Like you, I have been reeling from the recent events in Las Vegas, and added to that, I had some horrible news about the sudden death of a young friend. It makes putting one foot in front of the other a daunting task. I watched a video of David LaMotte at a recent concert singing a song with the refrain from St. Francis, “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” That gave me a little hope. Then I watched this video, and my heart swelled. I hope it brings you hope and joy.
The other night we went to an event at Design Driven featuring Josh Lloyd, who helps businesses become more visible. As a newcomer to commerce and a small business owner, I struggle with how to get the word out about Chifferobe and how to get the right people into the shop. I grew up before the internet and like many other Baby Boomers am still wary of the web. I do know, though, that not only is the web the way of the future, it is the way of the present as well. You just have to know how to navigate it. And I do not.
I spend a lot of money on print advertising, and my accountant tells me to cut back. Also, there is no way to estimate whether the ads have any impact. My concern, though, is that many of my customers are older people, and not all of them are computer-friendly. A very sweet lady came in the other day on the verge of hysteria. She wanted to freeze her Equifax account so that hackers couldn’t use her credit card number. She had gone to the bank for help and then to the office of a lawyer. Neither would help, so I did it for her. It felt great to be able to help her and especially to be the designated computer expert! So, she and people like her aren’t going to troll the internet for shopping hints. I need to continue a presence in print media, but also expand my on-line visibility.
Josh is going to help me get exposure on the web. He is starting with posting items for same on Facebook Marketplace. He says it is replacing Craigslist as a place to shop. I will find out soon enough, but I am excited about this new venture. About all I am doing at this point is sending out my newsletter and posting it on Facebook.
My goal with the newsletter is letting people know what is new in the shop, and while I am at it, letting folks know what’s on my mind. I try not to be political, but sometimes I can’t help myself. Last week was such a time, and sadly it was the first time a particular reader had received the newsletter. She was looking forward to reading about 44 Cherry Street and instead she got a dose of whoop-ass from me.
Her comment, “I have less than zero interest in your political views,” has stuck with me and makes me a bit sad and cautious. It takes me back to when I was teaching in Charlotte. Country Day required students to fill out evaluations of their teachers. I would flip through the positive evaluations, thinking that those students were just trying to be nice. The ones I would take to heart were the negative comments. I would nod my head in agreement with comments about my unfairness, my poor skills at class discipline, and at the slow speed of paper returns. Then I would beat myself up for weeks.
I am sorry I drove away the woman with less than zero interest, and hope she forgives me and comes back to the store to shop. Even though I am a Liberal.