Hartford Business Journal 2011 40 Under Forty - Winners (D - M)



Tara Griggs

AGE:  36
TITLE:  Owner and founder
COMPANY NAME: SwapMeSports.com

What do you do: In addition to working at Aetna as a marketing manager for national accounts, I founded SwapMeSports.com, which is a free online community to buy, sell, trade or donate used sports equipment.  
What do you want to be doing in 10 years:  I love what I do and I hope that wherever life takes me in 10 years involves what I do now but on a larger scale.  I have been fortunate to choose a career path that has involved all of my passions.

Whatís your biggest strength:  I like meeting and getting to know people.  Iím a firm believer that you can learn something from everyone but you have to put yourself out there.  Networking and establishing relationships is very important to me as I see it as an opportunity for me to continue to grow and improve myself by learning from the example of others.
Where do you go for new ideas: I do a lot of journaling and running.  Itís during those times that I let my mind wander and try to sort through decisions that need to be made or how to come up with a solution for something Iím working on.  I am so grateful for the invention of post it notes as I have them everywhere so I donít forget anything.  My philosophy is nothing is impossible, you just have to figure a creative way sometimes to get the round peg in the square hole. It could be as simple as cutting the edges off one of them to make it fit.

Whatís the best advice you received: My mom was a small business owner and my dad a successful businessman so I had wonderful examples of strong and intelligent mentors growing up.  My parents taught me that at the center of being successful both personally and professionally was to be impeccable with your word and to always give of yourself.  My dad taught me at a young age to have a firm handshake, keep good eye contact and always send hand written thank you notes.  

What service or charitable cause has your attention: The heart of SwapMeSports.com is helping children who canít afford to play sports receive the sports equipment they need to play. Itís great all around as it also helps these kids stay active and get involved in team sports.  We have aligned ourselves with many charities both locally and nationally that we are able to donate collected sports equipment to.  Additionally, the Petit Family Foundation is a well known local charity that me, my family and friends have dedicated themselves to by running road races to raise funds to help keep the memory of the Petit women alive while supporting the causes they devoted themselves too.