It makes sense that Anne is an entrepreneur because it’s in her DNA. She grew up with parents who are self-made, so she understands the journey. Her dad built a construction company and her mom built and sold several businesses. The discoveries Anne is uncovering through her entrepreneurial journey are vast and challenging. She welcomes the risk and is excited about the legacy she is building.
Her path to business ownership wasn’t a straight line, she started her career wanting to be a news anchor. When she was a kid, she would perform the weather report for her parents. She attended the University of Minnesota and studied broadcast journalism. Shortly after college, she moved to New York City to pursue her anchor dreams.
Once there, she realized that the market was too big for her to make it. Nobody was going to give a Midwest talent, with no experience, a break. So, she got a job at JCrew. It was here she met and connected with a photographer who worked at NBC. This connection led her to getting a job in the advertising department at NBC.
She worked at 30 Rock, the famous building that is the home of some of our favorite shows: SNL, The Today Show, Conan (when she worked there). One of the perks of working at 30 Rock, was she could go anywhere in the building, including the sets of these shows. She’d run into talent in the elevator. It was a fun time in her career.
After working in NYC for about 2 years, she moved back to Minneapolis. When she returned, she worked as a producer at Channel 9. She still wanted to be a reporter, so she shadowed other reporters and wrote her own reports. Until one day, she experienced the realities of being a reporter that went beyond just telling stories for the camera.
She was dispatched to a house fire, where a family had just returned from vacationing in Florida. They lost their house and all of their belongings in the fire. Anne’s job was to interview the family about their devastation so she could get the story. That experience felt awful.
Then, there was the story she had to cover about a shooting in NE Minneapolis, where she saw her first dead body. Her dream of becoming an on-air reporter started to fade.
After working in news, she went back to advertising and worked at two of the top agencies in town, Fallon & Martin Williams. In between those two jobs, she started a successful catering business and also pitched (and won) a cooking segment on Channel 9.
Then, it was on to Target, where she was selected to work on a large innovation project, Store of the Future. Unfortunately, that project got defunded, so she left Target and ventured out on her own.
She co-founded Red Archer Retail, which provides consulting services for anyone thinking about the future of retail, in addition to the content platform, Omni Talk, where they candidly discuss tech retail industry.
When I asked Anne about her style, her response was: “Sheesh, is ‘machine washable’ a style category?”
Her life is spent with dirty kids, in a gym or pitching investors these days, so her go-to style is something that’s classic, comfortable and most important, easily washable. When there’s a rare occasion to dress up, wearing heels is fun and most of the outfits she wears for a night out, are vintage hand-me-downs from friends, her grandmothers and her husband’s grandmother. She LOVES those, especially thinking about the events those women wore the outfits to.
Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
Do they have to be alive? I would like to have Abraham Lincoln over for dinner. I’m interested in his perspective on current events. Since he was President during contentious times, what would his reaction be to a briefing with the current administration? I’m interested in historical people. I want to understand what we can learn from the past.
Would you like to be famous? In what way?
It depends on how you describe fame. I think it sounds awful. I’d prefer my work or ideas to be famous. I’d like exposure for making things happen so I can inspire others to go outside the box and live the life they dream of.
Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say?
Yes, I do. It’s a recent development. Anyone who knows me, says I’m flexible and comfortable with not knowing everything. This makes me a long-winded storyteller. That doesn’t work so well in the pitching process because you have a limited amount of time with very busy people to get your idea across and close the deal. So, I have to practice what I’m going to say and how I’m going to overcome any objections in a 5-10 minute conversation.
When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
I don’t know when I last sang to myself, but I sang to my son this morning. It didn’t work because he was still crying. I also don’t sing well.
Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
Probably from multi-tasking. It will be a scenario where I have too much going on and I’ll accidentally light a stove.
Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
We’re both entrepreneurial, idea-driven (he’ll riff on ideas with me), shared life goals and what we want our life to look like and we both do what we love.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
Getting to be a working mom.
If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change anything. Flaws and all, I think my parents did a good job of raising me to be a person who has become her own person, and if they’d done anything differently, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
I always wanted to own a business. Both of my parents were small business owners. I haven’t done it until this point because I was afraid to take the risk. Last year, life opened up to me so I could try. I feel responsible for my legacy, my kids and my family’s legacy and building something for that is very important to me.