Monday, December 30, 2013
It's hard to believe that we will be welcoming a new year in a couple of days!!
I would like to take a second, though, before we do, to thank all of you for 2013!!
It was quite a year!!
Personally...our youngest daughter got married, our oldest daughter..engaged. Our Grandson is growing up (way too fast!!!) and I hit a "big" birthday (although...it's just a number!! I am more interested in gaining wisdom than years!!!) But 2013 was a spectacular year for Sweet Memories!! For this I would like to say "thank you"!!!
We are very lucky. The restaurant and bakery side of our business has grown and prospered throughout the entire 18 plus years that we have been in business. We have remained true to our original goal...and we continue to make all of our food, everyday, the exact same way we have always made it. Although the temptation to "mass produce" (or take short cuts!!!) may be ever present...it's just not what we want!!
But, there is another side to our business...and that is the gift shop. The Christmas season starts, really, at the beginning of November...and it was off and running, this year, right from the start!! Now, with it coming to it's close, I must say it was wonderful....and I have all of you to thank for that!!
Running the "food" side, of Sweet Memories, is second nature....I can, practically, do it with my eyes closed. But, the gift shop.....that's another story. There are so many different lines, so much merchandise available....in so many different styles...sometimes it's a bit overwhelming. Sometimes....you start to doubt yourself. Should I change everything....go in a completely different direction?? Should we be all country, primitive, shabby, cottage??? Am I carrying merchandise that is "trendy" enough....do I want "trendy" or should I leave that for everyone else??
I have to tell you...I have done some soul searching, the last few months!! Eventually, though, I came to the conclusion that I can't...CAN'T....carry merchandise that I, myself, don't love. I have to put my heart and soul into the gift shop...just like I do the restaurant and bakery....or it just will not be Sweet Memories!!
And...you know what?? We were busy...really busy!!! Yah!!
I know that online shopping is easy. I know that the big box stores are convenient (and cheap....but, you get what you pay for!!!) But all of us...the little independently owned shops....need you. We need you to come in and check out our inventory and purchase your gifts (and gifts for yourself!!!) from us!! I don't want to turn this into a soapbox session....I just want to take this opportunity to say "thank you"!!
To each and every one of you who made a purchase...and you know who you are....you made our Christmas even merrier!! The income, of course, because....after all...this IS our "paycheck"...but, more importantly, the vote of confidence. I am heading into 2014 knowing that you all love our gift shop as much as I do...and that makes my "job"....awesome!!! I am heading in to the shop, this morning, to do a little rearranging...and to get ready for all of the new merchandise that's on it's way!! If you are not one of the people that I am thanking, this morning....if you bought your Christmas gifts online (or from a corporation...) that's OK...we will forgive you. But make it a point (or a resolution...although I don't believe in those....) to "shop small" in 2014....we would love to see you!!! And....I think YOU will love what you see!!!
Monday, December 2, 2013
This past week has seen Thanksgiving 2013 come and go...and the "shopping season" get it's start. I must say...it was a little hard to watch.
In this high tech world that we live in...we see everything the second it happens. Good, bad, funny, sad....and even horrible behavior!! I tried NOT to watch any of the Black Friday "highlights". I want to believe....really, really believe...that people are good. That we all love this season for the right reasons and that peace and goodwill exist...and that is, almost, impossible when you see those videos.
Then we have "Small Business Saturday" and, of course, "Cyber Monday". Oh my....
Naturally...being a small business owner...I want to get behind the small business Saturday thing...but, honestly, I don't think it should be a once a year event.
I can't speak for other small businesses but I CAN tell you that I try to make every day...in every season...a special experience. The whole point of a small business is, frankly, the experience. I want you to take a few minutes out of your busy life and choose to step through our door. I want to have the opportunity to make you happy....not just during the Christmas season....but all year long. I want you to experience the personal attention that you cannot...and will not...get in the stores that were mobbed on Black Friday (or...Thanksgiving for that matter!!!) or on your computer, today.
I understand that we don't have amazing electronic deals...or those much needed designer boots...but we DO have something that we ALL need this time of year. We have the Christmas spirit....and you can experience it, too!! Do I want you to come in and spend money....of course. I would be lying if I said "no" to that....I mean...this is how we make our living. But, becoming a millionaire is not, really, on my bucket list! I am far more interested in extending our "family"...creating friendships that last...watching your kids grow up...celebrating special occasions with all of you...and making people happy!!
I think we all want that "old-fashioned" Christmas. I, also, think it's possible. Slow down...enjoy the music and the lights. Enjoy the preparations...after all...it's about the journey more than the destination!! And...find your "happy place"....the one that renews your Christmas spirit!! I truly hope...it's with us...and we will be seeing you soon!!!