Staff Profile: Sandy Sorensen

February 3, 2010

How long have you worked for Mama Goose and what do you do?

I have been at Mama Goose in some capacity since 2003, and I’ve been Assistant Manager since 2008.

How did you land at The Goose?

I’m a treasure hunter.  As soon as I discovered the Goose, I was in there once or twice a week with my little bag of things to trade.  As Kelly constantly reminds me, I had a knack for discovering the one or two under-priced items in the entire store and purchasing them immediately.  After a few months of shopping trips, Michelle (the previous co-owner), suggested that I start doing some seasonal, fill-in work as a Goose employee.  I did that for the next 4+ years, taking breaks for newborn babies and an extended trip to Oregon. Shortly after my return following the birth of my fifth child, I was schmoozed into a part-time job share position working 8 hours a week, which, as is known to happen at the Goose, gradually increased to full-time.  I became Assistant Manager when the Big Goose opened in June 2008.

What is your favorite part of the job?

Hands down, the people – the people I work with, the people that come into the store — I love them all! It gives me great satisfaction to know that I can help a new mom who is confused about diapering, or potty training, or how to work one of those crazy looking sling things.  Like we’re always saying, Mama Goose is more than just a retail establishment. It is a community-gathering place. Through events, story times, arts shows, playtime and everyday shopping people are brought together to share in the joy of child rearing. It really never feels like work to me.

What are your favorite products?

My favorite new “every mom must have” product is the bamboo washcloth from Punkin-butt!  Other new products that I frequently purchase as gifts are Under the Nile veggies (mostly the grapes), QTpi corn/rice bags, and funky new socks and tights from DP and Country Kids.

My favorite product to monitor and shop for obsessively are used shoes.  I love finding amazing used shoes for my kids and I love to offer the same to our customers.

Do you have a favorite or funny Goose moment?

There are so many…I love going to work everyday because I know I am going to laugh a lot.

Staff meetings, parties, and days that Kelly is on the floor provide enough humor for all of us to bust out randomly in laughter throughout the year. She is hilarious!  I can recall 3 instances when Kelly has made me laugh so hard that I had to remove myself from the floor for a timeout.

Then, there are the kids.  More than half the people that walk through our doors everyday are 8 years old or younger. Girl turns purple while maintaining a death grip on Big Bird when her mom tries to remove it from her tiny arms in order to purchase it, child strips down to nothing in the corner while mom is shopping and streaks through the store for 20 minutes before mom notices, frequent little customer comes in weekly in Underoos and rain boots, older boy tries out Heelys in the store and knocks down the entire dance clothes rack … the list goes on.

And the staff… we are always playing little jokes on each other (although, come to think of it, I might be the ring leader of these little pranks more often than I’d thought….hmm.)  Here is one such story:

One morning Alisha and I were opening and stocking the buying drawers, which we do twice a day (really, Kelly, we do!  Promise!) We found some stick-on nametags left over from one of the children’s art shows, the cheesy “Hi, My Name Is…” kind, and decided to play a joke on Julie, who was about to walk through the door for her shift.  So, we filled out nametags, put them on, and informed Julie that there was a new store policy — that Kelly had proclaimed that we were all to wear nametags at all times.  Just as we’d suspected, Julie was less than enthused about prominently displaying a name-tag on her carefully put together, well accessorized outfit for the day, but she complied, grumbling throughout the morning, “At least we could have made cute name tags,” and “I feel like I am at a conference.” The funniest moment was when someone, in an act that had never before happened and has never occurred again, leaned over the buying counter and shook her hand, in a “thanks for doing business with me” kind of way.  Julie, of course, attributed the action to the nametag she was wearing!  As the day wore on, we eventually confessed and all had a good laugh.

Tell the truth — both you and your husband look freakishly fabulous for having five children.  What’s your secret?

We are vampires.

Ok, maybe not. We started having kids when we were young, energetic, and overly enthusiastic; when anything was possible, and nothing was impossible. Other than that, it is just by God’s grace that anyone would suggest that we look freakishly fabulous.

What’s the biggest challenge in having such a large brood?

Keeping track of events & activities, and then getting there on time looking somewhat “freakishly fabulous.”

Do you have a favorite children’s book?

I have way too many to list — don’t all home schooling moms? *

*Blogling note:  Four out of five of Sandy’s kids are home-schooled, and the fifth just started public school this year.

What is your favorite business in Ithaca other than MG?

My favorite local business is Tuff Soul. If I actually had extra money to spend on myself, I would be in there every day!  My favorite non-local businesses are Wegman’s and the Salvation Army.

Do you have a group, club, organization, blog or business that you’d like to introduce and link to?

I am in love with the youth group at our church where I am a volunteer leader. I have learned so much about myself through the kids and I love that they keep me feeling young and on my toes! Here’s our Facebook page, BG Youth Ministry, if you want to check it out.

Here’s what some other goslings have to say about Sandy:

Meryl

Dude, she’s totally a vampire.  That makes perfect sense.

Kelly

I always go to Sandy when I need help with….

Anything where an engineer’s mind would be useful (almost everything) and anything sales floor related.* Is there a size where we have more bottoms than tops? Is there a size that is flying out the door as fast as we get it in? Sandy can tell you. You could ask Sandy the same questions as they apply to two years ago, and she could answer that too.

*Blogling note:  Sandy has a degree in plastics engineering.

What I respect most about Sandy is…

Her ability to stay up-beat and keep on truckin’. I think she’s one of the most mentally healthy people I know.

If Sandy were an animal, she’d be…

A gazolphine – half dolphin, half gazelle.

If I were stranded on a deserted island, it would be great to have Sandy along because….

She’d slap me when I started to whine.

Gwynne

I always go to Sandy when I need help with….

Anything in my life.  Seriously:  boyfriend, parents, acne, periods, colds, food, and everything at Mama G.

Sandy is the authority on….

most things in the world, but especially diapers.

Whenever I work with Sandy, I can count on her to….

find things for me to do, fun or not so fun.

In a world without Sandy….

Mama Goose would not look the same, run the same, or be nearly as incredible!

-The Geese at the Goose

Five Sorensens, one bed

A Mama Sandy moment

It's not easy being Noah... the lone boy in the midst of four sisters

One of these things is not like the other.... Gabriella, Elise, and Emma pictured with an outisder who is fascinated by the Sorensen phenomenon

Sandy looks on nonchalantly as eldest child Kelsey bakes muffins... just another day in the life of the Goose's resident supermama

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2 Responses to “Staff Profile: Sandy Sorensen”

  1. maya Says:

    Ackkk! This was one of the best interviews of ANYONE I’ve ever read! Sandy, not only looks freakishly fabulous, she just IS freakishly fabulous!!


  2. Thanks, Maya! With an interviewee like Sandy, how could anyone go wrong?


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