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Small Business Spotlight—Carol Troxell

Carol Troxell, President and CEO, Rescor Companies; Owner, L’Attitude Boston Boutique. Boston, MA

Carol is the President and CFO of Rescor Companies, which owns and operates Sprinkle’s Ice Cream, Quincy’s Place, Lil Peeps Candy Kiosk, Kilvert & Forbes Bakeshop in Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace. She is also owner of the newly opened L’Attitude Boston Boutique. Troxell co-founded Boston nonprofit ‘Pitching in for Kids’ which provides funds to enhance the lives of children across New England. She is President of the Faneuil Hall Merchant Association Board of Directors which is responsible for the marketing initiatives at Faneuil Hall Marketplace and also for representing the views and concerns of the merchants to the landlord and to the City of Boston.

1. What advancements have you seen women make in your industry in the last few years?

Over the past decade, I have noticed more and more women taking the plunge along with the risk of starting their own businesses. I remember back in the 1980’s when it was a common occurrence to see women ‘passed over’ for promotions for male candidates. We have made tremendous progress; I feel more respected as a woman business owner than ever. The playing field has leveled, and that’s a really great thing for current and aspiring women business owners.

2. What do you see as the greatest challenge to women in your field?

The greatest challenge in my opinion is to remain at the ‘quarterback’ position; rely on and trust in your team to execute the company’s goals, and provide feedback both positive and negative. Owning a business and managing your life can be such a challenge, but it is important to allow those around you to take responsibility for achieving the end goal and owning that success with you.

3. What are your tips for achieving work-life balance?

After a battle with cancer at age 44, I learned to make time for the things I enjoy doing like spending time with family and friends. A good business person must take vacations completely away from what they are doing. Resting the mind and body and getting away from the day to day freshens your spirit and allows you to refocus. It is also helpful to love what you do, because then living and working at times are one in the same.

4. What is your favorite forum for networking and making authentic connections with other professional women?

At Faneuil Hall Marketplace, there are over 100 different businesses. Knowing many of my fellow merchants and discussing business with them has helped my growth tremendously. Also, working within my charitable organization, Pitching in for Kids, has connected me with professionals outside of my industry and broadened my exposure.

5. What advice do you give to young women just starting their careers?

The best advice I have to offer is to set up a team of people with a similar work ethic to your own.

This enables the energy to always continue, even when you yourself aren’t at your best.

6. Do you have a mentor or a sponsor, or are you a mentor to other professional women? What is the greatest benefit you’ve received from this relationship?

I have a mentor at Faneuil Hall who has operated a shop for 35 years. I mostly mentor our employees and work with them to find work within their training. We employee many college age students so if I can help them along the way, I do. It is rewarding to see young people find a home in their field.

7. What is the most fearless thing you have done professionally and/or personally and what did you gain from that experience?

I started in this business as an assistant manager at Steve’s Ice Cream. When I was given the opportunity to be a part-owner, I called my best friend from high school who was a Dr. during a Nor ‘Easter on a February day to ask him if he would be willing to assist me financially in the opportunity. The answer was yes. Less than two years later, I was buying several businesses and taking on the growing financial responsibilities of the enterprise which now has five businesses and plans for a sixth to open in spring 2012.