Hello, I’m Mary Ann Glueckert and I’ve spent the last several years helping girls find their potential in STEAM careers. I have come to realize that STEAM careers offer girls the opportunity to be financially independent and allow them to make choices they might not have otherwise! My simple message to girls and women is get a “skill” whatever your passion. More recently, I have retired from outreach activities due to health reasons and will try to offer my insights and share them with you.
My career began selling women’s dresses and suits for “The Sample”, a Buffalo, New York department store out of high school while I decided what I wanted to do – soon I was managing departments and teams. It was fun and challenging and every day was different. In the back of my mind I wondered if I should be doing something else but always the answer was no, I’m doing what I love!
I joined the Gap as an Assistant Manager in Training and was promoted to Assistant Manager the next month. Within six months I was promoted to Store Manager and asked to relocate as Store Manager for the Gap for Girls in Hyannis, MA. I returned to Buffalo, the following year to take a higher volume store and continue to work in larger stores and managing teams up to 60 members. After 10 years, I moved to Williams-Sonoma. After opening the Buffalo, NY store and managing it for a few years, I then accepted a position as the “Point Of Sale Manager” in San Francisco at the headquarters, I travelled extensively training and designing software updates with the developer as well as creating training materials. I was also charged to create the first users ‘help desk’ for our stores, it was fun to be on the go!
I arrived in Washington, DC twenty plus years ago to run the Williams-Sonoma Georgetown store which was losing money, I made it profitable and they moved me to Mazza Gallerie. It was the best move of my life, I met and married my husband, had a beautiful baby girl and was offered another position, but decided to stay home with our daughter.
Through my retail management experience I’ve learned that the slightest changes in the way you present products on the shelf can generate an increase in business. I found I could arrange displays as well as any designer and thoroughly enjoyed this part of my job. It’s the same for your wardrobe or home, mixing pieces can change your look. For years after my father passed away I wore his hounds-tooth jacket, I rolled the sleeves and wore it with jeans or black slacks, eventually, I gave it to charity! I wore it with turtlenecks in the winter and a white tee shirt in the spring and fall. You see you can make a great jacket or blazer work almost four seasons if you pair it with the right items.
Later when living abroad I was able to shop for clothes, fabrics and home accessories in London, Paris, Milan, Berlin, Istanbul, Brussels, Brugge, Edinburgh, Dublin and everywhere in between. Walking down the Champs Elysees on a wonderful sunny day, shopping the designer boutiques is so exciting!
Returning from abroad, I became involved in the church and school community as our daughter entered kindergarten. I became the Chairperson of the Finance Council at our church. Later, I had a couple of small businesses working as a contractor for a headhunter during the Internet boom and afterwards as the business partner for a Tutoring company we founded.
As our daughter approached high school it was time to begin thinking what the next phase of my life would be and that’s when I was introduced to direct selling companies for women’s apparel – I liked the idea of running my own business again – what I didn’t know was as I started it, the financial world was crumbling but by that time I was already in love again with Doncaster!
I spent 5 years of my career working with professional women who value a trusted confidant to define her personal style and helping each woman build a multi-purpose wardrobe. I loved the clothes and still wear many of the beautiful things I purchased for myself. A friend suggested I join a woman’s organization named WIT ( Women In Technology) and that is where my passion for helping teen girls to seek career opportunities in STEM. My mantra became, LEARN A SKILL!
Since retiring, I am working on updating my blog to share my knowledge and interests with others.