First cultivating her skills with an Associate of Science in paralegal studies, Becky S. Friedman is the owner of Fireplace Outlet, Inc., which she began out of the back of van alongside her husband. Today, they operate out of two locations and provide installation, servicing and maintenance for fireplaces; custom mantel installations; and have recently branched out into tiling. Furthermore, Fireplace Outlet stands out among its competitors for the full-service nature of their business. Many other businesses subcontract out various aspects of a project, but Fireplace Outlet manages everything in house from beginning to end. They notably even liaise directly with their vendors instead of going through a middle-man supplier, a practice which only began because of the COVID-19 pandemic but has drastically increased the number of services they are able to offer.
Starting her day at 8am, Ms. Friedman’s duties include getting all their crews and trucks set up for their designations; managing the retail locations, which involves human resources duties, ordering and inventory; and service work in the field. In addition, she holds considerable expertise in customer service and handles most of the customer interaction side of the business. She attributes much of her success to the relationships she has developed with her customers over the years, emphasizing the importance of treating customers as a whole person instead of just as a paycheck or transaction. This approach to customer service has led to Fireplace Outlet having an incredibly loyal customer base, which, in turn, has brought in many new customers through word-of-mouth referrals.
Ms. Friedman recalls the opening of both of their locations as incredibly memorable moments for her. When they opened their first store, they got so many sales that she and her husband realized that they simply couldn’t handle all the orders themselves and set about hiring more employees. Having grown considerably by the time they opened their second store, as she and her husband were setting up before their grand opening, they realized that customers were lining up outside waiting for the store to open, which was a very rewarding experience. Beyond these major highlights, Ms. Friedman finds continual gratification in her work when she receives appreciation from her clients for a job well done.
Looking toward the future, Ms. Friedman intends to continue on as she has been, providing quality fireplace installation services and putting smiles on people’s faces. Furthermore, she maintains professional affiliation with the Northeast Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association in an effort to remain up to date with new developments in the field and has also donated fireplaces to the local children’s hospital, one to be installed and a second to be auctioned off to help pay medical bills for those in need. To young and aspiring professionals, particularly women, Ms. Friedman emphasizes the importance of believing in yourself when others might not, remembering that your employees are your lifeline, and listening to your customers.
Having accomplished much over the course of her career, Ms. Friedman considers the highlight of her life to be marrying her husband. They have had an amazing marriage alongside their professional lives as business partners. The proud mother of three daughters, Ms. Friedman is a doting grandmother to her three grandchildren as well, two grandsons and one granddaughter. She hopes to leave a legacy for her children and grandchildren that inspires them them to never be afraid to try new things, always live life smiling, know that it’s okay to make mistakes, and to be forgiving. In her free time, Ms. Friedman serves her local church as a trustee and enjoys sailing, spending time at home, and watching TV shows.