Today on the WAM podcast Frances Brunelle of Accelerated Manufacturing Brokers welcomes, Courtney Wright. Courtney is the CEO of Gemini Builds It! and Showcase Acrylics. Prior to Gemini, Courtney founded CDW Merchants, the leading provider of 3D virtual retail displays and e-commerce gift packaging for the nation’s top retailers, including Kate Spade, Sperry’s, and Club Monaco. In 2016, she sold CDW to a global billion-dollar company, however, with little downtime as she acquired Gemini Builds It! in the same year, all while saving 60 jobs in the community. She is one woman who is making manufacturing cool in Chicago. In today’s episode, we delve into how Courtney and her team made an incredibly timely pivot providing a key product for the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic. She talks more about how she is driven to solve problems, continually finding new opportunities, and shares great advice about failing fast and prioritizing growth. Stay tuned for an insightful conversation with Courtney Wright.
Meet Our Guest, Courtney Wright
Courtney Wright has the equation for success … stay curious, listen to feedback, fail a lot, and make time for friends and family. Coco’s (all her friends call her Coco) tenacity begins at 4:30 AM when she begins to connect the dots. She’s always laser-focused on her master plan. The five-decade-old business bombshell is New England born but calls Illinois home after attending Lake Forest College.
She founded CDW Merchants, the leading provider of 3D visual retail displays and e-commerce gift packaging for the nation’s top retailers, including Kate Spade, Sperry’s and Club Monaco. In 2016, Courtney packaged CDW for the last time and sold it to a global billion-dollar company.
Free time isn’t her thing … quickly she jumped on an opportunity to buy a company she worked with closely, a vendor to CDW. The downtime didn’t last long, in 2016 she bought Gemini Builds It (F/K/A Gemini Moulding). Since the deal closed, she saved 60 jobs, bought a business to close the gap on outsourcing, and offers 401K and continuing education to the staff. Gemini is housed in a 50,000 square-foot manufacturing center in Elgin, but Courtney has her mindset to double the growth of the business, and … she’s one woman making manufacturing cool in Chicago.
Wright wants women to know they can have their cake and eat it too. She has been married to her life and business partner, Larry, for the past 24 years. They live in Winnetka and have two sons. She prides herself on never missing either of her boy’s sporting events and stopping to smell the sweet scent of success.