This is a time for reflection at Seams Fashionable. I’m aware that I was noticeably absent last month from my monthly missive. I lost my father last month…my true hero. He was just shy of 95. As painful as this is…it definitely moves me in the direction of reflections of my life…and of my business.
Seams Fashionable would not be what it is today without the wise consul of my father. He started his own business when my mom was pregnant with me (and had two young sons). He left his place of employment to follow his dream…owning his own business. As I was growing up I was always amazed at the tenacity he showed in being successful…and more important…being honorable in business. He worked unbelievable hours…always giving 110% to his clients. (Little did I know I would come to realize those same unbelievably long days…)
There were several “qualities” in business that have always stayed with me as he held them in such high esteem. The first is customer service…which I define as integrity. It is crucial for a successful business to treat your clientele with utmost respect. It means the world to your clients and gives you the sustainability of a repeat clientele. (Plus it feels good!) When there were problems and/or complaints from his clients he always addressed them himself (at any hour)…this demonstrated how important they were to him. As a result he enjoyed the friendship of his clients as well as his business associates for the 47 years he was in business…and all of his life. There were several who attended his service…these many years later.
He made some mistakes along the way (obviously) and I learned from those as well. I did not do the things he did “wrong”…I chose my own! I have been very happy to share these mistakes with other business owners as we can never stop the learning process. Early on I was “afflicted” with the notion of entrepreneurship…I think the year I was born! It has been an amazing journey that I would not have missed for the world.
I loved talking with my dad about my business woes as well as successes…he was a fantastic “sounding board” for me. My latest venture…The Designers Club was the last aspect we discussed. I am thrilled that he was “with me” to see the fruition of my efforts and the success of the Designers Club. It meant so much to him and meant everything to me.
I will leave you with one element of business that my dad taught me…and that I have embraced and strive to always do well…communication! Even when there is “not enough time”…I try to keep my communication with my clients ongoing. And when the news is not positive (as in being behind in production)…I keep the lines of communication open…always with positive results.
So please let’s stay in touch…even when there is “not enough time”!
One more thing…I would love you to stop in the studio this Christmas Season and have a sip…in celebration and in reflection…