As I look back on this past year we have so much to be grateful for, but in all sincerity, I am most thankful for you.
This time last year was really a struggle for me as we had opened a 3rd and 4th location and were learning the ins and outs of manufacturing on our own. As the Holiday season passed we started 2017 with disappointing sales for the first few months and it became a reality that if I were to spend less time in stores while growing the company, we really had to regroup and figure out how to better manage the company. One of the first things we put in place was a sales manager for all of the stores, Erin, and while training her I realized something very important.
I had been spending much more time in the new stores as well as in our manufacturing depot and so I chose to train Erin in our French Quarter location in the beginning to get her and myself better acquainted with our flagship store. While there, I could not help but note the amount of people that had been coming to our French Quarter location over the last few years as part of their annual visit to New Orleans. So many people told me that our store was now just as much a part of their itinerary as their favorite restaurant!
I began to realize that the experience people had in our stores was much more important than we gave credit. Ultimately I realized that a company's success is directly related to the relationships it has with its consumers and those relationships are directly related to the experiences they have with us. For any business to succeed, the most important factor will always come down to how we make our customers feel and for that reason we decided the best way to manage our company as it grew was do what we do best, be hospitable!
We not only sell an amazing product that is an education all its own but we also are located in amazing cities with great restaurants and cultures. We have amazing staff that love their home and love to visit and share all the parts known and unknown that make it great. When I first started I was a gal in a shop who started telling the story of cork and ended with a relationship, many of which I still have today. When I went on to grow more stores and manufacturing I forgot to let the other stores in on that one important detail and we made the mistake of talking about the numbers instead of the people.
I am so thankful for the time away from the store that gave me the ability to see when I came back what an amazing experience it can be to receive so many guests in our store and create a relationship through our common love of cork, our city, and our cultures. So cheers to you and cheers to our future, I know for certain that QUEORK cannot have one without the other!
P.S. - As a bonus, Black Friday starts this evening so get in early!