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Featured Women

Inspirational Women in Their Prime: Cheryl Roth

Cheryl Roth went to college at Ohio University. She was a stay-at-home mom of twin boys for 15 years until almost 20 years ago when she started working for Soft Surroundings with the founder Robin Sheldon. Although not having much experience in the corporate world, Cheryl  loved fashion and art and found that fashion was a type of creative outlet for her. “To me, the way people dress can also be an artistic expression. I love when people are not afraid to take risks and to pull themselves together in unexpected ways. I have been lucky and very fulfilled to have a career where I can use my creativity everyday.”

We asked Cheryl a few questions so we could all get to know her better.

What is your elevator speech introduction of yourself?

Hi, I’m Cheryl Roth. I am an artist/designer who landed a great job in a ladies clothing business late in my career. After my boys were in high school, I seized an opportunity that changed my life. I was offered a dream job as a buyer, and moved to St. Louis.

I love design and was able to grow with an amazing brand from the ground up to become the VP of design. After 19 years I still absolutely love what I do. I’m always searching the globe for the “next best thing.” It’s that search that really keeps me going and excites me.

I am really connected and very close to my large family. They are what make me most happy. I am married to my high school sweetheart. I have handsome, successful adult twin boys. One has given me 3 beautiful grandchildren that I adore and love spending time with. The other has given me an amazing daughter-in-law.

I recently lost my father who was a great source of inspiration to me and that has been very hard. I talk to him everyday and wait for his words to come back to me as they often do when I need him the most. He instilled in me what it takes to never give up and to reach for your dreams.

Describe your morning routine.

I am an early riser, I feel my best in the quiet hours of the day before the world wakes up. I have a cup of coffee, then I work out at least 5 days a week. I split my workouts between walking, cycling and yoga. I like to read a quick devotional or repeat a meditative mantra just before I leave my house for the day to set my mind in a place for positive action.

Did you have a mentor or person who influenced you early in your career?

Robin Sheldon (founder of Soft Surroundings) has been my mentor for most of my adult creative life. She encouraged me as an artist who was exploring all types of medium from jewelry design to painting and lithography. She believed in me very much. When she conceived of the Soft Surroundings Concept she asked me to join her. I had little catalog experience when I asked her why me? She said you’ve just “got it.” I am forever grateful she took a chance on me.

When have you been most satisfied in your life?

My life in general has been very satisfying. I have had so many amazing experiences and had some very meaningful relationships along the way. I feel like I have accomplished a lot.

I am the most satisfied when I am with my family, whether it’s just my husband and myself looking at the water from our dock in Florida, quiet snuggles with my grandchildren or at my large, wild family gatherings. My family is what satisfies me most.

What is your favorite thing about your work now?

Seeing the final product that has taken months sometimes years to create on a model or on the sales floor. Especially when the style was started from a concept in my mind or from a tiny swatch of fabric.

My second favorite thing is when that same style sells like crazy!

My third favorite thing about work is the amazing people who make up the Soft Surroundings family. It is such a special group who really care about each other. It makes it easy to go to work every day.

What do you not like doing?

I do not like reading spreadsheets!!!

What keeps you awake at night?

When the people I love are struggling with something.

What’s on your nightstand / on your iPhone/iPad?

I have devotional / inspirational books and a photo of myself with my father on my night stand.  They help me put myself in the right state of mind for sleeping, they give me strength, love and help me release any negative or stressful thoughts. They help me focus on the positives and bring me back to what’s really important.

I have some different Personal Growth and Leadership books on my iPad, Like Emotional Intelligence 2.0. I am always trying to improve myself!!!

Name a product you can’t live without.

Sunscreen!

What’s your spirit animal and why?

My spirit animal is the owl. It represents a deep connection to wisdom and intuition. The owl spirit represents the ability to see things that are usually hidden to most. The owl encourages me to explore the unknown.

Do you have a quote, mantra or meditation that inspires you?

My heart is open…please come into my heart and give me peace.

I say this to myself in conjunction with mindful breathing. It really relaxes and grounds me.  Simple but powerful.

Tell us something that might surprise people about you.

I love fly fishing!

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