Going through piles of paperwork from my dad’s house recently I came across a gem. An article about my mom and how she used promotions to gain a customer base for a new shop, Kelly Blueprint, they had opened back in 1977. It opened a few weeks before St. Patrick’s Day. I tear up as I re-read the article. Oh, how I wish my mom was still here to talk with, to ask for her guidance about my own business; I am certain she would have had some creative ideas and wisdom to impart. I know she would have been my biggest cheerleader. How I also wish I had known back then how smart, creative and ethical she was. In the article she mentions how she tried advertising, coupons and other gimmicks to no avail. “We literally got no response” she said. Then she thought to purchase green carnations from the florist next door and send one out with each order. People loved this! And, thus began a string of promotions such as, candy canes around Christmas, “Heart Fund” lollipops on Valentines Day etc.…She says, “Customers began to think of the newcomer in town as an old friend and looked forward to dealing with Kelly Blueprint.” Word-of-mouth soon took over and the rest is history. She also placed a candy jar on the sales counter as well as a vase full of flowers. Brilliant! People in general, I think, love to get a little extra something, a “freebie”, a gift with purchase.
Another gem I read about in this article was the fact that my mom ran the business ethically, in that, since it was a blueprint and copy shop, people would come in with all sorts of items to copy and she stood her ground. Her words, “I would like to see the return of honor and trust between the customer and the blue-printer. For I am extremely aware of what moral principles have done for me. Some of my customers have gone out of their way to let me know how much they appreciate my stand in these matters.” Way to go Mom! I had no idea at the time, I was too young to appreciate how smart and creative she was. So, I just wanted to honor my mother’s memory during the month of March along with her most favorite holiday (St. Patrick's Day) as she was half-Irish; and to recall her love for me, for dad and for the business she ran so well. What a blessing that must have been for her to get to start a business and watch it grow. All because she thought of ways to make people feel included, special and loved.
Lord, may I be even half as smart, creative and ethical as my beloved mom was. Thank you, Lord, for showing me this little window into her life, this gem of an article. I miss you more than ever mom. Thank you for your example, thank you Lord for my mama.
We entered 2021 excited for what was to come. Things were looking up! We had a goal, a vision, and a purpose that gave us great joy. We had it all planned out. Our amazing graphic designer, Preston, had created the artwork. I had sourced just the right garments. Our trusty local printer printed onto the amazing garments. We had created giftable items for folks who might be looking for something more than apparel. We spent several months curating, sourcing, and working towards our goal of launching THE most amazing thing ever. We had a plan; (we have learned over 5 years to plan far ahead of the seasons.) We even had a pop-up planned at a trendy store. We were super excited to launch this powerful, hopefully life-giving movement. Everything was on target.
Then…during a benign Monday night in early January, we got a phone call. For anyone who has ever been a caregiver, you know that when you see the facility name and number pop up on your screen, your heart drops a little bit.
In mid-March, Kansas declared that schools would close for the rest of the school year. Other states soon made the same determination.
Very quickly we started hearing terms like “Shelter at Home” and “Social distancing.” “Quarantine” was a word seldom heard these days…until now when we hear it daily.
The words “Pandemic” and “Plague,” although foreign and strange to the younger generation, engender memories giving rise to fear in the minds and hearts of the oldest among us.
Businesses and churches closed,
The economy faltered,
Violence at home is increasing,
and Deaths from the virus are reported daily.
Many of us have only seen times like these in movies or read about them in books.
and Discouragement is on the rise, exacerbated by the news reports and accompanied by weather fluctuations from cold and wintry to mild and spring-like and back to wintry again.
And we are all wondering, "How long???"
Nothing is certain except that nothing is certain.
I always love it when I read those words “But God” in my Bible. Often they follow bad circumstances or evil, offering hope to a situation that would otherwise seem hopeless.
As I pushed forward and backward the seemingly heavy vacuum and saw the white pup hair that was being taken away little by little, I lost it. Literally had a breakdown right there in the living room. The room was quiet except for the hum of the vacuum. It did not matter that no one was around, I could not help but bawl uncontrollably thinking of our beloved Gidget and the fact that we had to put yet another dog down...
What do you do when you lose a beloved pet? Kelly Sue shares her and her husband's journey through their grieving process of losing their beloved dog, Gidget, and how Barkin Dogs Rescue found them not one, but two new pups to adopt and love!