floor & embarked on a major rebranding initiative. “The logo
colours changed from red, white & blue to a friendlier yellow, orange & blue, and a rounded font to make it softer. The tag line also changed from “Quality Where It Counts” to a call to action: “Stay Local, Stay Real.”PEOPLE SKILLS “We have ridiculously low levels of turnover in an industry noted for high turnover, thanks to our culture of fun. Housekeepers are encouraged to clean to music, and every location celebrates working together with bowling parties, dances and cooking contests.”
FORWARD THINKING The company caters to niche markets like cyclists. “We’ve installed bike-wash and mechanic stations at our hotels, complete with maps of the best biking routes – we even let people put their bikes in their rooms!”
SHINING MOMENT Being named one of the Best Companies to Work for in BC. The majority of my employees are cleaning toilets every day!”