A Bloomington business owner honored for her years of service to the community said she wants to help others the way so many have helped her.
The McLean County Chamber of Commerce has named Fox & Hounds Salon and Day Spa owner Vicki Tilton its Legacy of Excellence winner.
“I’m where I’m at and do what I do because so many people gave me a hand up,” Tilton said, referring to the time when she was kicked out of high school in the 1960s when she became pregnant. “I didn’t get handouts but I did get hand-ups, I got opportunities and my goal is to give those opportunities back to other people.”
Tilton said on WGLT’s Sound Ideas that involves her volunteer work in the community and her efforts to help employees learn how to run a business.
She and husband Tim Tilton have owned Fox & Hounds in downtown Bloomington for 24 years, relocating the business after previous owners moved it out of downtown. She's been a part of the company for 45 years.
Despite her work as a longtime business owner, community advocate and volunteer for various causes, Tilton said she was "shocked" when she found out last month the chamber was presenting her with the honor. She said the honor isn't really about her but rather those who have supported her along the way.
“I get a lot of recognition in this community for things being done, but in fact I always have a team or a committee or a group that helps me,” Tilton explained. “That’s important to me to make sure people understand that.”
Brick and Mortar vs. Online
Tilton said customer service is how brick-and-mortar stores can compete with Amazon and other online retailers. She said Fox & Hounds uses a four-point approach to keep customers coming back: rebooking clients, recommending products, recommending additional services and seeking referrals.
“Not being humble and asking people, ‘I’ve really enjoyed working with you, tell your friends, send them in,’” Tilton said. “Those are the four points that keep our industry strong and keep our appointment books full.”
Tilton said another key to the business’ staying power has been educating her clients that her business’ beauty services are not luxuries, they are part of your body’s regular maintenance.
The chamber presented a number of awards at its annual Business Excellence Awards Gala on Saturday at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Bloomington.
- New and Emerging Business Excellence Award: Brandt Industries, Hudson
- Nonprofit Excellence Award: Community Health Care Clinic, Normal
- Large Business Excellence Award: Corn Belt Energy, Bloomington
- Small Business Excellence Award: Advocate BroMenn Health & Fitness Center, Bloomington
- Micro Business Excellence Award: Country Financial representative Justin Boyd, Bloomington
WGLT depends on financial support from users to bring you stories and interviews like this one. As someone who values experienced, knowledgeable, and award-winning journalists covering meaningful stories in Central Illinois, please consider making a contribution.