It’s not always easy to find a career that’s a perfect match, but Amanda Catherell says that when she went to Alphagraphics Kansas City to interview for a customer service representative position, she knew she’d found a fit.
“I walked in and fell in love,” she says.
Amanda joined the Alphagraphics Kansas City team in April and started with tasks you’d typically associate with customer service: sales support, information intake, payment processing and front desk assistance. Yet as the company’s growth continues at a fast pace, Amanda recognized the opportunity to expand her role.
“Haley [Haar, owner] and Molly [Angle, community relations manager] gave me a chance to take on more sales, develop my book of business and work with my own accounts,” Amanda says. “I went pretty much into an inside sales role shortly after starting.”
And that’s where she’s discovered an unexpected connection to the printing industry. Prior to working at Alphagraphics Kansas City, Amanda ran an in-home bakery, specializing in 3-dimensional fondant cakes and inventive cupcake flavors. That experience deepened her inherent love of creativity, and it’s something she now enjoys developing with her clients.
“I love local artists and watching them come in with a dream of producing a project like a comic book,” she says. “I have that creative/artistic connection with them, and I love watching their reactions as a project comes to life. It’s rewarding to be a part of that because I know how important it is to see a creative idea become reality.”
In addition to her passion for creativity, Amanda says she loves to push herself—and that she doesn’t like comfort zones.
“If you settle in your comfort zone, you’re never going to get anywhere else,” she says.
That mindset has served her well at Alphagraphics Kansas City, especially in the last few weeks. While Haley is out on maternity leave (congratulations, Haley!), Amanda has stepped in to help with Haley’s accounts.
“It’s a pretty big deal—she handles a lot of our major accounts,” she says. “I’m bouncing back and forth between these responsibilities and my old role, just working to adapt.”
Yet Amanda thrives amid the fast pace, especially with what she calls “never-ending learning.”
“I learn every single day about the industry,” she says. “Whenever people ask me what we do at Alphagraphics, I say, ‘We do everything.’ People will call and ask the most random things and I have to go track down the answer—which, by the way, is typically, ‘We can do that!’”
Amanda describes the company culture as one of “constant growth,” which she says is a lot of fun. Her upbeat personality is one of many reasons she’s such a natural fit with the Alphagraphics Kansas City team—that, and her workday staple: laughter.
“I can’t get through the workday without laughing,” she says. “I need humor.”
Her lighthearted personality and experience in several industries—including restaurant management and sales—have instilled in Amanda the versatility that helps her thrive. And although some people might be intimidated to return to the workforce after several years balancing roles with a home-based business and as a stay-at-home mom to three kids, Amanda wholeheartedly embraced the challenge.
“I’m not going to stop,” she says. “That’s one thing that’s so positively reflected in this company: they have the same attitude and they’re continuing to grow. What I love is I know that, with Alphagraphics Kansas City, I have the opportunity to get where I want to be.”