Friday, September 24, 2010

Fun with Customers

My friend Laura has the most beautiful shop, Willow Creek, a Country Attic, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  From the time she opened the doors, I was part of her "Willow Creek" family. Over the years, all the women who worked there became known as the "Willow Creek Ladies".

Most of us began working at Willow Creek because we knew Laura, and we had been involved in her in-home craft shows all those years prior to her opening her store.  Others came along either as a result of meeting Laura at women's networking groups, or just by being customers in the store.

One of my most vivid memories was the first Easter we were open.  We'd been struggling, our location was good, but not excellent.  People were getting the word that we were open, but we'd still have long hours in-between customers.

Part of our brainstorming included coming up with ideas to help customers to remember us.  That Easter I had just finished helping a friend make an adult Easter Bunny costume that I wore to help her with a non-profit "gig" the week prior to Easter.  You see, my friend, Lisa, is a clown. That's not just a descriptive word, she really is a registered clown, named Binky.

In return for making the costume for Binky, she let me borrow it to wear while I worked at the shop the Friday before Easter.  It turned out to be one of the most memorable things I did.  One of the customers who came into Willow Creek for the very first time that day thought at first I was a little off my rocker, but we chatted.  After a bit, she didn't seem to mind chatting to a 5-1/2 foot tall white bunny.  I did have to remove the fuzzy paws in order to write up her sale, but by the time she left she was chuckling. She told me years later that she thought I was out of my mind, but it did cement the name, Willow Creek, in our memory.

Later that afternoon a few moms brought their kids in on their way home from school, so we took a few photo opportunities.  I know I have a picture somewhere, and when I find it, I'll be sure to post it right here.  You just never know what it is you do that will make your customers remember you, but that was one of them.

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