Who is Sherril Rankin?
The New Owner of Royal Orchid Thai Spa & Hair Salon.
Hi Sherril. You have just left the corporate world after many years, can you give us your background in that world?
“Hi, yes, I must say things have happened at a rapid rate. I’m still reeling! Last month I was heading up a department at Regent Insurance, and now I’m here at Royal Orchid. As an owner. I’m still pinching myself.”
What did you do at Regent?
“My role there was Marketing Acting General Manager. I know that doesn’t sound descriptive, but basically my team was an internal marketing and design agency for the Regent group. All marketing and design needs are coordinated and orchestrated by my team.”
You’ve been in the marketing world for a long time. Tell us about that.
“I am proud to have been a part of the advertising and marketing industry for my entire working career. The experience I have gained has been invaluable in my career backbone, as well as in my own personal growth. Looking back, starting from my first job at Party Rentals, I have been involved in Events and Marketing coordination in some way. Planning, deadlines, getting things done. That’s me in a nutshell. Getting things done.”
Your CV notes that you were Traffic Manager for some large Advertising Agencies. At JWT and Quirk Jozi. What does that mean?
“People have often joked about me being a Traffic Lady – no, I did not write tickets. But the actually, the description is almost accurate. When a job comes in to the agency, for example a TV Commercial, it would be my responsibility to plan all the steps of the execution. From start to finish. With so many moving parts, there has to be a central department responsible for making sure things get done. In time and on budget. Part of that is soothing egos. Understanding people and motivating people is central to a smooth operation. Teamwork is everything”
How does all this translate into being a Spa and Hair Salon owner? I mean, isn’t this a huge departure from the marketing world?
“Of course it may seem that way. But to my mind the similarities are closer than you think. There are many things I need to learn, but I’ve been there before. In the marketing world, you get to work with all kinds of clients. From dog food to cell phones. One has to learn fast. I can do this.”
Customer experience is my number one priority! It is vital that all our customers receive the best experience we can offer.
What is your first priority as the new owner of Royal Orchid?
“Customer experience is my number one priority! It is vital that all our customers receive the best experience we can offer. To do this I have taken a long hard look at what I want our values to be. I want to ensure that the little details and small quirks that are so important to me is maintained. Royal Orchid must be a happy place for our clients, and our staff. I want to learn from my staff members. More importantly, I want to learn from my customers.”
My sources tell me you’re a tough cookie. Yet fair. And well respected for that. Do you agree?
“Oh! Well I’m glad they qualified that. I cannot say I’m one to talk about myself, but I suppose that my career does require me to be tough yet fair. Otherwise how can one be respected? Ha ha. But honestly if tough means that getting things done the right way and on time while motivating people with fairness – then yes. I’m a tough cookie. If the job gets done. And the team works well. Then by all means I’m happy with that.”
Royal Orchid has won industry awards in the past. There are rumours that you may be gunning for more. Is that true?
“It comes down to this: If customers are getting true value for their money, and that means they get a wonderful experience from the top of their head to their toes, then yes, the awards will come. Focus on that. They are the ones who matter. If recognition for excellence follows, it just means that we’re doing things right.”
Will you be making big changes to achieve your goals?
“If things aren’t broke, don’t fix it! I think those are words to live by. But to answer your question, I’ll be in learning mode for a few weeks, watching and taking things in. If what I see doesn’t align with my principles, then yes, changes will happen. I want this place to be a haven of happiness, a place where everything is in harmony. If I can, with the help of my staff, make things better, then changes will happen.”
It comes down to this: If customers are getting true value for their money, and that means they get a wonderful experience from the top of their head to their toes, then yes, the awards will come. Focus on that. They are the ones who matter. If recognition for excellence follows, it just means that we’re doing things right.
Thank you for your candidness Sherril. I wish you all the best and I’m sure, given your track record, that you’ll take Royal Orchid Thai Spa to new levels of excellence. Are there any parting words?
“Thank you. Yes, I suppose that if there is one thing I would would like everyone to know, is that owning a spa and beauty salon has been a long time dream. It’s a new beginning for me. In more ways than one. It happened sooner than I was planning. But circumstances played its hand and the opportunity presented itself – so I decided the time was right. I love this place. I really want to make it the best. Onwards and upwards.”