If you live around the Albany, NY area, chances are you’ve been to Dove + Deer. This delicious restaurant is a newly restored bar in one of Albany’s oldest neighborhoods and is one of my personal favorites. Recently, one of the owners from Dove + Deer restored and opened another restaurant, Rosanna’s, an Italian-American historic gem. This same owner of these two amazing restaurants also happens to be the President and CEO of the Albany based print and mail company, The Mail Works. Talk about a triple-threat!
Brianne Baggetta is the powerhouse entrepreneur, businesswoman and #girlboss behind these three thriving companies. She’s a go-getter who’s motivated to keep her Albany neighborhood fresh, lively and growing. If you haven’t visited her restaurants, I’d suggest you do so soon. You’re guaranteed a great meal and refreshing drinks in a relaxing yet fun environment.
Name: Brianne Baggetta
Businesses: The Mailworks, Dove + Deer & Rosanna’s
Established Years: 1984, 2018, 2020
Tell me more about YOU, the dedicated and hardworking Girl Boss behind the business.
I was born and raised in Albany, NY, so this is a city I’m very passionate about.
When I was little, I remember going to Lake George and dreaming about one day buying a lake house. That dream and my love of the area has motivated me for as long as I can remember.
Flash forward to today, and I am still very dedicated to my hometown and helping others see why this is such a great place to live. Specifically, I’m passionate about Albany’s historic Center Square. It’s one of the oldest areas of our country and filled with rich history. I am raising my daughters here which makes the neighborhood even more special to me.
When we aren’t at home, we love to go to Lake George in the summer and skiing in Vermont during the winter. I feel grateful that my success in business has allowed me to give my girls the life that I have always dreamed of having. These shared experiences together in the areas I love motivates me to keep going.
Tell us more about your business and how you became a Girl Boss.
Growing up, I had no idea what I wanted to be. I had big aspirations for the success I wanted to achieve but–like most young people–I lacked a clear vision for how to get there. Luckily for me, I had a great role model: my mom. She started The Mailworks, a direct mail and printing company, back in 1984. It was inspiring to grow up witnessing my mother achieve success as an entrepreneur and business woman.
When I turned 23, I decided to go and work for her full-time. As much as I wanted to follow in her footsteps, I also knew it was important that I forge my own path. I worked tirelessly and was able to diversify our product offerings. It was around that time that I became President of the company at the age of 28.
During my time at The Mailworks, we have executed 2 successful acquisitions of Hearing Aid Marketing and LTM Marketing. These acquisitions were a great addition to The Mailworks portfolio and really strengthened our revenue streams. We have also tripled our revenue from when I started as President.
This spring, I achieved a personal goal of mine that I have been working towards for over a decade: I purchased both companies at the age of 36. I’m now President & CEO, and I love working alongside the incredible team that we have assembled.
In addition to these companies, I am also a partner at Dove + Deer and Rosanna’s, which are both restaurants in Albany’s historic Center Square neighborhood. In this role, I oversaw the concept, interior design, marketing strategies and construction management of the restaurants. Since they are located in the neighborhood where I live, they are a great source of passion and pride for me.
What does it mean to you to be a #GIRLBOSS?
This is an interesting question. At 28, I might have answered it very differently. As a female CEO, I’ve thought a lot about the role of women in the workplace. I actually prefer the term BOSS to GIRLBOSS because I don’t want my success to be defined by my gender.
I think that many people mistaken leadership as something that is handed to you with a job title or promotion. But that isn’t the case. Leadership is earned.
It takes a lot of time and energy to cultivate leadership skills. It’s only when others regard you as a true leader that you earn the right to call yourself a BOSS.
In the past, I have had to fight everyday to be taken seriously. That is no longer the case. With over 100 people under my employment, I have earned the recognition that I need to show up and be a leader. I am the boss because they say I am. It’s not self proclaimed.
What do you love most about running your own business and being a Girl Boss?
I love the personal responsibility that I am given to create my own reality. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a goal or vision come to fruition. Even better, I get to share those successes with my incredible team.
But this level of responsibility is a double-edged sword. When business is good, that’s great. But there are also times when business is down, which is very stressful.
At the end of the day, I have an entire team counting on me and my ability to drive business. The incredible highs and scary lows are a roller coaster ride that I will always be up for.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in being a business owner?
COVID-19 has been the biggest challenge that I have had to face as a business owner. We had to lay off 52 people in 2 days. It was one of the most horrific experiences of my life. I’m grateful that we’ve been able to bring most of these employees back, but the pain is still there.
As terrible as that experience was, it definitely wasn’t the first obstacle in my career. I’ve had lots of goals and ideas. Some work out, and others don’t. It hurts the ego, but at the end of the day I’m a firm believer in viewing these experiences as learning opportunities–not as failures.
Is there a moment during your career that stands out to you and validates your decision to become a Girl Boss?
This is a difficult question to answer. For me, I don’t think I chose to become this. It’s something that I was raised to become because of who my mother is. I can’t imagine a better role model, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her.
There are so many memories from my childhood that drove me to be the leader that I am today.
I remember spending time at the business after school, and seeing how my mother was constantly working hard. She’s the one who taught me that to get a dollar, you have to earn a dollar.
What advice would you give to aspiring Girl Bosses?
Never underestimate the power of positivity. I’m a big believer in words of affirmation. As a leader, it’s my responsibility to build others up. In return, this lifts me up too. A rising tide lifts all boats.
I would also urge other leaders to avoid hiring family and friends. 8/10 times, I have ended up getting personally hurt. I think this is because you can’t be a good boss and a good friend at the same time. Ultimately, these two roles clash and you could end up losing an employee or a friend, sometimes both. I would do anything for the people I love, but my role as a leader always has to come first because my businesses are for my family.