enlightened organizations: global trends: inspiration
TOTAL TRUST IN THE CUSTOMER
Can you imagine a shopping experience where the owner tells you to touch everything, ask lots of questions, take your time, have a tea or coffee, and ring up your own purchases! Well, on one of my most unique shopping experiences, I heard all of that.
Hand Works is an eclectic array of mostly local artisan items displayed in a beautiful century home in the tiny village of Bloomfield, Prince Edward County, Ontario. The trip to Bloomfield is, of itself, well worth the experience-just to meet Tammy.
First, let’s get you to Bloomfield. It is located on a tiny island, or peninsula, depending on which part of the local lore you subscribe to… jutting into the northeast corner of Lake Ontario. It is about a 3 hour drive southeast of Toronto-or a lovely 1 hour drive, including a free crossing on a ferry, if you are coming east from Kingston, Ontario. This tiny town has transformed itself into a highly popular tourist destination with little shops, cafes, and boutiques featuring locally made ice cream, chocolates, pottery, clothing and lots of assorted craft and gift shops.
But none are more delightful than what you will experience at Hand Works …
A PASSIONATE, ENERGETIC BUSINESS OWNER
Meeting Tammy Love (truly that is her name) is a large part of the experience. When she is fulfilling her first passion, she is an artist – by practicality, she is a retailer… but most of all, she is a trusting, loving human being.
When you enter the large old house, you are greeted by Tammy inquiring as to whether this is your first visit to the store. She is not being nosy. This is an important point for her to get clarity on. If you have not been here before, she wants you to know the philosophy that the business is built on.
“It is”, she says, “like the old-fashioned hardware stores where the owner would go to buy the new merchandise and come back very knowledgeable about each piece and ready to explain to you what the articles are useful for, where they came from and who made it.”
Tammy lets you know she is anxious to do just that for the thousands of articles creatively displayed throughout the store, including some of her own art work. She knows the artisan who crafted each piece and where the piece comes from.
You are supposed to touch and feel… and if some objects cannot be accessed, you are to ask her to make them accessible to you – and she will get out the ladder or key or whatever is required.
FOOD AND BEVERAGES ALLOWED- BECAUSE WE KNOW YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE
Hot tea or the beverage of the day is offered, and you are encouraged to take your time and browse… no sign at this door saying “Food and Drinks” must be left outside… and amazingly, no damage to the merchandise occurs as a result of her trust in you!
Now here is where it becomes very important for Tammy to know if you are a regular or not. Once you have been to the store more than 3-4 times, it is now time for you to become part of the family. Just as when you have a frequent visitor to your home, you may wish to tell them to “help themselves” to whatever they want… being a regular at Hand Works means you now get to check out your own purchases. This not only means you now know the ropes, or that Tammy knows and trusts you; but it really is about leaving Tammy free to do what she does best – talk to the customers about the artisans who have created the products she loves and has on display. Here at Hand Works, there is no one walking behind you looking over your shoulder, expecting you might steal something.
HONESTY IS EXPECTED – AND RECEIVED
An old-fashioned till sits on an equally old-fashioned hardware wooden counter. You go behind the counter and ring up what you have bought.
Tammy told me that when she introduced this concept she smiled to see about 3 people all lined up behind the counter – one a heavyset biker guy, a young girl, and well-turned out middle-aged woman, all ringing up their purchases while looking over each others shoulders, coaching each other on how to work the till, and reminding each other not to forget the federal and provincial taxes.
Since she introduced the “you ring it up” idea, Tammy says her losses due to items “walking out the door” (theft) have virtually ended.
SERVICE BECAUSE IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO
If you do get Tammy behind the counter when you present your purchase, you will leave with a parcel so beautiful and artistically-wrapped you will not want to undo the wrapping when you take it home. She told me of a gentleman who came in with a purchase he had made at another store and asked Tammy if she would wrap it for him. He was prepared to pay. Tammy refused to take the payment for her beautiful wrapping, instead saying, “Next time you are making a purchase, consider Hand Works.”
Tammy is proving that “what you think about – you bring about”. She believes people can be trusted and that they will act in the way you expect them to act… and she expects them to be as loving and trusting - as she is. She expects when, “you help others get what they want – you will get what you want.”
It is worth a trip to Bloomfield just to meet Tammy, another of our picks for a business that has made the Corporate MindShift! - an enlightened organization. Hand Works will be added to our Directory of Enlightened Orgs.
Tammy is an excellent example of our Corporate Mindshift from a focus on Profits - to a focus on People. She believes if you are doing the “right” things, ethically and morally, the profits will follow. This is perfectly reflected in one of her most recent initiatives. Click on this link – and then scroll down on the blog - to read about another initiative Tammy has introduced at her store that reflects her focus first on people – then on business.
Organizational Behaviour Consultant
author: Imagine Your Soul Abundant: Attracting Success, Fulfillment and True Happiness
more about: www.soulabundant.com
The Law of Attraction works by rewarding us with what we think and feel about. If we believe people are essentially dishonest, that they will rip us off… our thoughts will have been rewarded. And that makes us even more convinced we were right in our first assumption. It takes TRUST and FAITH to make a Mindshift. Can you find an aspect of your life you wish was different? Then, begin to think about what you truly want – not what you have been taught to expect. It works – like magic!