Contacts: Jessica Sarber, Co-owner, Sarber’s Camera (Oakland and Berkeley, CA)
Family businesses tend to be uber-resourceful when it comes to employing the skills of loved ones. Back in 1983, the owner of Sarber’s Camera (Oakland, California) lucked out when his son started dating a woman named Jessica, a woman who would not only eventually marry into the Sarber family but would bring the business its first HR program, employee incentive program, and would lead the company in targeting services toward that valued digital imaging demographic, the young mother.
Jessica Sarber, now a mother of two potential future-retailers herself, has seen dramatic changes in the retail operation during the last twenty-four years, not all for the better. “When technology hit our business [the film to digital transition] six years ago, it hurt us a lot...we went from having 45 employees in 3 store locations to 23 in 2,” says Sarber, who admits she’s still adjusting to the CE product cycle of having brand new cameras on the sales floor every six months.
“Women started dominating camera sales in 2005,” says Sarber. “I think female retailers are able to adapt very quickly to create destinations that will attract them.”