Women’s Leadership Network Audience Learns to Blend Business with Creativity
Morgan Pettigrew entertained and inspired a receptive crowd at the Collierville Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Leadership Network luncheon on Thursday, October 20, at the Ridgeway Country Club.
Pettigrew, CEO, and founder of the Pettigrew Firm outlined her career path from an early childhood dream of becoming a lawyer to the excitement and fulfillment of that dream…and so much more. Admitting to a proclivity for creativity and with experience working for an interior design firm during her law school days, Pettigrew remembers that “my mind shifted coming out of law school.” While awaiting the results of her bar exam, she continued her work in design and was able to help in the design of both Belly Acres Restaurant and the STAX Museum.
As she segued into her legal career, she also faced personal tragedy. Her best friend’s diagnosis of a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer in 2016 presented Pettigrew with life-altering decisions. Pettigrew stepped away from her career path to spend as much time as possible with her friend, traveling and accomplishing items on her friend’s “bucket list.”
Through these emotional days, she learned the importance of prioritizing personal relationships, and that “happiness takes precedence.” She learned to “stop chasing ‘normal’ success.” A concrete path to success was shelved and replaced with new plans. “Concrete plans are garbage,” she told the crowd. And she knew that her happiness would have to include a creative side.
As a lawyer, Morgan Pettigrew is CEO, Founder, and Managing Partner of the Pettigrew Firm. She is a general civil law practitioner and specializes in breach of contract litigation. That’s one side.
Then there’s that creative side: With the help of her grandfather, Pettigrew began to purchase houses with an eye to converting them to short-term rentals. Converting them with a flair for design, of course. Now Morgan Pettigrew is the proud owner of Pettigrew Adventures Luxury Vacation Rentals and has some 19 vacation rentals in her portfolio.
Pettigrew determined one way to attract vacation renters was to get the word out to the people who get the word out – “mutual marketing.” She began to target travel and entertainment bloggers and invited them to attend one of her “Girls Just Want to Have Fun Press Trips.” The results have been impressive and a whole lot of fun, judging by a short video Pettigrew presented to this Women’s Leadership crowd. From fine dining to fine shopping to touring the many sites Memphis has to offer, attendees had a blast. Pettigrew smiled and added, “We live in a great city.” Pettigrew figures that she’s reached some 1.5 million potential customers through this initiative.
While Pettigrew’s career arc is still in its early days, it’s been packed. Looking back on her own climb, she offered the crowd some words of advice: “Always double down on yourself” she said. Regarding the management of people, she suggested, “You have to value the people who work for you. Follow your instincts and be a good listener. Be open to new ideas.” And finally, “prioritize rest.” You have to take time out for yourself she reminded the audience.
Taylor Scott, the Chamber’s Special Events and Programs Coordinator concluded the luncheon with a reminder of upcoming events for the remainder of the year.