We had the good fortune of connecting with Jerri Roush and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jerri, what do you want your legacy to be?
I would love for my legacy to be that What to Wear Boutique was a warm, welcoming small business that stood the test of time and became a key part of the fabric of the Flying Horse and surrounding communities. A place for locals and tourists to shop, enjoy a glass of wine and a little laughter. I would want people to remember that I was kind, generous in giving back to the community, fun-loving and of course that I had a keen eye for fashion 🙂
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I feel very fortunate for the career journey I have had, it was difficult at times but I have had incredible opportunities and experiences over the past 30 plus years. I started in sports marketing and event management right out of college running predominately professional tennis tournaments on the ATP tour and traveling all over the country and a bit internationally. At that time, I became the youngest Tournament Director at the age of 26 on the ATP Tour, an accomplishment I am extremely proud of. In 1998, I moved to Colorado Springs, knowing one person, to take a job with the US Olympic Committee where I worked for 12 years as the Managing Director of Meetings and Event Services. In my time there, I played a key role in the start of the USA House Business & Hospitality Center that grew over time to a highly regarded venue at the Olympics. It was my baby and probably one of the most rewarding professional successes due to having to adapt to different countries and cultures to execute the program . In 2010, I went out on my own and started JRoush Events and continue to do many projects in the sports arena; USA Swimming Hospitality House at the Olympic Trials, programs at the London & Rio Olympics, World Cup & Gold Cup Soccer and more. My event business also lead me to great local partnerships with Discover Goodwill and the Rocky Mountain Chapter of AFCEA that I have been doing events with now for 4-7 years respectively and truly cherish these relationships and being able to do more in our community. Simultaneously, my husband and I were discussing the idea of opening What to Wear as we started to see the commercial construction begin in the Flying Horse Community (we live in Flying Horse). My sister Jill owns the original What to Wear in our hometown, Edwardsville, IL (for 13 years) and I loved going there every time I went back home. It is an awesome neighborhood boutique and I wanted to try and recreate our version of that here in Colorado! In 2017, Steve and I decided to take the plunge and we contracted for the space at the Shoppes at Flying Horse and began our journey into retail. We celebrated our 3rd birthday in September and even though we have had setbacks with COVID I am determined to keep our doors open! The store brings together three key elements for me; my marketing background, my events background and my love for fashion. As for my brand they are both a reflection of myself. I am creative, extremely detailed, passionate and have the ability to make other peoples visions (and my own) come to fruition in both event management and fashion. I think the one word that could best describe me through all of my experiences is resilient.
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.
My list would be the following in no particular order, we might be eating the whole time :-): * US Olympic & Paralympic Museum * US Olympic & Paralympic Training Center * The Incline * Air Force Academy * Cheyenne Mountain Zoo * Flying Horse Steakhouse Bar or Patio * Garden of the Gods (hike)/Garden of the Gods Resort – the view is breathtaking and in my opinion the best in the city * Broadmoor – a walk around the pond, eat at any of these great restaurants. the Summit, The Golden Bee, Del Lago * Downtown COS – The Famous (drinks at the bar), Terra Verde, StreetCar 520, Lucky Dumpling, Shuga’s * Old Colorado City – Eve’s Revolution, McKenzie & West, Sopra, Pizzeria Rustica * University Village – Ambli (Tuesday Happy Hour), Fabrik, Urban Egg (Breakfast), Cowboy Star
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My rock of a husband, my incredible parents and 3 amazing sisters are definitely the foundation to my success. I wouldn’t have started either of my businesses without their encouragement and support. I am fortunate to come from a very close knit family and parents that encouraged all of us girls to pursue our dreams. However, there are many people along the way that impacted where I am today and to name a few: my high school field hockey coach, Sharon Petty, my college field hockey coach, Lil Fesperman from them I learned discipline, time management, team work and dedication. Kari Mutscheller, one of my bosses at ProServ who taught me about budgets and that you do have to spend money to make money and twinkle lights make any event better! Matt Mannelly (former CMO at USOC), Barbara Davidson (my assistant at the USOC), Allan Bell (Business Development Manager at Henriksen Butler), Frank Puleo (Owner, Framboise Catering) & Jan Katzoff (Owner, Sportsmark) from my Olympic Days – these individuals left a lasting impression on me all in very different ways that helped me become the professional and now business owner I am today.
The image of me alone in the animal print sweater I bought the rights from Wendy Pierce Nelson of Blue Fox Photography but would love for you to note her if you use it. Hard to choose photos if you think I am missing something or these don’t communicate my story well enough please let me know.