Sunday, April 11, 2010

Keeping it real

I am so disappointed in the circumstances surrounding one of the other bead shops in town.  They had always been courteous to me, sending customers my way when they didn't have something I did (and vice versa), as well as featuring beads from MY shop in jewelry made by their workers, and gladly so.  And because I don't carry the high end, detailed lampwork beads that they do, I have been a frequent SHOPPER there as well.  We had even tentatively talked of doing a collaboration project where I, along with one of their workers, would teach a part of a bracelet, with our own little touches to complete it.  Until now.
All of a sudden, the owner of that shop has decided that she needed 'better marketing' stategies - and that meant hiring someone to do her marketing for her.  Unfortunately, part of that deal included firing all of her employees, including my friend D, and taking on this marketing expert as her ONE full time employee.  This so called marketing expert knows absolutely NOTHING about beads and beading, or technique, or anything remotely bead related.  I'm sure that this hiring is so that the person can become familiar with the whole process-but that definitely isn't going to happen overnight.  I realize that because this shop is in a very high traffic TOURIST area (especially in the summer), she may want to better get her name out there, but to me, this doesn't seem like a good way to do it. (She's been around as long as I have (opened 1 week apart) - we both have a well established regular customer base).   Very disappointing - and I believe detrimental to them in the long run that they no longer have someone that knows the ropes as far as beading is concerned.  How in the world can you run a bead shop that way?  There were two other shops in town that tried it - and neither of them thrived, and have since closed. 
 So - long story short (TOO LATE!)  I am considering taking on my first 'employee' - because I think D may be willing to work for beads.   She is wonderfully talented and knowledgeable, and loves beads.  Do you need any more than that in a worker?  That would give me more time to take care of other things this summer - I believe both my parents are going to need better supervision once they arrive home from Florida - and don't like leaving my customers with no one they can ask questions to.    PLUS - come to find out, I've known D for over a year now, and just realized that her husband was the instructor who taught the business course I took before I started the shop!  Small world....
I intend to 'keep it real' in my shop - with knowledge, talent and customer service as JOB ONE - either on my own, or maybe with a little help from my beady friends....

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