Technology has been part of Mary’s life since her childhood, having started writing BASIC on a Commodore Vic 20 she bought with her allowance money at age 10. After graduating high school, Mary began working as an international money transfer banker. After eight years in banking, she returned to college and earned her degree in history. She spent the next several years teaching history at a South Bronx NYC high school. As a teacher, Mary brought technology to her classroom by introducing her students to The Stock Market Game, which was sponsored by the NY Knicks. After two of her students won internships with Merrill Lynch, she enjoyed her fifteen minutes of fame sitting for an interview on CNN.
The Path to B-Stock…
To supplement her income (after student papers were graded and lesson plans were prepared), she spent nights scouring the web to find a reliable liquidation resource, in order to resell on eBay. Mary found a great customer-returned collectibles liquidator that regularly bought out entire inventories from a major-collectibles manufacturer. She began buying small lots, inspecting and reselling the collectibles on eBay. After a few years of moonlighting, Mary made the difficult decision to leave her teaching career to run her now established business full time: she reached Gold level Powerseller status within a year.
When her collectibles resource dried up suddenly, she had to quickly shift gears and rethink her strategy and her audience. She began selling a completely different type of merchandise: customer-returned shoes from QVC. With this shift in merchandise, she needed to re-brand her business, and saw it as an opportunity to utilize her love for technology: she built her own branded eBay storefront and e-commerce website. After a short time, other Powersellers began asking for her help designing and developing their storefronts and websites as well. Soon, Mary stopped buying liquidation merchandise to follow her childhood passion(s) — spent more time improving her coding skills and began offering her service as a web developer.
In 2008, Mary and her husband decided to combine their passions; they established a web design and development agency and in 2010 that agency was hired by B-Stock. And after working as a contractor for B-Stock, Mary accepted an offer to join the B-Stock dev team full time. The decision was driven by the desire to surround herself with people who would help her grow from a coder into a software engineer.
When asked what it’s like to be part of the tech team, she says, “As of now, I’m the only female developer on our team. Thankfully, the environment at B-Stock is not at all a “brogrammer” culture. Without question, I have earned and hold the respect of my peers; I realize this is sadly not often the case in Silicon Valley companies. I feel really fortunate to work with a group of programmers who are not just brilliant, but who are also open to sharing their knowledge. As part of this team, I am constantly growing as a programmer, and that is tremendously satisfying.”
Mary’s combined experience as a liquidation buyer and reseller, and her longevity with B-Stock has given her a unique understanding and ability to provide support to various teams in the company, from account management to marketing. As B-Stock continues to grow in leaps and bounds, she’s beginning to build and manage her own small team within the broader tech team.
When she’s not programming, she loves to write, shoot landscape photography, travel, and is currently teaching herself to play violin. She wears her heart on her sleeve, gives free hugs, sports a quirky sense of humor, attempts to feed an insatiable hunger for learning, and fosters a drive to spread loving kindness.
Her advice to anyone who’s self-taught and wants to enter the tech field:
“No classroom, exam, or degree can replace the strength of passion. If technology excites you, if you spend your free time writing code or learning how to code, then you are absolutely in the right place. Regardless of background, age, gender or anything else, your passion and drive to build something awesome with code will open many doors for you.”