Saturday, August 29, 2009

Psst!...Did you hear what that customer said?

Hello Folks, it's Tim. Patti and I had a good day today at Brickhouse Craft Shop. We were doing some Porch Sitting at the end of the day and as we were talking it reminded us of WHY we had a good day.

Over the years, Patti and I have spent our fair share of time on the other side of the counter, so we know a little bit about being a customer. There's not much to it - right? You go shopping and you either know what you want before you get there - or if you're lucky you'll figure it out when you see it. Sometimes you're looking for something special - sometimes you're just looking for something.

Today we had a new customer visit us and she didn't know what she'd find when she first walked in. Patti greeted her and explained that all our Crafts were handmade by crafters from all over the USA including some local crafters. When Patti mentioned that the Pottery was made by a Potter from our area (Bob Miller at Indian Trail Pottery), that was all the customer needed to hear and she spent the rest of her time in front of the Pottery display. She seemed to know a bit about pottery and really liked what she saw - although she did have some specific suggestions about some of the pieces. Can Bob make this piece with a different color or glaze? Can he make this same piece, but a little bigger? And she was wondering if he could make a piece which she couldn't find. These were all good questions and Patti said - 'well, lets call him right now and ask him.' Patti called and discussed the customers questions with Bob and got some answers right away. Based on the answers, the customer bought some pieces and may be back for some additional pieces. Obviously, we were glad she chose to buy some of the pottery and that we were able to take her questions directly to Bob, who took the time to answer the questions. We also gave her Bob's business card and found out that she called him again later to discuss some of the other items and questions she had.

Another customer (who has visited us many times) came in today and Patti and I decided to show her a new item we were working on to get her thoughts. She liked it and ordered one - so we will be making it available in the Shop.

For a customer to be heard is one thing - for a customer to be LISTENED to is quite another. Understand, Patti and I strive to stick to the 'Prim' theme and there are some suggestions we may not act on but we also know that our customers have some great ideas. I never planned on making church birdhouses but because of a customer suggestion, I can't seem to make enough of them.

Sometimes, it's a matter of the item the customer wants and where they want to put it in their house. We had another frequent customer visit us and she saw an item she really liked but knew it would be too big for the place she wanted to put it. She came back with measurements and said if the crafter can make it smaller she would buy one. Again, Patti called the crafter and the crafter said it would be no problem to make a smaller version of the item.

So call us crazy but we get more excited knowing we have some great crafters who also understand what it's like to be a customer. And they know how to listen to the customer. Of course we want to sell crafts but that's not why we're doing what we do. We know we have many folks who follow this Blog and some are our crafters and some are our customers. I've said before that what the customer buys at Brickhouse is the craft item - but what we are selling is the experience. At Brickhouse, we believe part of the experience is listening to the customers and trying to accommodate their needs and listening to their ideas (you should see all the Post-It notes Patti has!). On any given day, we can have new customers visit us, some quite by accident or coincidence. But to get the same customers to keep coming back - and even bring friends along - doesn't happen by accident. It's not necessarily hard work - you just need to know how to listen sometimes.

to our customers: Thanks for stopping by - we hope you enjoyed your visit to Brickhouse.

and to the crafters: Psst!...Did you hear what that customer said?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Morning Routine

Old Dexter Dog loves to help out around the house...his morning routine starts with bringing in the newspaper......Now if only I could teach him to clean and make dinner....! This isn't Dexter..this is Howie doing his morning routine! He is waiting for Dex...
Foggy morning here at The Brickhouse..look you see him?
Coming can you see him?
Good Dog!

Howie is tired from his morning routine...he gets up, eats, visit the cornfield and watches Dexter bring in the paper and now he can do his morning routine! Oh the life of a Dog!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Count Your Blessings

We do..COUNT OUR BLESSINGS...Tim and I have felt so blessed lately. We have met such wonderful friends since we opened our Shop. Our crafters and our customers have become great friends...we are truly blessed!
Fall and Winter have arrived at The Brickhouse. Lots of new goodies have been arriving and we are getting so excited for the cooler weather to arrive...we are hoping to have a cozy warm fire burning in the Brickhouse Fireplace once the cooler weather finally gets make sure you stop by this Fall and Winter, who knows you may even be able to sample some warm cider that will be simmering over the fire....oh the cozy days that I love and look forward to around this time of year. Summer is soon over and my favorite season will be here before we know it.
Here are few pictures of some of the new goodies. I Love these snowmen...Linda, one of our new crafters, created these for us. SO CUTE! They are on wooden dowels and I stuck them in this old coffee jar. Love the faces!

