Meet the Calico Cats!
Janeen Cunningham has been the owner of the Calico Cat for almost 40 years. She is avidly committed to historic preservation of downtown business districts, and has been active on both a local and state level. She and her husband, Glen, own Uptown Forum and operate it as Greenville’s informal small business incubator.
Janeen’s love of unique clothing and accessories, especially ethnic or wearable art, has led to a fashion sense that is appreciated by her customers, who come from all over Northeast Texas to shop with her. As an early retailer of Brighton belts, handbags, accessories and shoes, she has been in the forefront of innovative retailing of Brighton, and is frequently called upon by the company to share her many ideas with others.
“My favorite thing about the Calico Cat is the atmosphere of ‘give and receive’ that we have with our regular customers and staff. I consider all of them dear friends. I love the fact that the shop is full of laughter all the time. I am delighted that both customers and staff tell me they’ve never been anyplace that’s so much fun.”
Janeen’s influence on the Greenville community has been remarkable. She is one of the founders of Greenville Follies, a musical-comedy revue that has raised over $600,000 for various community projects. In 2009, she started Bras for the Cause, which benefits Janice’s Closet, a service for breast cancer patients, and helped purchase the Tubby Adkisson Mobile Mammography Unit for Hunt Regional Healthcare. She serves on the Greenville Board of Development and is active in Downtown Greenville projects.
Janeen also loves entertaining the families of her daughter, Melissa and son, Scott, playing with her two grandchildren and traveling. She and husband Glen love to travel, especially on tours that offer a glimpse of the culture of a country. “I want to see more than landmarks – I want to meet people from the country and learn how they live. I love the local markets and trying local cuisine. There’s so much to learn when you travel that way.”
Mary Ramsey has been at the Calico Cat “on and off since the 1980’s.” She is responsible for the wonderful displays and clever touches that make the shop the special place that it is. “I love expressing my creativity, working with fun people and creating a great look for our customers.” Mary’s sense of fashion started early. She says, “From the age of four, I wanted my clothes to be wrinkle-free and I’d cry if my socks didn’t match.” Off-hours, she enjoys scrap booking, bridge, cooking, shopping and spending time with husband, Steve, and the families of their 3 children.
Glenda Drake became a Calico Cat staff member in September, 2005, upon moving to Greenville from Tulsa, OK, where she was a fashion sales associate for Saks Fifth Avenue. “I enjoy the freedom that I have to help our customers look and feel pretty,” she says. “The atmosphere is always upbeat and fun. And the integrity in the management is above and beyond anything I have witnessed in my years of sales.” After hours, she enjoys reading and spending time with her grandchildren. Recently, Glenda was honored for a second time by Brighton as one of the top salespeople in the country. She received a trip to California to tour the Brighton headquarters. “It was a fabulous experience! I knew Brighton was a special company, but this opportunity made me especially proud to sell their merchandise.”
Dianna Mays joined the Calico Cat in January of 2005, after retiring from her job as a hairdresser. As the owner of Headlines Hair Co., in Greenville, she was a regular customer at the Calico Cat for many years. “My husband said that I shopped here 2 days a week, so I might as well work here 3 to 4 days a week and stay out of his hair.” Dianna says that the best thing about working at the Calico Cat is seeing all the beautiful new merchandise come in, “It’s like opening Christmas packages every day!” Dianna has a busy life away from work with husband, Truett, 4 children, 9 grandchildren, and 2 Ragdoll cats.
Ana Osornio is a student at Texas A&M-Commerce. She started working at Calico Cat when she was a student at Greenville High School. Ana serves at the store’s “Brighton Stylist” and has responsibility for merchandising Brighton handbags and jewelry.”This is my first job in retail and I am loving the experience,” she says. “Everyone is so nice and happy to help me learn. And I get to work with the most beautiful handbags and jewelry.” She also uses her computer skills to help with store signs, product information and other marketing projects.
Barb Melvin moved to the Greenville area from Syracuse, NY. “My father and brother were already living here, and I decided to join them. I’ve always ridden horses (in fact she was the New York Western Pleasure State Champion just a few years ago), so my horse came along, too,” she says. “I wanted to meet people and saw the posting on facebook for the job at Calico Cat. I spent 23 years in the corporate world and learned all about the importance of teamwork. Nothing beats the team here – they are dedicated to making the customers feel special.”
Beth Lewis began her shopping experience with Calico Cat 31 years ago when she bought her daughter a Raggedy Ann doll. “Over the years I found my signature style with the help of the Cats: Flax, Match Point, Roots & Wings are just some of the lines I love. As a result of becoming an empty-nester, I found my place here at Calico Cat and now I get to pay it forward and help others find their style!”
Amanda Green is the newest Calico Cat, having moved to the Hunt County area after her husband retired from a military career. She is responsible for making sure that all the just-arrived clothing is ready for you to try on. “I’m lucky because I get to see everything as it arrives and I love the opportunity to admire the beautiful fashions up close.” When not at Calico Cat, Amanda is a busy mom with three kids who are in school in Lone Oak.
Lorena Otero is a student at Greenville High School and works part-time at Calico Cat. She helps with gift-wrap, display and back room support. In addition to being an honor student at GHS, Lorena is a member of the Destination Imagination Performance team, which recently placed 6th at the World Championships.