Friday, Feb. 26, 2010 | 6 a.m.
Current job: Owner and CEO, Las Vegas Mannequins
Education: Attended Lasell College in Newton, Mass., from 1995-97, majoring in Human Services; attended Northeastern University in Boston from 1997-98, majoring in Visual Communications and minoring in Business
About Alison Wainwright: It all started seven years ago with two borrowed mannequins and a dream. That was the foundation for Alison Wainwright and Las Vegas Mannequins. Wainwright was approached by a former co-worker looking for a couple of rental mannequins for a trade show. The quick-thinking Wainwright borrowed two mannequins from a store up the street from her condo and rented them to the in-need client. That’s when a light bulb went off. She sat down that night – and into the morning hours – at her computer, designing a Web site to generate business leads. She began buying mannequins retail and renting them out for a small profit. She kept the costs low because she stored all of the mannequins in her condo. From there, she rented a storage unit and eventually bought a house so she could store them in the garage. Soon, that too was overwhelming and she moved into a “real” office with a small warehouse. Eventually, she hired her first employee, and then within three years, she had hired a fulltime staff and secured a larger office with a showroom and warehouse. Her company is now near the top of every search engine rankings on the web. Wainwright has been involved with a variety of eco-friendly and community service groups, including the Environmental Protection Agency, PETA, Safe Nest, Heaven Can Wait Animal Sanctuary, UNLV Musical Hall of Fame and UNLV and CSN photography students.
The most important issue facing the valley: Given the state of the economy, it seems to me that the most important issue is unemployment. If we were able to create more jobs, consumer spending would increase and in turn start to recover the local economy and the housing market.
My mentor and why: My parents, Dennis and Mary Wainwright, have always inspired me. They moved our family from England to the U.S. when I was 6 years old to give my sister and I better opportunities. With my father owning a small business, I was able to see the importance of hard work and perseverance. I would not be who I am today without the morals instilled to me throughout my childhood. I am very thankful.
Favorite Web site: Google.com – Google is the gateway to every imaginable site on the web.
Hobbies: Playing the flute (I have played since age 8), shopping, painting, hiking, camping, traveling, wine tasting, networking, learning new languages, and I love to unwind by going for a long drive in the beautiful southwest.
Fantasy job: I am a huge animal activist. My dream has always been to purchase land and build an animal sanctuary so that no animal would ever be homeless. Every animal deserves a warm and loving home.
One-word description of self: Dynamic