StyleBlueprint Louisville wanted to profile a mother-daughter team in honor of Mother’s Day: Kathy Lintner and Meredith Metzmeier of Cartwheels. Kathy and Meredith have owned Cartwheels for two years now and created quite a name for themselves in the gift and stationery market. If you are a regular reader of SB Louisville, you know I am constantly coming across “Finds” at this store. Their success stems not only from their great selection of merchandise, but their rapport and relationships with people.
What made you decide to open up a business together?
Kathy: It was my husband’s suggestion, I had owned a business, sold it two years before and I missed it. The timing was better for Meredith, as her children were getting a bit older.
Kathy, you owned Watermark with Linda Stebbins for years. Then, you took five years off. Did you always know you would go back into retail?
Kathy: No, however, I was very happy when the opportunity to do it again came up.
How would you describe Cartwheels? You definitely have a niche in the gift market.
Kathy and Meredith: We like to think of Cartwheels as a unique, mother-daughter owned shop that specializes in unique gifts and stationery. We focus on uniqueness, quality and affordability in our product mix and our goal on a daily basis is for everyone involved with Cartwheels (our guests, the women who work with us and ourselves) to enjoy being here! Actually, our tagline is “FUN. SERIOUSLY!” and we ‘seriously’ intend for it to be fun and so far it is!
What is your favorite thing to do in your job?
Kathy: Without a doubt, for me, it is the interaction with others, and to be able to do this with my daughter is just the best of it all!
Meredith: I love working with people to design the perfect invitation or personal stationary. Each project is unique, which is so much fun.
What did you do in your former lives?
Kathy: I was a nurse. I started in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and ended at Humana Corporate.
Meredith: I was a special education teacher.
How do you achieve a balance with family and work?
Kathy: We’re still working on achieving that balance. The first two years of any business take a great deal of time. We’re lucky that our family works along with us. Meredith’s children and my other granddaughters help out (especially around Christmastime!). My son does our accounting and both of our husbands do some of the “heavy” lifting!
Meredith: Absolutely still working on it! We are super lucky to have wonderful women working with us, which gives us the time to be away from the shop and get to school plays, sporting events, etc.
As owners of a business, what is the best advice you received when you started?
Kathy and Meredith: KNOW who you are and what you want your business to be. Stay with what you know and love. Treat every single person you encounter the way you would want to be treated. It’s pretty simple really.
What feeling do you want your customers to leave with?
Kathy: That they had FUN. SERIOUSLY!
Is there a gift shop here or anywhere that you admire? Why?
Kathy: The Nest when it was on Lexington Road. It was always precious. I haven’t made it over to the “new” location, but I’m sure it’s adorable.
Meredith: I have always enjoyed shopping at the Ladybug. I went to college with the owner and she has such a great sense of style. Unfortunately I don’t get to her new location as often as I’d like.
What’s it like working with your daughter/your mother?
Kathy: It is wonderful.
Meredith: We have always worked well together. It’s pretty effortless.
What three words best describe you?
Kathy: honest, reliable, supportive.
Meredith: trustworthy, honest, optimistic.
Kathy, what is your favorite thing about Meredith?
She is a clear thinker, honest and kind.
Meredith, what is your favorite thing about your mom?
She gives really great advice and always has.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
Kathy: I have a secret passion to be a portrait painter.
Meredith: I recently started playing tennis and enjoy it so much I wish I could play every day:)
What are you reading right now?
Kathy: The Long Journey Home.
What is your favorite thing in Louisville?
Kathy: The Ohio River.
Meredith: Going to see a show at the Kentucky Center for the Arts.
What is your favorite thing in your closet right now?
Kathy: August Gold sandals.
Meredith: My Antonio Melani sundress.
What is your favorite thing to do on a night off?
Kathy: Dinner and a movie with my husband. Or, watch grandchildren play sports if they have a game.
Meredith: Have a date night at Jack’s.
Name three things you can’t live without (excluding family, friends and God.)
Kathy: my wedding ring, manicures, laptop
Meredith: my wedding/engagement ring, iPhone, mascara
A BIG Thank You to Cartwheels for taking time out of their busy schedules to do this photo shoot and our interview. We did the photo shoot the Wednesday before Derby. How’s that for scheduling? As always, they were gracious and affable even with customers streaming in and out. To link to their website, click here, or visit them in Chenoweth Square.
And an even BIGGER Thank You to Adele and Sean Reding, our photographers, for shooting this beautiful piece the week of Derby. They make our nervous “subjects” so at ease during these shoots and really always capture their best. They help show our FACES as the truly beautiful women they are, month after month. I would highly highly recommend Adele Reding Studio; StyleBlueprint only uses “the Best of the Best” and they absolutely qualify as that. To see photos from behind-the-scenes, click here.