Your Neighbor: Meet Jane Fischer
Published 12:05 am Thursday, October 12, 2023
By Mandy Haggerson
For the Clemmons Courier
Jane Fischer has found many talents throughout her chapters of life. Her favorite ones center around family and helping others. After a career in fashion merchandising that spanned almost 40 years, the mother of two daughters is starting a new business that reminds her of what she enjoyed doing as a child.
“Growing up in Antigo, Wisconsin, with five older brothers on a 340-acre farm, I learned quickly how I could help my family,” Fischer said. “I started cooking with my mom at five and instantly fell in love.”
Since her mom and dad had full-time jobs, they would bake loaves of bread on the weekends for the family.
“We always had a dessert with our meals, and we would bake those too on the weekend,” Fischer said. “We had a garden that was full of fresh vegetables all of the time and apple orchards. We canned so many fresh fruits and vegetables that we grew.
“I would cook the meals for our family throughout the week. We would always have meat, vegetables, potatoes and a dessert. I admired the work ethic my parents exemplified for us and how they valued family time.”
That same work ethic instilled in Fischer took her to college at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. There, Fischer took a full course load to major in fashion merchandising and business management while working two jobs at 40 hours a week.
“I was really drawn to fashion merchandising because of a job that I had at 16 years old at a local retail store,” Fischer said. “I realized I had a knack for making the schedules for the store, and they had me working in various departments doing it. Working to pay for college at the same time was something that I took pride in doing.”
After graduation, Fischer got a job in store management in Wisconsin. Her work ethic was noticed quickly, and she was then asked to head to Chicago to serve as a district manager.
“At that point in time, Sara Lee was opening all of these outlet stores,” Fischer said. “One of their head managers came to the store I was working at and asked if I would be interested in applying for a position. He didn’t have any applications; he just asked me about my experience and qualifications, and I was hired on the spot.”
Fischer started working as a store manager for Sara Lee and opened a retail store in Wisconsin.
“A year later, they asked me to come to the Winston-Salem area as a regional manager,” Fischer said. “I was sick of cold weather at that point, so the idea was very appealing to me.”
Even though she had moved down to North Carolina, she was still traveling a lot, which she enjoyed.
“In the ’80s, we were growing so fast,” Fischer said. “We opened up 25 stores in one year. It provided such a learning experience in the industry and working with different types of personalities.”
With Fischer’s career booming, she decided to add “mom” to her resumé, too.
“I had my first daughter Rachel (32) at 32,” Fischer said. “When she was about one year old, I went back to school at Wake Forest to get my master of business administration. Sara Lee had wanted me to get it, and I knew it would be beneficial.
“It’s tough to juggle being a parent and working. I had Hailey, 24, eight years later. Being a good mom is really important to me. I have two wonderful daughters who are self-sufficient and smart. They know the importance and value of working hard and being able to stand on their own two feet. It was fun raising the kids in Salem Glen because the neighborhood was filled with other kids. They would often come to our house to play and eat, which I loved.”
Fischer juggled the family and work balance with Sara Lee for 25 years.
“It’s tough, but you make it work,” Fischer said. “When I was promoted to head of merchandising, part of that job required me to be in New York City during the week and commuting back to Clemmons to be with my family and spend quality time with them. I tried to go to as many tennis matches and sporting events for them as possible.”
When Sara Lee and Hanes merged, Fischer went to work at Springs Global.
“A good number of employees from Sara Lee came with me over there,” Fischer said. “After about two years, though, I was offered a position to work for the American Textile Company. I was the head of product development and merchandising. It required traveling internationally every week.”
Fischer had many memorable moments in her career, from helping design sheets for Tom Brady’s line to traveling all over the world.
“I finally realized after COVID-19, and really contemplating what I wanted to do with my time, that I wanted to change gears completely,” Fischer said. “I decided to leave my job and start cooking for other people. It was something I had never stopped entirely, but I wanted to do it full-time. I wanted to provide healthy food without preservatives to people that had busy lifestyles, were elderly and couldn’t cook, or for people who just don’t share the love for it that I do.”
Fischer has clients that are going to and from practices, like she was when her children were young, but still want that quality meal together.
“I also have clients that are older and know that healthy food is important to their overall well-being,” Fischer said. “I tailor the meals based on everyone’s different needs. They can be individually prepared, or you can order them for an entire family. It’s completely up to you, and then I deliver them weekly. All of the ingredients are fresh. Since many people like entertaining, I will also prepare and cook for a party or event, too, including charcuterie boards. It’s been fun to help people enjoy food that is also good for them.”
Fischer will also prepare submitted recipes for clients.
“I wanted to offer an alternative to people in our community that was affordable and enjoyable. I really have loved meeting people, too. If anyone is interested in learning more, I always welcome them to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
If Fischer isn’t cooking up something special for one of her clients, she can also be found visiting her children or taking a fun trip with her good friend, Mary.
“I love supporting my kids at this stage,” Fischer said. “My oldest just opened her own salon in Florida, and my other daughter just graduated college and started a job in pharmaceutical sales. It’s really fun getting to see them thrive and be so independent. It’s rewarding to see them understand and emulate that value of a hard work ethic and positive attitude will lead to many doors opening in life.”