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18 Questions With Leigha Gray Dunbar, Director, Category Management, The Vitamin Shoppe

Leigha Gray Dunbar is director, category management at The Vitamin Shoppe. She has been in the retail industry for almost 20 years, and is about to celebrate her one-year anniversary as a Women in Retail Leadership Circle member! We asked Leigha some rapid-fire questions so you can get to know her better!

  1. What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
    Honestly, I haven’t read a book recently. However, my husband and I bought a book for my step-son titled “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” by Sean Covey, and this has really created great dialogue between us and him as he develops into a young adult.
  2. What’s a tip you have for productively leading a team while working remotely?Creating “separation time” from work. Working from home can be difficult, especially in a business like ours at The Vitamin Shoppe that addresses the current need state of our customers. Therefore, having that mental break to relax and recharge is very important.
  3. What’s a mistake you made early on in your career?
    Not truly understanding the “why.” Meaning, when I first started in the retail industry in 2001, I asked questions to only solve my problem, but what I missed was the “why” behind the answer. Digging just a little more always gives you a better picture.
  4. What’s the toughest part of being in charge?
    Though I may be the lead, we work as a collective team. I empower my team to drive their business, and I encourage, massage and support their ideas to help bring their vision to life. I wouldn’t say this is “tough” as we work together for the same end result.
  5. What’s the best way you motivate team members? 
    To support and empower them, have patience, and be transparent.
  6. What woman inspires you right now and why?  
    My mother. The last year has been really tough with my father’s passing, but she has truly shown how strong of a woman she is by continuously staying positive, supportive, and moving forward every day. She’s a strong black woman, and she’s the backbone for our family.
  7. Some experts feel that the COVID-19 pandemic may spark innovation across many industries. What’s something you’re looking forward to for the future of retail?  
    How brick-and-mortar companies, specifically ready-to-wear clothing companies, shift their in-store experience from having a lot of inventory to a showroom feel. Although we see online businesses growing, there are customers that need to interact with the product, and categories that drive that.
  8. What’s one thing you look for when interviewing a potential candidate? 
  9. What’s something that you learned about yourself in 2020?
    My ability to be resilient during this time of change.
  10. After the pandemic, where is somewhere you’d love to travel to?  
    I love to travel, so I will just pick up from where I left off. Next stop, Thailand!
  11. What is one habit you adopted while WFH that you’d like to keep with you as you return to the office? 
    Mid-day yoga break.
  12. How would you describe yourself in a single sentence? 
    I’m like a diamond – I’m authentic, unique, not perfect, but have a lot of charisma.
  13. What’s your favorite app? 
    I love my Peloton app! It’s all about health and wellness for me.
  14. What do you do to recharge?  
    I work out almost every morning. That sets the tone for my day.
  15. What is your biggest accomplishment?
    I’m proud of a lot of things, and I always want more, so we shall see!
  16. What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders? 
    Have a voice and a point of view.
  17. Who has left the most impact on your life?  
    My father. As I manage through life, I ask myself how my dad would handle it.
  18. How would you describe your leadership style? 
    Supportive, yet tough, but fair!

2 responses to “18 Questions With Leigha Gray Dunbar, Director, Category Management, The Vitamin Shoppe”

  1. Saundra Words says:

    I was very moved and encouraged by the answers this young black woman gave. I truly believe that the future of this world will reach new heights and depths with young people like her.

  2. Marie Karlsen says:

    As to be expected the answers to these questions truly reflect the person I have been working with this past year. Great communicator, extremely responsive and gets to the point.. creative and so willing to learn the roots of the industry… great read!

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