Amy Eshuys is the vice president/general merchandise manager at Christmas Tree Shops, a division of Bed, Bath & Beyond. She also has been a Women in Retail Leadership Circle member for almost one year. We asked Amy some rapid-fire questions so you can get to know her better!
- What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
“The Nickel Boys” by Colson Whitehead. Inspired by real events and incredibly heartbreaking.
- What’s a tip you have for productively leading a team while working remotely?
Frequent but short touch-bases to keep communication flowing. Also, keeping video cameras mostly switched on when communicating. In buying and merchandising, I believe it’s so easy to lose motivation, productivity and creativity without your team around you, especially if you’re in the habit of leaving cameras switched off because you haven’t brushed your hair, ha!
- What’s a mistake you made early in your career?
Thinking I can do it all on my own and worrying that I’m not good enough. And not talking openly and honestly about this with anyone. I now push myself to connect with others and have an open dialogue about these issues. It takes a village (or community as they say) to help build a career and mentor you through previous mistakes.
- What’s the toughest part of being in charge?
I like to think of it as leading vs. being in charge. The toughest part of leading is knowing the different personalities of your team and how to get the best out of them. Knowing when to step in and when to let your people do it on their own, and knowing that your team is relying on you and you don’t always have the answers.
- What’s the best way you motivate team members?
I try to motivate my team by nurturing and mentoring them, and by being transparent and authentic in my leadership. I always recognize the hard work they do and the personal things in their lives. Acknowledgment, small or large, can go a long way to motivate a team.
- What woman inspires you right now and why?
My younger sisters. They are both on COVID-19 fitness missions. Training for marathons, running 12 miles a day and doing intense weight regimes while having high-stress jobs in Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia. They inspire me as I can barely get out for a walk each day due to my work schedule. I always strive to have a more balanced lifestyle of work and wellness, but I’ll admit that COVID-19 has definitely interrupted my work/exercise balance.
- 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?
Experiential retail. Post-COVID-19, consumers will want to feel and experience great retail again. It’s called retail therapy for a reason!
- What’s one thing you look for when interviewing a potential job candidate?
Energy and resourcefulness. Sorry, I couldn’t stop at just one! I believe that anyone can do anything if they’re resourceful and have great energy.
- What’s something that you learned about yourself in 2020?
I can do more than I ever imagined. When I look back at everything my team and I have achieved over the past six months, I’m astonished. Secondly, although I think I’m an introvert and like to be alone, even I have my limits with this!
- What’s your favorite podcast?
My favorite at the moment is How I Built This by Guy Raz. I love hearing the entrepreneurial stories behind successful businesses or products. I’m a huge fan of podcasts in general. I’m always listening to podcasts when driving and exercising that help educate and inspire me on leadership, wellness, business and finance.
- After the pandemic, where is somewhere you’d love to travel to?
Europe. Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Paris. I was supposed to take my mom for her 60th birthday this year, but the trip was cancelled due to COVID-19, so I can’t wait to take her post-pandemic as she has never been.
- What’s one habit you adopted while working from home that you’d like to keep with you as you return to the office?
More WFH! When we return to the office we will adopt a much more flexible work environment.
- How would you describe yourself in a single sentence?
Direct, driven, resourceful, loyal and TALL. I’m six feet without shoes.
- What’s your favorite app?
The “Calm” app. I love to use it for meditation or the rain and ocean sounds to help me sleep.
- What do you do to recharge?
I need sunshine and nature to recharge. I love going for bike rides or walks around Central Park in New York City. If I can escape the city, I’ll take a trip to the beach or a lake. I’m passionate about traveling far and wide, but to recharge I love being near water.
- What’s your biggest accomplishment?
Moving to New York City from Australia and building my career in the U.S.
- What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Speak up. Always tell the people around you and your managers what your goals are. If you don’t know what your goals are, or what you want as your immediate or long-term future, then still choose a path and give it your all. Don’t procrastinate. The only wrong thing to do when you don’t know what to do is to do nothing and hope for a different future.
- Who has had the most impact on your life?
My fiance Kaushik. He is the calm to my fire!
- How would you describe your leadership style?
Direct and transparent, but nurturing. My end goal is to always have a team that’s better and more equipped than I am.