Sarah is passionate about helping manufacturers re-imagine the way they do business by leveraging technology, which aligns perfectly with Bear’s mission. Having built remarkable customer success teams at Jobber and Hubdoc, we’re thrilled that Sarah brings this level of firepower and experience to the Bear leadership team. We got a chance to ask a few questions about her strategy, interests, and career journey so far!
What are you most excited about as you join the Bear team?
As cliché as it sounds, it’s the ‘ground floor’ opportunity. The pandemic accelerated a lot of tech adoption trends across several industries, and the furniture and home goods space was no different. Despite supply chains being disrupted, online furniture sales have continued to show strong growth trends even with economies and traditional channels opening back up.
But going online — especially for furniture — isn’t easy; and that’s where I feel like Bear has greenfield opportunities ahead of us. With our sharp focus on the unique needs of furniture sellers, Bear is well positioned to leverage our technology and industry expertise to enable and support furniture sellers as they build and scale their online businesses.
What are your first moves when you join a new team?
When I join a new team, I am in discovery mode. I want to learn about the product, people, customers, and problem space as quickly as I can and with eyes wide open. I want to understand why things are the way they are, our strengths, and our areas of opportunity, and try to learn as much as I can from the experiences of the folks who were there before me.
Beyond ‘the work’, I also want to make sure that I’m investing in building trust and relationships with my team. I am a big believer in building teams where people feel like they can bring their whole selves to work, but that can’t happen until there is a strong foundation of trust. Once that trust is in place, magical things can happen — people feel comfortable being vulnerable, taking risks, and pushing themselves to that sweet spot of discomfort where growth happens.
“Once trust is in place, magical things can happen.”
What drew you to a career in Customer Success?
I have always enjoyed building relationships with people and being a part of their success. It’s not only what drew me to Customer Success, but also to people leadership. It’s also probably why I enjoy team sports a lot more than individual ones. “Winning” is fun, but it’s so much more rewarding when you can share that experience with others. And to me, that’s what Customer Success is all about — it’s working collaboratively with your customers to help them achieve their goals which, in turn, continues to drive your business forward.
What do you look for in an early stage company?
People & opportunity. You spend a lot of time with a small group of people, doing an incredibly hard thing (building a company), so surrounding yourself with people you feel you can learn from, work with, and enjoy being around are table stakes. Then, I look to understand the overall market opportunity and what the need for our product is — are we a vitamin or a painkiller? Personally, I gravitate towards the latter. Statistically, most startups fail, so I want to invest my time in companies that can be life- and/or business-changing for their customers.
“I look to understand the overall market opportunity — are we a vitamin or a painkiller?”
What’s your ecommerce marketplace of choice?
Amazon (with Prime). They have just made the shopping experience so frictionless that it is hard to buy anywhere else.
What’s your favorite article of furniture?
The sofa! It’s home base for all of my at-home downtime with my husband and dog and holds so many memories for us. We binge our favourite shows (Modern Family, The Office) there, catch up on our days, enjoy our homemade fruit plates and charcuterie boards, and take naps with Butters.
What is your go-to downtime activity? What do you do for fun?
I’m an Eat, Play, Love kind of gal. The way to my heart is through my stomach so I loveeee trying new food and restaurants around the city (when it was a little bit easier at least!). On the play side, I like to stay active through sport. My husband and I play in a co-ed beer league together on weekends, and we got back into tennis last summer. I also bought some quad roller skates earlier this year and have been practicing my dance moves in my living room! And I guess my version of ‘Love’ is spending time with my family. My parents live in the same condo complex as us so we spend a lot of time with them, and my brother and his wife just welcomed a new baby girl to the family so we try to see them as much as we can!
Bear foodie team +1! Welcome to the crew!