Winter 2013

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Alumni Life

Sally Peters Pofcher: Designing Woman

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Ever wonder about those strange designations we use throughout Northwestern to identify alumni of the various schools of the University? See the complete list.

Sally Peters Pofcher has perfected the art of brand revival. When Pofcher (KSM94) took the helm of Paper Source six years ago, it was a 21-store chain of small, colorful craft shops that was languishing without executive leadership. The Evanston native with a background in business and finance now presides over a nationwide outfit that boasts 80 stores across the country and a vision for even greater growth. Under her leadership the chain has become “a much more design-driven company,” the CEO says, creating almost 2,000 new products a year. The Evanston Township High School grad worked in brand management at Pillsbury, spent a decade consulting for McKinsey & Co. in San Francisco and then moved on to become senior vice president of strategy and brand development at Gap Inc. But she resigned after two years, frustrated by her team’s inability to make meaningful changes. That’s when an executive recruiter approached her about the opportunity to lead Paper Source. Her reaction: “Oh my God, I love that store!” She moved with her husband, Scott Pofcher (KSM94), and two daughters to Wilmette, Ill., and quickly got to work. “Paper Source has been a really exciting opportunity to take a small and quirky brand and really crystallize what it means and grow it,” says Pofcher. And she remains inspired by the company’s “Do something creative every day” mission. “I love the idea of inspiring people to express themselves in authentic, personal, celebratory ways in everything they do,” she says.