I overheard the manager of my retail store once say to a customer, “No, we aren’t a gift item, we’re the underpants store.” I couldn’t hear the rest of the conversation but my curiosity piqued.
“What does that mean?” I asked her later.
“People don’t come in here because they need a gift. They come because they need an apron, in the same way you need underpants.”
It’s funny how someone can throw out a statement that instantly causes you to take pause.
I realized she was right. We are the underpants store. By that I mean, we don’t have a bump in sales at Christmas. Actually we bump a bit after Christmas, when, we assume the Christmas card with cash is turned into the apron they wanted. We also bump up the beginning of garden season and in fall for harvest. Other than that we kind of roll along in the same pattern.
And our designs, like underpants, are also built on your needs. Oh sure, we get inspired, we discover great fabric we want to play with and craft into something new. But you let us know and we listen. You, the customer, really runs the company. You speak to us in sales, lack of sales, text, emails and cards. (We love the cards and hand written letters, by the way.)
Because of your contributions, we are very aware of the assortment in our customer base. We have the 5’10” women who wants a long apron for pasta sauce canning weekend. We also have the people under 5′. We strive to create aprons that not only go around your width, whatever that is but want you look great and feel comfortable. What good is an apron going to do if you feel uncomfortable in it. It should accompany you through your work, not hinder it. (Spoken by a woman who would live in yoga clothes if she were thin.)
And this is where we are at the moment. I noticed we haven’t blogged in 6 weeks, our social media is lacking, not to mention we are experiencing growing pains. But what you don’t see is the work being done as we move forward with the results of our listening. We have been reading and listening all year to you.
So although we may be in the quiet zone for now, we will soon come out of hiding and offer you new choices to consider. Then we get to sit back and see what you think of them.
In the meantime, you can watch our What’s New page for the newest additions to the website.