Celebrating #10yearsofcraft : Our Customers!
We always say amongst ourselves that we have the best customers on Earth. We almost whisper it, incredulous, hoping that saying it aloud won’t reverse the strange magic that surrounds our daily customer interactions. So, it’s only appropriate for our 10th anniversary to offer an ode to the consistently amazing customers that make this job worth doing.
Somehow, we really lucked out. Almost all of us on staff at Wholly Craft have a background in customer service, so we’ve seen it all in terms of customer experiences. But the bad stuff just doesn’t happen here. Theft is rare, parents speak lovingly to their children, folks are patient with us, and everyone seems genuinely excited about their purchases. Maybe it’s the joy of hunting down a special gift for a loved one, maybe it’s the laid back culture of Clintonville, maybe it’s the appeal of handmade luring a certain kind of person into our doors, or most likely, it’s a mix of all those things. Whatever the special recipe is, we’re thankful we hit upon it because the daily engagements we have with our customers really make our jobs a pleasure.
Over the course of a decade, we’ve grown up alongside so many of our customers. In some cases, we’ve watched relationships go from early dates to first holidays together to shared living spaces to marriages to children. We help choose the gifts brought to a first visit with a new partner’s family then a few years later we help choose art prints for a new house or a nursery. It’s been wild and so rewarding to have a peek into good people’s lives.
So, now we’re going to break the fourth wall of retail and share some customer stories. My personal favorite involves a long time customer who was shopping for an anniversary gift for her husband in the old location. She picked something out and headed downstairs to the Supply Closet. Meanwhile her husband comes in and buys her anniversary gift while she’s just downstairs! We were all giddy about the adorableness of this, and when she came back the following week for an unrelated gift, I couldn’t resist sharing what happened. She appreciated the sweetness of the coincidence but also mentioned that they had not yet actually exchanged anniversary presents. So, I kinda sorta ruined the surprise of their anniversary gifts. Thankfully, our customers are the forgiving type.
Crafty kids are tops amongst our favorite customers. I remember a young woman, maybe 12 or so, coming to our grand opening celebration a decade ago so excited about a place to find handmade things and vintage craft supplies. She was an avid crafter, super creative and talented, and quickly became a regular. She’s one we watched grow up. Now she’s in college on the west coast and still comes back to the store every summer to shop for gifts and crafty materials in the Supply Closet. Another crafty kid we love comes in every week to do the kids craft during the Farmers Market. One week he mentioned that he loved owls and wished he could do an owl craft. Coincidentally, we had an owl craft that week and he was SO EXCITED. On the way out he casually mentioned, “maybe next week, dinosaurs?” You bet we had a dinosaur craft waiting for him the next Saturday.
And finally, recently, a woman about 20 years old came in to buy a bunch of feminist stickers. She said that her mom used to drag her into the store as a kid to expose her to all the feminist stuff and she was mortified by it all, as any tween dragged somewhere by her parents would be. But now, as an adult, she was “of course a feminist” and loved coming to the new location to buy fun feminist gifts for her friends. I was working in the back and listening to her have this conversation with one of our staff and I maybe, totally, cried. Our customers are really the best.