Tami Scott Butler is not your average chick. The former realtor turned nightclub administrator has served as general manager of Kiss Ultra Lounge for the past two years. But her accolades don't end there. Butler is also VIP manager of Luna Lounge for Pop Life Wednesdays, VIP and Event Coordinator for On the Roxx and a single parent of two girls. Every night, she shows her daughters and members of the Charlotte social scene how she balances business and pleasure.
Creative Loafing: You started in real estate. How on earth did you end up working in nightlife?
Tami Scott Butler: I'd been in real estate for almost 10 years and I was good at it, but the market was declining and I needed something part-time. I'd been friends with the one of the owners of Kiss and one night they needed someone to work the front door, so I did. After that night they asked me to come back to do some administrative work and by the next month I was in management. Having owners who believed in me and a willingness to learn made it all possible.
Management is difficult, especially when you don't have a lot of experience. How do you think your staff members feel about your management skills?
In the past week I've had three different staff members come up to me and say that I'm the best manager they've ever worked for. That means a lot, considering I had zero management experience when I started, but I think my biggest strength is that I view everyone that I work with as a team. They don't work for me; they work with me. From the DJs, to the bar backs, to the cleaning crews, we're all on the same team.
How do your daughters feel about you managing nightclubs?
My thing is, I feel like my kids are grown. I've done the mom thing. I've done the stay-at-home thing. I've done the corporate world and now I'm doing something that I love. [Laughs] If they could choose a job for me, it probably would not be nightclub management, but they're supportive because they know I'm doing it to provide.
What's one of the most memorable moments you've had working in nightlife?
I'll never forget last year during CIAA weekend at Kiss. We didn't have any special guests coming in or anything extra special going on, but the sales we were able to produce were mind-boggling. So there I was at the end of the night, run ragged from a long night at work and our new partner says to me, "Bye beautiful," and I'm like, "Beautiful?" And he says, "Any woman that can produce those kinds of sales is sexy to me." That moment stood out because it reminded me that it's about teamwork, and it's a very rewarding feeling to know you're part of that leadership.