Taking a leap of faith to follow her dream of creating a viable family business. Meet Judith Service Montier
After 20 years as a Marketing and Communications executive for non-profits, The Lola member Judith Service Montier decided to take a leap of faith and co-found a boutique catering service with her husband. Today, Chez Montier is not only a successful and viable family business, but Judith also spends her time running her marketing company connecting her to the Atlanta business and arts communities and spending time with her family. Meet Judith Service Montier.
Judith Service Montier
Location: Decatur, GA
What I do: Co-founder of Chez Montier, a boutique catering company; Owner of My Preferred Service, a marketing company
Tell us about yourself:
My name is Judith Service Montier. I am a wife, mother, sister, daughter, and a woman of great faith. I am passionate about the arts (I majored in theater in college) and food!. While I am more of an introvert, I enjoy being with people. I am sensitive, warm and perceptive.
After twenty years of working as a nonprofit marketing and communications executive, in 2016 I took a leap of faith to follow my dream of creating a viable family business. Today, I am the co-founder of Chez Montier, a boutique catering company that I co-own with my husband, Juan Montier. In combining our talents, (he is the art, and I am the science), we have been blessed to see our vision come to life. The growth of Chez Montier has been extremely gratifying and 2019 was our most successful year with highlights including our participation on the catering team for The Superbowl and the Tyler Perry Studios Grand Opening.
While Chez Montier is the centerpiece of my work, I also own My Preferred Service, a marketing company that allows me to work with companies including journalist Maria Saporta, who keeps me connected to the business community, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which keeps me connected to the arts community.
For fun, I love to travel, entertain, read, listen to music, and recently, I have started doing pilates. Born in Jamaica, WI, I am a sun, sea and sand girl and I have been to several islands including Tahiti, Bali, Saint Barts, Turks and Caicos, Bermuda, Hawaii (Oahu, Maui, Lanai).
How did you land upon your professional path?
I love being a part of big initiatives. I enjoy being a driver and implementer. In a nutshell, I am a conductor. I have a keen ability to manage complex situations, taking into consideration all of the variables, and creating the best possible outcomes. My expertise is being a Generalist. I am able to manage multiple critical components while keeping the big picture in focus. Running my own business(es) is an extension of my gifts and talents.
Prior to joining Chez Montier full-time, I worked for music icon Diana Ross before relocating to Atlanta to serve as the Entertainment Manager for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Village.
What was the moment you knew you could be successful at your path? When did you know you could make a living at it?
I don’t know that there was a specific moment when I knew I would be successful. I was inspired by my mother who, for most of my life, raised me and my four brothers as a single parent. She taught me about the power of positive thinking and introduced me to inspirational leaders such as Dale Carnegie, Author of How to Win Friends and Influence People and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, author of “The Power of Positive Thinking,” when I was 10 years old. Her courage, commitment, zeal for life and success as an entrepreneur in sales, has been a key motivator for me throughout my life. Even now, at 82, she is still going strong and is working on at least two different businesses.
How do you define success for yourself?
I define success as doing a good job, making money, having fun, inspiring others to be the best they can be.
I am most successful, no matter what the circumstances are in my life, when I am living in a space of gratitude and being thankful for my many blessings.
How do you align the work you do and the goals you set for yourself with your values?
My maiden name is Service. Someone one told me that my destiny was to serve by ruling and to rule by serving. While I don’t consider myself a ruler, when I look at my life and where I am today, I am clear that service is a core value for my life and my work.
I work hard and I believe in giving of myself and supporting others, rising to meet challenges and asking for help when I need it. I am definitely a nurturer which speaks to my name as well as my profession. Whether it be through food, art, or information that helps nourish bodies, hearts, and minds, Service really is my middle name.
Give us a sense of a typical day in your life. How do you manage your time and energy throughout the day? How do you define a successful day? We’d love to know unique details, any rituals you live by, how you build in time for yourself/rest/recharging.
I am a night owl, or as I prefer to say, a moon child. I reach my highest levels of productivity later in the day and into the night.
I make every effort to start my day with a focused period of prayer, deep breathing and meditation.
I have a number of devotionals that I use to center and ground myself for the day. As an entrepreneur, focused on three organizations, to-do lists are critical.
Consistent physical activity and exercise, walking, water aerobics, pilates are an important part of my routine, one because I enjoy it and two, because I am married to a chef and I love to eat.
I must confess that COVID has made this more challenging so when I fall off the horse, I make it a point to get back up again and keep going.
What’s been your greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge, especially since moving from corporate to being an entrepreneur, is “coming home from work,” when I am working from home. Once I start, I have a tendency to keep working. Putting down my computer, stepping away from my phone and realizing that the world will not end if I don’t get everything done on my to-do list is something I work at daily
What’s been your greatest reward in the choices you’ve made to do this?
My greatest reward in the choices I have made to follow my dream is feeling that my life is my own. Seeing the tremendous growth that has occurred in Chez Montier since I joined my husband has also been extremely rewarding. I know that we would not be where we are without our combined effort.
Is there anything else you’d like to share that may give us a better understanding of your story around your why and living through your values?
I believe that everything happens for a reason and that things will always work out on my behalf.