Photo credit: Gemar Photography

Jennifer Mattson and her husband, Justin, have two boys, Kallen and Daxton, but next month, Jennifer adds another blessing to her life: the dream of owning a business. The Rugby woman will open her consignment/second hand store on October 1.  Jennifer has a degree in business management with a minor in accounting. She is a also a 2018 graduate of the Center for Technology and Business (CTB) Women’s Leadership Program. She says it helped her follow her dream to open The Jeneral Store.

What was your work experience prior to opening or owning a business? I have worked at Rugby Manufacturing for the past nine years. My last position with them was the quality assurance/warranty manager. 

What inspired you to step out and do your own thing? The evening I finished my last final, I caught myself thinking, “Now what am I going to do?” The following day, I found out the owner of our local consignment/second hand store was retiring. 

Describe what you do: I accept consignments of clothing, household décor, small furniture pieces, etc. from consignors and sell them in my store. This type of business provides a little extra money to people for their items they no longer use/need and also provides items to shoppers at a lower price than they would pay for it in a (retail) store. 

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? The most important thing with failing is what you learn from it and how you handle it. I also like to think of failure as motivation. I’m a “green” personality so I don’t handle failure well, so instead of letting the thought of failure scare me, I allow the thought of failure to motivate me. 

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?” Trying to maintain positivity in all aspects of my life and to spread positivity to others. I truly feel positive thinking has made me a more successful and optimistic person. 

What don’t your customers or clients know that would surprise or shock them to learn about you? 20 years ago, I won the ND Class D state championship title for trapshooting. My niece won this same title this year.

If your employees claimed you had a superpower, what would they say? Master problem solver — I love to solve problems and figure things out!

What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world?” Believe in yourself. Do not give up. Opportunities are going to present themselves to you. You don’t have to jump on every one, be choosy. Don’t settle for less than what you want.