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cabi q&a: vice president of project management cheryl forbes

June 27, 2019

Today, we’re bringing you another behind-the-scenes interview with our Vice President of Project Management, Cheryl Forbes. She handles all things strategy related and makes sure our Stylists have all the tools necessary to bring style and ideas directly into the homes of so many women across the country (and beyond!). She has a lot on her plate between making sure everyone stays on budget and on schedule. And let us be the first to say, she does it all sowell! Telling people what to do is her forte—her words, not ours. But enough about work. Read on and get to know Cheryl personally to find out what her interests are outside of the office. We had a blast getting to chat with her and learn some quirky facts about her life (like that she chose a new birthday for herself!). She’s a hoot, and we know you’ll love her as much as we do by the end of this interview.

Juniper: Hi, cabi fans. We’re back with another cabi Q&A. Today we’re talking with Cheryl, our VP of Project Management in IT. We have such an incredible company of women here, and we have some amazing women here in our IT department, too, which is really cool. We would love to get to know Cheryl a little bit more today. Cheryl, tell us a little bit about what you do here at cabi.
Cheryl: Sure. Here in the IT Department, all strategy projects come through my group. What we’re responsible for doing is taking cabi strategies and making them come to life. It’s our job to make sure we’re on time, we’re on budget, we’re on schedule, and we’re delivering products and tools for Stylists to be able to do their job more easily.
Juniper: Awesome. Which trickles down to all of our wonderful clients and customers out there. Thank you for all you do. Lots going on in that brain up there. How long have you been here with us at cabi?
Cheryl: I’ve been here for six years. This is my seventh year.
Juniper: Wow.
Cheryl: I know. Time flies when you’re having fun.

Juniper: It sure does. Well, we would love to ask you just some fun, silly questions to get to know you a little bit better.
Cheryl: Sure.
Juniper: What is your favorite piece in the cabi Spring 2019 Collection?
Cheryl: The Wallis Cardigan. Look at these beautiful buttons. It’s a great color.
Juniper: It looks so good on you.
Cheryl: Thank you.
Juniper: Coffee or tea?
Cheryl: Grande cappuccino, skinny, extra hot.
Juniper: It’s all in the details, right? That’s the IT brain coming out. Do you have a favorite ice cream?
Cheryl: Cherry vanilla. Is there any other flavor?

cabi Clothing | Spring 2019 | cabi team Cheryl Forbes

Juniper: I’ve never had that. Do you have a go-to karaoke song?
Cheryl: Well, truth be told…singing is not my forte, and I am not allowed to sing in public like my husband is not allowed to dance in public. However, when “Dancing Queen” comes on by ABBA in my car, I belt it out with the windows up.
Juniper: That is a good one. Is he allowed to sing and you’re allowed to dance, then?
Cheryl: He sings to me all the time. He’s very cute.
Juniper: Awe, that’s sweet. Who knew this was going to turn into a cute romantic video? If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Cheryl: If I had a superpower, I would want to be the anointer of superpowers. If you want to be invisible, I could make you invisible.
Juniper: Ooh. We’d want to stay on your good side?
Cheryl: Right.
Juniper: You have the all power?
Cheryl: I have the super superpower.
Juniper: That’s a good one. It’s like when you ask a genie for more wishes.
Cheryl: Correct. I would be the genie.

Juniper: What movie makes you laugh or cry every time you watch it?
Cheryl: Big starring Tom Hanks. Love that movie.
Juniper: Love that. That’s a good throwback. Do you have a must-have beauty product?
Cheryl: Absolutely. Dermalogica Super Rich night cream. If I don’t put that on, I am dehydrated and a shriveled mess in the morning.
Juniper: I’ll have to try that. What do you do to relieve stress?
Cheryl: HIIT or high interval intensity training. 30 seconds on, 20 seconds off, 45 minutes straight.

cabi Clothing | Spring 2019 | cabi team Cheryl Forbes

Juniper: Wow, awesome. I’ve got to do HIIT. What was your first job?
Cheryl: I picked peppers in a pepper field when I was in high school.
Juniper: Where did you grow up?
Cheryl: I grew up in Rhode Island in a little town called Tiverton, which is two towns over from Newport, Rhode Island.
Juniper: Do you have a decade of style you gravitate towards?
Cheryl: I do. I loved the ’70s. The ’70s were all about skirts—long skirts, short skirts, miniskirts. I love skirts. That’s when I started wearing boots and miniskirts, and I came into my own.
Juniper: Cute. I like that. If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
Cheryl: That’s a really good question. The person I would pick is Linda Cohn. She is a female sports anchor that worked for Sports America Channel which was ESPN’s biggest competitor. She lived in this world of men and was the only female. I would love to have dinner with her to learn how she navigated through that for her entire career.
Juniper:  Wow. That is so interesting. I’ll have to look her up.
Cheryl: Yeah. She’s very cool.
Juniper: Cool. Good answer. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Cheryl: I would charter a boat and travel to the French Polynesia, no question.
Juniper: That sounds amazing. Where is your favorite place that you have traveled?
Cheryl: Kiawah Island in South Carolina. It’s this little oasis in South Carolina. The beaches are endless. It’s always warm. You can swim in October. It has amazing food, amazing beaches, and it’s a big-time R&R awesome place to go.

