One of our great challenges around here is connecting with our customers on a personal level. Although we sell very personal things, our business format is very impersonal. A few clicks and keystrokes and a package shows up at your door, right?! Bam! Sometimes I wonder if customers think there are just a large bunch of robots sitting in a warehouse somewhere…pulling merchandise and somehow magically transporting it your front door. Well, check that. I don’t wonder…I know. When we get email messages that say things like “please place behind screen on side door” or when someone places an order at 10PM and wants it in hand by noon the next day we are often left shaking our heads thinking “um, you do realize that’s physically impossible, right?!”
To be clear, there’s a lot of this we love. We want our customers to be able to push a few buttons and have what they need delivered to their front door with very little effort. We want them to say “Wow, that was easy! Let’s do that again!” But sometimes it’s also fun to reveal ‘The (wo)Man Behind the Curtain.’ After all, we don’t have anything to hide…we’re quite proud of our little world over here.
I am lucky to have a lot of talented friends that I consult with on random things that make my business better. One of these friends is a phenomenal photographer (take a peek at her website www.ThreeContinentsPhotography.com, you won’t be disappointed.) We were chatting one day and came up with the idea that a ‘A Day in the Life’ photo shoot would be fun…a way for our customers to get a glimpse behind the scenes, see us in action, and get to know us a little better. We discussed what things would be good to shoot, then set a date. Exciting!
Oh, wait a minute. Someone’s gonna take pictures of us! At work! In the warehouse, that looks like a warehouse! Gah!
Luckily we scheduled the shoot a few weeks out, which gave us time to scrub down the warehouse, dust off our desks, and discuss our outfits. One thing I did forget to do was get my dog Louie groomed. But he’s so dang cute, you’ll forgive me I’m sure.
But as I was cleaning and straightening and preparing, I had some concerns. How much do I really want folks to see? I occasionally bring my toddler son to the office with me. Do I want customers to see his toys mingled with our stones? Do I want people to see his toilet paper roll artwork – albeit the most adorable toilet paper roll artwork ever – on my desk? And what about the fact that we are only three people? In the world of companies like Amazon, maybe bigger is better and we’ll lose respect because of our size. And then, what about having my photo published for all the world to see? Am I who people think I am? Do I have a face that makes you like me, my company, my products? Do I look honest and funny and happy?
But then I realized, all these concerns **were** the point. The point to having a ‘Behind the Scenes’ photo shoot is to divulge ourselves. Our customers share their private, personal, painful, sad, happy stories with us all. the. time. It is without a doubt a huge privilege to be a part of these strangers lives. So, it’s about time we share our ‘stuff’, too. And so we’ll start with our faces, desks, dogs and maybe a few glimpses of some brightly colored toys.
The full series will be coming soon. In the meantime, the above is a sneak peek at my non-groomed dog named Louie. He’s a mutt my husband and I found at our local SPCA. He is named after a now closed restaurant that my husband and I used to enjoy in Healdsburg, CA called Felix and Louie’s. He and my son are best buds. (Side note, we someday hope to have a dog (or cat) named Felix in our life, too.)