We had the good fortune of connecting with Margarette Coleman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Margarette, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Having been a military spouse for almost 20 years at the time, my work in the field of Social Work had taken many twists and turns with our various relocations. When my husband retired from the Air Force and we decided to settle in Georgia, I had an opportunity I had never had before. Instead of looking for work, I could build something of my own. Our family was staying and I could grow roots here. I said to myself, “I think I will start my own business.” So I started thinking, researching, and talking. In 2014, I visited the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. Having been raised in a family that put respect for yourself and respect for others as top priorities, it was clear that those ideals were not universal. Seeing the state of women, of the poor, and of the disenfranchised around the globe really touched my soul and opened my eyes to some deficiencies in us as people. I recognized the decline in concern for the rights of human beings and what used to be common courtesies. What could be done? What could I do? I am just one person…an individual in this giant world. So I started soul searching. What world did I come from? what has my experience taught me? what have I been trained to do? were all questions I sought answers to. In response to those questions and consulting a book of entrepreneurial ideas, I came up with Etiquette Trainer. Teaching kindness and courtesy, sharing tips on the art of conversation, basic table manners, and making introductions. Yes, the Emily Post type of etiquette. But who needs this? Everybody! We could all use a little refresher, right? So, in October of 2015, Everyday Manners, Inc legally became my business.
What should our readers know about your business?
In the early days of my business, I attended a business women’s luncheon whose keynote speaker happened to be an etiquette trainer. When I shared with her at the end of the luncheon that I had just launched a similar business, she proceeded to tell me how it would never work. I would fail at it, as she had. I laughed, and I continue to laugh, at her perspective. Everyday Manners, Inc has morphed from pure etiquette training with children to Everyday Manners Training & Consulting working with mostly adults building better communication skills. We started with the slogan, Everyday Manners…because Everyday Matters. That still fits the sentiment of what we do. But these days, we usually say we are Promoting Self Confidence and Boosting Social Civility. That is more comprehensive and hits our target audience closer to the vest. The transition is continuous. I think the biggest lesson I have learned is to do what I have always done, adapt to the ever-changing environment. The Everyday Manners core values have always been centered around civility in society. But getting that message to different people in different times takes different tactics. One of the great and exciting challenges has been figuring out those tactics and incorporating them into the business. It is our belief that each individual has a gift and a purpose but may need guidance, tools, or just the sharpening of those tools to become their best self. And if Everyday Manners can assist in this effort by sharing knowledge, opening eyes to other perspectives, and helping others help themselves, even if it is one person at a time, we are succeeding. We have not failed!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week-long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.?
Though I have spent most of my life outside of Georgia, I consider the Atlanta metro area my home. If I had a friend visit me for a week I would start in my current area, Coweta and Fayette Counties. Our home is in Newnan and my parents live about 15 minutes away in Turin. They currently live in the house my mother grew up in. Her grandfather built the family home at the turn of the century (the early 1900s) which was a rarity, being a black man in the South. We would venture through Senoia, a cute southern town whose current claim to fame is the film center for the Walking Dead. We would continue through to Fayette County. The unique feature in Peachtree City, where we lived for 5 years, is the over 90 miles of golf cart paths covering most of the city. As a golf cart community, it has many interesting sights, the golf cart parking lot at the high school, the tunnels and bridges that get you across the major thoroughfares, and the hidden paths throughout the city. We might also hang out a bit at Drake Field, a picturesque park on Lake Peachtree at the City Center. During the week, we would have to make a few trips to what I call the city, Atlanta. I grew up there, so we might drive through the old neighborhood in Southwest Atlanta, an area that once housed many notables to include Mayor Maynard Jackson and baseball legend Hank Aaron. Our multiday tour through Atlanta would include popping into the King Center, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, the CNN Center, and probably Piedmont Park. We might swing through some of the notable educational institutions, Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Morehouse, and Spelman Colleges. If we have time or are in the areas, we may see the Mercedes Benz Stadium where the Falcons play, the old Turner Stadium and Truist Park where the Braves used to and currently play, and the State Farm Arena where the Hawks play.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Starting a business is scary. Being a solopreneur, running every aspect of your own business, is really hard. There are no sick days, no one else to take the criticisms and failures, and no one else to do what needs to be done. You have to be disciplined. You have to be tough. I could not have done any of this without the encouragement and support of my husband. He and my children have been my biggest cheerleaders, my emotional support system, and my original advisory board. I owe any successes I have to them. Working as a Social Worker and in athletics for 2 decades did not prepare me at all to run a business. I owe all I have learned and continue to learn in the world of business to a few key business coaches and mentors. Maria Hall, Abby Hirsch-Phillips, and Carol Jensen-Linton have opened my mind by sharing with me their knowledge of and tools for entrepreneurship. They also opened doors by sharing skills, opportunities, and networks as I entered the business world. These ladies have, probably unknowingly, raised me out of infancy in the business world.
Youtube: Margarette Coleman
Other: https://www.alignable.com/peachtree-city-ga/everyday-manners-llc https://thecitizen.com/2016/01/24/coleman-crowned-new-neighbor-year/ https://www.travelwithchip.com/WebsitePages/about
Daniel Bowman of Malt Maker Media and Kaye Snyder of Southern Light Cinema