FILED IN: Holiday & Seasonal
Posted By: Jamie Kutchman, Founder
I'm not going to sugarcoat it. This year with our building fire has been the absolute toughest year in business I've ever experienced as a business owner since starting out five years ago. But in many ways, it's also been one of the best. I have so much to be thankful for. Much like I've shared my list of things I'm thankful for in honor of Thanksgiving in previous years, I'm excited to do the same and share with you today.
Image credit: Red October Photography
TRUSTING AND GRACIOUS CLIENTS
In my corporate world life prior to Marigold & Grey, I worked insanely hard. But in looking back, it was rare that clients thanked me for work that I did. I took calls on Christmas. I was tied to my emails while on vacation. I did whatever I could to solve my clients' issues when they came up. Quite honestly, not much has changed in owning my own business. I'm constantly thinking about Marigold & Grey, I work long hours, and I'm tied to my emails non-stop. However, there's a huge difference. My Marigold & Grey clients are, for the most, the most gracious and trusting clients I could ever dream of having. They trust our creative direction and respectfully listen to our advice even if occasionally goes against what they've originally asked us for. They arrive at their wedding or corporate event, and as busy as they are, they take time out of their busy schedule to email us and thank us for making the gifts so beautiful and stress-free for them. We've even had a bride call us on the actual morning of her wedding (while she was getting ready in the bridal suite!) to rave about her welcome bags. They paid us for our work and so technically they don't owe us a thing. But they consistently make our day with their kind calls and emails and it never gets old. I'm thankful to be doing a job that I love and receiving appreciation for it is icing on the cake and more than I could ever dream of. But most important of all, when we experienced our fire back in September, we let all of our clients know and almost every single one chose to remain with us rather than backing out of their projects and going elsewhere. This allowed us to keep our holiday season on track which we so desperately needed!
It's unfortunate that it took us having a serious building fire for us to realize just how incredibly generous the fellow business owners on our street are, but I suppose it's not unusual for bad situations to bring people together. And that's exactly what happened to us. Tyler Whitmore Interiors opened her doors and welcomed us the morning of the fire and cleared out as much space as we could for us to try and resume our operations as quickly as humanly possible. She made us feel so at time and anything we needed, she was there! The owner of an upscale rug business shared their wifi with us to get us back up and operational the same day. A woodworker up the street whom we didn't even know at the time, came down the street and loaned us industrial strength fans to try and cool the temporary space we moved into that was without air conditioning. An auto body business owner tried to help us get a pallet jack to help us move pallets out of our condemned studio space. And more recently, the owner of a printing business down the street has cleared out about 1,000 sq. ft. for us to use as overflow for our holiday season since we are operating out of a space far too small for what we need this time of year. We would not be fully operational without these gestures of kindness and generosity. It's made me realize that we are part of a tight knit community that I didn't even fully realize or fully have reason to appreciate until now. I am so thankful.
There is absolutely no way that we would be where we are today without the team that we have in place. I am so thankful for each and every one of them. Whether it's our core full-time staff or our part-time or seasonal crew, they're devoted, hard working, upbeat, incredible at solving problems, passionate about the quality of work that goes out the door, and extremely client-focused. Yes, it's my business. But I am a very small piece of this puzzle. Our team is our greatest asset and I admit, it still blows me away each and every day at how lucky I am to have them.
There are not enough words to adequately describe how much support we received post-fire. From Lissa Ryan Photography showing up to document the damage for us to send to insurance so we could focus our efforts on clients, to friends arriving to help sift through damaged inventory, to others bringing us water to keep us hydrated, to industry friends helping us build and pack gifts to get ourselves caught up on major deadlines when we were running behind (huge shout out to Sweet Root Village, Margo Bright Occasions, and Julie Vieira Events) to competitors calling and offering us their supplies (thank you Teak & Twine), to HUNDREDS of emails and texts and DMs and phone calls with words of encouragement from literally all over the globe. I've always believed that people are inherently good but I've never really been one to ask for help. But to be in such a place of need and reach out and ask for help, it's been life changing to witness and experience kindness in this concentrated way. I fully intend to pay it forward however I can and am thankful for the way in which it's transformed me.
Despite setbacks, we will more than double in size again this year. I am thankful for each and every online order, no matter big or small. I'm thankful for each and every corporate client, especially the ones who have never outsourced their gifting in the past and go out on a limb and convince their co-workers and executive team that we're the real deal and will execute to perfection just like we say we will. I'm thankful for each and every event planner who trusts us with their large scale and high profile events. I'm thankful for each and every couple who trusts us to greet their wedding guests upon arrival to town for the weekend. And the countless other clients who allow us to take gifting entirely off of their shoulders from design to delivery.
I'm sure I could go on for hours on this topic but since it's Thanksgiving, I need to sign off and spend some quality time with my family (who I'm also VERY thankful for)! Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and that your blessings are many!