07-09-2018

DC-Based Artisan Gifting Business Announces Mission Statement and Core Values

FILED IN: Behind-the-Scenes

Posted By: Jamie Kutchman, Founder

 

If you read our blog, watch us on our youtube channel, or follow along on social media, you'll know we've had a bit of turnover lately in our Operations Manager position. And with turnover comes new hires and with new hires come more frequent reviews of our Employee Handbook. (You may recall I finally finalized this back in January during my workcation!) Anyway, on the front page of our Employee Handbook, we list our mission statement and core values so it's clear that these are the driving forces behind everything outlined in the document. We've never officially shared these with you before so while they're on my mind, I figured it's time. They shouldn't be kept private. They're as much for you as they are for us!

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Image: Red October Photography 

 

MISSION

To give the gift giver the same amazing experience as the one receiving the gift.

We love to make gorgeous gifts, that's a fact. But our actual business is all about taking it a step further. Anyone can put pretty things in a box and ship it off to a recipient who's going to love it. Who doesn't love a gift, right? Beyond that, we are laser focused on taking the entire process of gifting from start to finish off of our clients' shoulders so they can get back to doing whatever it is they do best...running a small business, handling marketing for a Fortune 500 company, designing and executing high end weddings, managing a demanding career while planning one's own wedding, or even running a household like a total boss. We want our clients completely stress-free in the process and this means that we must have the proper systems in place to make it seamless for them. Doing this goes beyond just pretty things in a box.

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Image: Red October Photography 

 

CORE VALUES

Titles don't matter but contribution does.

I believe in this so wholeheartedly that I intentionally made sure it was listed first. We might assign traditional titles around here but no one is above doing anything that is required to satisfy our mission. For example, if operations is bogged down when juggling multiple projects at one time with overlapping deadlines, it is not unheard of for me, the owner, to jump up and build gifts and tie bows. Even if I'm busy doing revenue generating things which some might deem as "more important", it doesn't matter! I do whatever it takes. Same with the operations side of things. If there's a marketing or design project that needs an extra set of hands, they're happy to contribute. Feedback is welcome from everyone regardless of title and regardless of whether their opinion clashes with mine. In fact, some of our part time interns have come up with some of the best ideas we've had. I like it this way. It's the only way to keep innovating and growing.

Without clients, we don't have a business. Treat them like gold.

You can have the prettiest Instagram with a bazillion followers or a press page to die for, but NONE of it matters if you don't have clients. And more importantly, happy clients. Some businesses hide behind the social media and press facade while ignoring the right things and in the end, they'll fail because businesses aren't sustained on the number of followers or amount of press you have. These things can certainly help but to us, nothing is more important than happy, loyal clients, stress-free clients.

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Image: Red October Photography 

 

Our team is our most important asset.

This might be a controversial statement since as I said above, if you don't have clients you don't have a business. But, if you don't have a team, and a really good team, you won't end up with the clients you need to achieve long term success. Unhappy employees lead to lukewarm or even unhappy clients. I'd rather have a good team and struggle with low inventory because a good team can do more with less. I'd rather have a good team and have few operational mishaps on a project because a really good team can help smooth things over and still deliver a flawless experience for the client. A bad team will leave you hanging, resulting in leaving your clients hanging, so you must have the culture right first. All else flows from there.

 

Design and execution are equally important.

I've said this before but beautiful boxes aren't enough. Thoughtful, beautiful gift design is a given. It HAS to be there. But what really sets us apart is whether or not we can actually execute. Can we get all 800 gifts out the door on time to 800 different address requiring 800 different address labels all while juggling multiple other projects at the same time? This matters as much as design does. We have to nail them both.

 

Do the right thing always. 

This is pretty basic in theory but sometimes harder to live out. For example, we have a delivery go wrong and it's going to cost us several thousand dollars to make it right. It's ultimately UPS' fault but telling the client UPS dropped the boxes isn't going to fix the gifts and get them to their recipients on time. We have to pay to fix the problem and then scramble to still find a way to meet payroll, pay bills and whatever else we have going on. It might mean not hiring that assistant as early as ew want or going without a professional photographer and taking the product pictures yourself for a while. But we think long term and do what's right even if it hurts in the moment. We treat our clients the way we wish to be treated.

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Image: Red October Photography 

 

We're really curious. What do you think of our mission and core values? Reach out via our contact page or leave us a comment in this post. We value your feedback and as always, love to hear from you!

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