Terry DeBlasio, health and body care merchandiser at Seattle-based PCC Natural Markets, has strong roots in the natural and local food and body care industries. Starting out as a chef, she landed an apprenticeship with Bruce Naftaly, a founding father of the local food movement. DeBlasio eventually took over his post as executive chef at the boutique Alexis Hotel in Seattle in addition to serving as food and beverage director.
In 1989, she teamed up with a friend to start a natural skin care company based on a simple product line made from herbs from their garden. Through this endeavor, DeBlasio learned the ins and outs of the cosmetics business. Then, after a stint as store manager at Super Supplements, she landed her current job at PCC Natural Markets. DeBlasio has successfully implemented new programs and trainings and has driven the work behind making PCC’s HBC ingredients standards some of the strictest in the nation.
Here are three ways DeBlasio has proven to be an inspirational woman in retail:
Passionate advocate. “My passion and advocacy for my department and my people has made our small team a mighty one,” she says. And when it comes to products, DeBlasio relies on PCC customers to guide ingredient concerns and new product offerings, advocating for their needs in the store and industry.
Business mentor. Because of her history as an entrepreneur, DeBlasio is in a unique position to nurture small businesses that want their products on PCC’s shelves. “Most small businesses are created out of passion for a product rather than business experience,” she says. To help fill that gap, she counsels young companies as they grow. Along the way, PCC benefits from stocking products that it has nurtured from the ground up.
Industry standard-bearer. The HBC ingredients standards spearheaded by DeBlasio and her team have garnered nationwide attention. Currently, more than 550 ingredients are either prohibited or allowed within specific limitations. DeBlasio says many companies look to these standards when formulating.
The other Retailer of the Year Inspiring Retail Woman finalists are:
Winners were announced at Natural Products Expo East 2017.