Juniper: That sounds fabulous. I love that. Name one thing you can’t live without.
Cheryl: My husband, my dog, and coffee…in that order.
Juniper: Aw. Okay, we’ll let you have three because those are good. Do you have any special skills?
Cheryl: Special skills? No, I don’t really have special skills, but I can tell you that I’m really good at telling other people what to do.
Juniper: That’s a good skill. You do it very well.
Cheryl: I am in litigation right now with Tina Fey for using my title for her autobiography, Bossypants.

cabi Clothing | Spring 2019 | cabi team Cheryl Forbes

Juniper: What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Cheryl: Oh, yeah. Best advice was, “Always do what you say you’re going to do, and whenever you can, hire people who are smarter than you.”
Juniper: Good. I love that.
Cheryl: It was really good advice.
Juniper: Have those been words to live by?
Cheryl: Always, because I have a reputation of being the dependable one. I always do what I say I’m going to do every time.
Juniper: That leads me to my next question. How do you think your friends would describe you?
Cheryl: Well, there’s the Cheryl at work, and then there’s the Cheryl outside of work.
Juniper: We want to know about Cheryl outside of work.
Cheryl: I’m very generous with my friends. I spend a lot of my free time with them, and I’m a very loyal friend, but everything has to be fun. If it’s not fun, I’m not doing it.
Juniper: What’s a quote that inspires you?
Cheryl: Steve Jobs said that it doesn’t make any sense to hire people who are smarter than you if you’re going to tell them what to do. They should be telling you what to do, which I thought was brilliant.
Juniper: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Cheryl: My younger self? Life’s a journey, and you need to stop working and have fun all along the way.
Juniper: Good words to live by.
Cheryl: Yeah, way easier said than done.
Juniper: So you’re saying whenever ABBA comes on, you dance and sing?
Cheryl: That’s right.
Juniper: This is kind of a hard one, but what’s the greatest experience you ever had?
Cheryl: Getting my MBA. That was a great experience. It was time management on steroids. It was tears. It was hard. It was fun. It was everything all in one, and I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world.
Juniper: Awesome.
Cheryl: Yeah. I have lifelong friends from that.
Juniper: If your life was a movie, what would the title be?
Cheryl: Everest against All Odds.
Juniper: That’s a good one. What’s something most people don’t know about you?
Cheryl: I moved my birthday.
Juniper: What?
Cheryl: I moved my birthday. I’m serious. It was at a very inconvenient time and so, I moved it. My in-laws, to this day, have no idea that I moved my birthday.
Juniper: That is amazing. Can I ask, when was your birthday?
Cheryl: My “technical” birthday was the day after Christmas. That’s horrible. People would give me presents, and it would say Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday. I would have to return them and tell them that they were two different holidays.
Juniper: When did you move your birthday to?
Cheryl: June 5.
Juniper: Okay. That’s great. It’s a biannual celebration.
Cheryl: No, just the single celebration on June 5th. I really do not celebrate my birthday ever. As a matter of fact, I forget that it’s my birthday. I’ll get a card in the mail from my parents, and I’ll go, “Oh, that’s right. Today’s my birthday.”
Juniper: What did your parents think about you moving it?
Cheryl: Well, they ignore me.
Juniper: That is amazing. How old were you when you decided to move your birthday?
Cheryl: I was in my late 20s.
Juniper: Okay. Are there a lot of people that actually think your new birthday is your real birthday?
Cheryl: Pretty much everybody. I just don’t tell them.
Juniper: It’s your life. I love it.
Cheryl: There are no rules around birthdays.
Juniper: I think this is an interesting bit of wisdom for anyone out there who doesn’t love that their birthday is right next to another holiday.
Cheryl: Correct.
Juniper: You have that freedom to choose.
Cheryl: That’s right. My husband’s birthday is two days after Valentine’s Day, which is always a challenge. We moved Valentine’s Day. You can never get a reservation, service is horrible on Valentine’s Day, and it’s not fun. We moved it to August 12. Valentine’s Day is August 12. It’s awesome.
Juniper: I love that. See, make your own rules.
Cheryl: Yes. Life is all about making your own rules.

Juniper: That’s right. And having fun along the way. What do you love the most about working here at cabi?
Cheryl: Cabi is all about giving people the freedom to do what they do really well, and that’s what has been fantastic about being here and being able to grow with cabi and grow all of the tools and services that we offer to everybody.
Juniper: That’s awesome. Well, you have an incredible team, and I know we are all so grateful for what you do for our Stylists and for our clients. We just couldn’t do it without you, obviously.
Cheryl: Thank you.

Juniper: Thank you for spending this time with me today. I know you’re busy. We’re going to let you get back to it.
Cheryl: Okay. Bye, cabi girls.

We always learn a thing or two from these interviews. Picking a different Valentine’s Day? We wish we would’ve thought of that years ago—thanks for the hot tip, Cheryl! We’ll definitely be stealing that one. Do you have an idea for another question we didn’t get to in this interview? Ask it in the comments below, and we’ll add it to the next edition!