Friday, August 29, 2008

Blast from the past

A customer walked into Mitchell's the other day and told me a wonderful story from 30 some years ago that proves that good customer service is irreplaceable in retail.
She asked Bonnie, one of our salespeople if any of the Mitchell's were around, so Bonnie called me. I met the woman and she told me a story. About 30 years ago, they had just moved to the area to be closer to the duPont Hospital for Children - their daughter was restricted to her bed in a sort of body cast. Mitchell's had just opened The Fabric Den - a store that was attached to Mitchell's and sold fabric, sewing machines, patterns, etc. I vaguely remember the Fabric Den, but I clearly remember the sign. It was pretty clever. We called it the Fabric Den because it was a smaller storefront (the current home of the coffee/cupcake shop next to Happy Harry's in the Fairfax Shopping Center....mmmm....cupcakes) next to Mitchell's so it was kinda a 'den.' The sign had a lion on it, which was made up of different swatches of fabric. So, Mitchell's had a contest to name the lion on the sign. My aunt, Joan Hicks, at that time wrote for a local weekly newspaper, The Town Talk. We had hundreds of entrants into the contest and finally selected a winner. The winner chose the name Dan D. Lion. The winner won a sewing machine and was interviewed by my aunt for her column in The Town Talk. The winner, of course, was the woman's daughter. She told me that for the ten months she was constricted to bed, this was one of her highlights. She also told me that her daughter would make sure that if they needed something, they made sure that Mitchell's didn't have it before they would buy it elsewhere. She still has that sewing machine. She brings her eleven-year-old son into Mitchell's. I dug up this ad from our archives. I also found a photo of Darla with the sewing machine!

Hopefully, we can continue that kind of experience in YoYo Joe's, that's certainly our focus - to keep things local, to keep things personal, to treat people in a way that they will remember and want to come back to our store.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

I remember Dan!