Monday, December 21, 2009

Selling 'the Experience'.

Hello folks, it's Tim. Patti and I have been very busy with the shop these days and so as you might have noticed, it's been a while since our last posting.
Around this time of year it is common to think about all that has happened throughout the past year. Was it a good year? Did we accomplish what we set out to do? Could we have done things better? Are we still having fun? Patti and I have reflected on this often since celebrating the 2nd anniversary of Brickhouse Craft Shop on December 8th.
You might recall how I closed one of my previous postings where I explained how we got 'from There to Here':
I have often told Patti, 'what we are selling is the experience, what the customer is buying is the craft.' We hope our customers enjoy the experience, whether it be the music, the crafts, or the time they spent chatting with us. We hope that they will do like Patti and I did and take if from Here to There...
Recently, over the past several days I have been in the shop helping Patti with customers. There were 2 occasions when customers let us know that they were in fact 'taking it from Here to There.'
One customer commented about a previous visit to our shop when she especially enjoyed the music that was playing at the time. Patti had showed her the CD and written down the artist and title. On this recent visit, the customer told us that she was able to find the CD and bought a copy for herself - and another copy to give as a Christmas present! This wouldn't ordinarily be unusual but in this case this was a CD from which I heard one song on the local NPR radio station in Austin, Texas - in 1994 - and have never heard any of this artists music on the radio since. Patti and I have 4 CD's from this artist and enjoy all of them. I consider this a 'pearl' and I was very lucky to be listening to that radio station at the right time. This is part of the Brickhouse 'experience' we provide to our customers and we love to share it. Much of the music we play is from lesser known artists whose music is hard to find so it makes it special when we discover it and even more special when we can share it.
Another customer commented about a previous visit to our shop when Patti and I were chatting with her and told her about a really awesome restaurant we discovered in Round Top, Texas. We showed her the book that the owner and his family wrote somewhere in the mid '90's. It was part autobiography, part cookbook, included many pictures and was totally fun to read. On this recent visit, the customer told us that she was able to find the book and bought a copy for herself, read it from cover to cover - and even made an apple pie using one of the recipes! Again, this wouldn't ordinarily be so unusual but here's some background: At the time, Round Top had a population of 79 - really - that's what was on the sign as you entered the town. Royers Round Top Cafe was originally an old gas station - one of those with 2 gas pumps - so this gives you an idea of the size. Bud Royer and his family managed to prepare some of the most incredible meals - including pies. Bud had a passion for whatever he did and his family shared his passion for the Cafe. We found out it was not a well kept secret and you could expect a long wait to get a table. It was a special place for Patti and I and we enjoy sharing the memories. And we were glad to know the customer was able to get a copy of the book.
So, was it a good year? Absolutely - it's always good to celebrate an anniversary!
Did we accomplish what we set out to do? Absolutely - you've just read some examples of what Patti and I want to provide to our customers -beyond buying handmade crafts, they are taking some of our experiences 'from Here to There'!
Could we have done things better? Absolutely - you should see all the Post-It notes!
Are we still having fun? ABSOLUTELY - Patti and I love making our crafts. And with our incredible (and tired by this time of year!) crafters from across the USA and our customers - this has been more fun than we ever dreamed it could be!
Remember, 'Enter as Strangers - Leave as Friends.'
Patti and I would like to wish all of our crafters and customers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Holly Hills Primitives said...

Tim and Patti, I hope your holidays are filled with love and happiness, Dawn

OldeAnniePrimitives said...

What a beautiful post! So glad you're still having fun! Still dream of visiting one day!

Hope you both have a very Merry Christmas! ~~Annie

Robby said...

Tim what a lovely post. Thank you so much!!! xxxRobby

TeresaM said...

Merry Christmas!!!! And here is too a new and exciting year!!!! You are the best shop owners around that's why these customers keep coming back! Keep up the good work!

lovetheprimlook said...

Tim and Patti, God Bless ya both. I loved your post. Merry Christmas to and yours. Angie

Geri said...

Hi Tim and Patti! Just wanted 2 wish u and yours HAPPY HOLIDAYS;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Tim & Patti - Your shop is special because of you two. We are so glad our paths have crossed. Tony & I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year. April