And some more of Linda's crafts....Great looking pumpkins! Don't you love how the last of our summer flowers are hiding behind these pumpkins? Can you tell I am excited about Fall? I guess I am rushing the season but it is one of my favorite times of the year and it always seems to go by too I am starting early!

The Brickhouse is so happy to have Linda creating for us..we look forward to having more of her wonderful goodies in our Shop for our customers.

Make sure you stop by The Brickhouse and see what is new. AND always remember to COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Dog Days

We are in the Dog Days of Summer and I feel like Howie looks..I am dog~tired! What a crazy last couple of weeks...this past weekend we had a family reunion and it was fun spending time with family.... Here is a nice picture of Tim (in blue shirt) with his brother, Tom and his sister, Chris.
Aunt Marge, the best Aunt ever! She brought lots of old family photos to share. Also in this picture is her son Paul; Tim's cousin, and Paul's son, Matthew.
Love this picture of Uncle Marty!
Jeanne doing some shopping at The Brickhouse Craft Shop...she fell in Love with Indian Trail Pottery...I think she bought one of each!
Tim's Mother~in~law..nice picture of her relaxing on the porch.
Liz and Katie, Uncle Marty's beautiful grand~daughter's..these two girls were the sweetest girls, and Tim and I were so happy to finally meet them.

We had a nice time and we can't wait to get together again with everyone. But now it is time to get back to normal..whatever that is! We have to get busy and order new goodies for The Brickhouse and back to making goodies, too...I am hoping that this heat wave ends soon so Tim can get back to the woodshop and get some signs and other goodies cut out for me..I really need to start painting and crafting again..Christmas will be here before I know it and I have so much to do. Please stop by our Porch again and see what is happening at The Brickhouse.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Family Time

Tim and I want you all to know that we are alive and well. We have been so busy lately and this weekend we will be having a small family reunion. On Friday everyone is meeting at Tim's mother's home and then Saturday everyone will be doing some serious porch sittin' here at our home! We hope to be able to have our Shop open during the festivities. If you happened to drive by The Brickhouse on Saturday and see a bunch of people sitting on the porch, please stop by and say hi...since we consider all our customers Family....why not join our little family reunion!
Lots and lots of new goodies are arriving almost daily at The Brickhouse. We are going to be carrying a new line of candles...candles made right here in PA..100% soy..very excited to have these candles available to our customers.We will let you all know when the candles arrive here at the Shop. Our great crafters/friends are so busy making new crafts..please stop by often to see what is new. We will update our blog when new goodies arrive.
AND please stop by our blog again, we hope to share some pictures with all of you of our family get together....!
Tim and I wish all of you a great weekend spent with the ones you love and if that includes family consider yourselves blessed!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Empty Shelves = Empty Stomachs

Today Tim and I volunteered at our local Food Bank. When we arrived we were told my the Administrator that they have been getting so many more people applying for food. And she told us how the shelves are so empty. Tim and I walked into the Food Bank and saw all the empty shelves. So many people are dealing with hard times these days, so we would like to make an appeal to all of you...the next time you are food shopping please put one or two extra food items in your shopping cart and make a donation to your local Food Bank or Pantry. I know that it is tough to make ends meet but adding only one or two more items onto your list may not hurt you..BUT it will help someone..Please help someone in need. And if you can't donate food maybe you can donate some of your time. I must tell you that when I am in the Food Bank volunteering it is a very rewarding experience. SO please give of your time and/or money. The Brickhouse Craft Shop will have a donation bin on the if you are in our area and want to stop by and leave a donation it would be very much appreciated. The bin will be on the porch so you can stop by anytime and donate an item or two. Your donations will go to help fill the shelves at the Food Bank at THE UPPER DAUPHIN HUMAN SERVICES CENTER in Elizabethville. Please give what you can....thank you so much.