GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- Her suit fits just right, she knows everyone in the room, and you can just tell she’s got it going on! You wish you could be her or simply wish you knew her secret to success. WOTV 4 Women wants to give you a deeper look at the many power women who are helping make West Michigan a thriving place for women at work. We’re having them dish the details on everything from work life to home life and what has led to their career success.
25 career questions with Kris Wassink, co-owner UBU Home Furnishings located at Rivertown Crossings Mall. Kris has a huge heart, a love for travel and adventure and a great eye for home trends. Not only is she the force behind this chic local furniture store but she’s also the WOTV 4 Women crew member who shares advice on home decor. Read on to find out more about this amazing West Michigan entrepreneur.
Q1 – Describe your job and why you love it.
I own UBU Furniture, along with my brother Vic Machiela. I love that at UBU Furniture, I can fill the store with home furnishings that are anything but ordinary. Our mission is to help people make their home a place that is relaxing, refreshing and unique in ways that perfectly reflect their personality and work for the way their family lives. I guess the store ends up reflecting the values of my staff, because we are fun, creative, inspirational, and definitely high quality.
Q2 – Dig through you purse and tell us three must have items you found and 1 item you were surprised to find.
3 must items in my purse? SunBum Banana Lipbalm, My handy do-everything Swiss Army knife, Day-planner (I still use a paper one). My surprise item was a gift card to Byron Center Meats, which was a Christmas gift that I had forgotten about (yeah!)
Q3 – When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
I thought for sure I would be a Jazz Trumpeter and play in the ‘Tonight Show Band’ with Doc Severinson.
Q4 – What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Refuse to listen to the fear of trying something new or difficult. Each day has new opportunities to make your heart thrill, so look for those. You can’t always control the path or the pace, but keep going!
Q5 – What’s the job you’ve had (in your lifetime) that still gives you nightmares?
I can’t say that any job has been a nightmare, but the hardest times are when someone I’m responsible for is struggling and I am not able to help them out of their ditch.
Q6 – What’s the best thing you’ve done to advance your career?
Adjusting my perspective. When I’m stuck or discouraged, I imagine myself hovering above the problem and viewing it from a higher perspective.
Q7 – Flats or heels?
Flats, but make them fun.
Q8 – Crying at work? Okay or not okay?
Seriously? I work with all women. Crying is fine and so is an occasional glass of wine.
Q9 – Work/life balance? How do you make it work? What time do you “clock out”?
Wow. That speaks to the good & bad sides of owning a business. I don’t think that I ever ‘clock out’, but I make sure that there’s plenty of flexibility in my schedule to get outside and have some fun. I have a ‘roadmap’ that I try to live by that incorporates by beliefs, values, current state and the state I’d like to be in in the future. Reviewing my written focus areas helps to keep me from spinning my wheels too much.
Q10 – Eating lunch at your desk? A do or a don’t?
Sure. I’m a fan of multi-tasking. Unless I have a meeting, I always eat at my desk.
Q11 – What makes you grateful?
I ‘find’ my grateful when I have some alone time. I love going deep, in conversation, in relationships and in experiences. I am always grateful for the opportunity and energy to do that.
Q12 – What was your biggest blunder in a job interview? What did it teach you?
Wow. It’s been 35 years since I have had to interview for a job, but I remember having a lunch interview with a CPA firm and ordering a BBQ sandwich which was way too messy. Should definitely have chosen the salad….
Q13 – Describe your morning routine.
Summer is the best! I like to sit out on the deck and journal for a bit before hitting the ground running.
Q14 – Proudest career moment to date.
Making a great hire and watching her soar.
Q15 – What’s the most important thing in your life right now?
Being. Being connected with God so that I can build into relationships, enjoy each moment, and understand what living life to the full looks like.
Q16 – What time did you wake up today?
I think it was around 6:45.
Q17 – What’s the first thing you notice when you meet someone?
If their smile is reflected in their eyes.
Q18 – What are you reading right now?
I just finished ‘Exodus’ by Leon Uris and am in the middle of ‘Irresistible’ by Andy Stanley.
Q19 – In a typical day how many emails do you answer?
Seems like a get 100+, but only need to answer a dozen or so.
Q20 – What’s your favorite TV show?
I’ve been binge watching Blacklist and Star Trek: Enterprise this summer.
Q21 – What’s your favorite spot for a meeting in West Michigan?
Anyplace outdoors. A restaurant patio or maybe chat while walking through a park.
Q22 – What’s your favorite app?
I love sending fun videos on Marco Polo – mostly to my 20 month old grandson who lives on the west coast, because he can just hit my photo and play them over and over.
Q23 – What experience in life made you the most nervous?
I told myself I wasn’t nervous when I went skydiving for my 50th birthday. But then when I jumped, I realized I had forgotten to breathe. NOT GOOD. It’s very hard to take a good breath when you are falling at terminal velocity. I figure I’ll need to do it again so I can do it right.
Q24 – What’s one question you always ask in an interview?
What’s your vision? For this job, for this company, or maybe for what you want to be in 5 yrs.
Q25 – What’s the best part of your job?
Knowing that I am truly helping people to make their home their Happy Place – a place where they can relax and be refreshed.
If you want to learn more about Kris and UBU Home Furnishings you can watch all of her home decor tips here!
- UBU Home Furnishings
- Rivertown Crossings Mall 3700 Rivertown Pkwy #1052, Grandville, MI 49418
- Phone: (616) 532-0175
- Website: https://www.ubufurniture.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ubufurniture/
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