the issue > Get to Know | Village Voices > November 26, 2019
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Get to Know…Melinda Rathke

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Tell us a little about yourselves and what led you to your job at ETRO?

I’ve been working in the Village since 2006, and I remember when we thought ETRO was coming to the Village before the market changed in 2008.  I have always loved ETRO’s artistic expression of color and movement and was thrilled to hear that they were opening in 2016.  I was referred by a mutual friend when they opened and stayed in touch.  It was just the right timing and I’m so blessed to be with such a great company!

 

How long have you been leading the charge at ETRO?

I had my two year anniversary in August.

 

What’s your favorite or most unique thing about what you do?

This is a family owned company, which I’m always drawn to.  It gives you more flexibility and allows you to be more of an entrepreneur and to really interact with our community, which is my absolute favorite part of any job I have.

 

How long have you personally been visiting Highland Park Village?

I was taken to see a movie by my sister in 2004, and I fell in love with Highland Park Village then! Little did I know that I would be working in The Village starting in 2006 when I became the manager at Escada. 

 

What do you enjoy most about the Highland Park Village community?

I love that it’s family-owned, and they are so active in the center!  I also get to work alongside amazing merchants, which is such a treat.  We all truly love to serve our clientele, and I’m lucky enough to have great, long term relationships with many of them.   I also cherish the relationships I’ve developed over the years with our clients.  I’ve always seen them more as friends to take care of rather than clients to sell to. 

 

Are there any secret or fun facts you can share about the center, your store, or yourself?

I remember the days when our stock room at Escada ran from below the store to about where Saint Laurent used to be, on both sides of the hallway. Wouldn’t we all kill for that much room now.

 

What are some of your other favorite spots around The Village?

I daydream at Harry Winston. I get treated like family at Bistro 31. I am always entertained by Dorothy at Deno’s. I can’t think of any place in The Village I don’t enjoy. It’s a beautiful place and I love it here!