Looking back at our grand opening, thinking of the conversation Ashley, Ryan, Nicole and I were having in the stockroom late Saturday afternoon…we all had similar feelings: pride, satisfaction, happiness, and quite exhausted. We were sharing our individual stories from the past 34 hours of our grand opening, and it was amazing how each of us had such similar stories and feelings about the event.
What started as an idea several months ago had evolved into an event, which occurred to me more than once, could end up being bigger in my mind than in reality.
I WAS SO WRONG!!
Our Grand Opening, to us, ended up being so much more than an event. It was an incredible EXPERIENCE!! To see so many people come in, and see the expression on their faces change as they scan our selection of orthopedic and “foot healthy” shoes, and make comments such as “wow”, “they are actually cute, nice, etc.”, and “I like those”. That was just the beginning. As people walked the store, many ended up getting drawn into conversations with others sometimes with similar taste in shoes, other times with similar foot concerns, but all sharing in a similar goal – to find shoes which were supportive and comfortable that they LIKED.
To have clients, therapists, and us all working at once, sometimes simultaneously together with a common goal, but each with a different piece of the puzzle was AMAZING!! Witnessing people visiting our store, who never met each other, discussing their fit, comfort, foot concerns and what has and has not worked, sharing ideas with each other, and allowing me to share my time with both of them, and others was so powerful to witness this, and such a privilege to be a part of it. It was as though I was part of a conversation which lasted for hours, where others would become involved as (or before) others left.
Each of us had similar stories each of which was as moving as the last. When you have customers standing up in new shoes for the first time, that they picked because they like how they looked, and their first reaction is “Oh my gosh, these FEEL SO GOOD!” When you have employees who just worked 11 hours, after working 13 the day before, making comments like “that was amazing” and “this is why I love my job” and telling stories about people they helped giving them HUGS you know you were and are part of special.
I again want to thank EVERYONE who was a part of this event. Ashley and Ryan: I could not have pulled it together without your help. Nicole: I can’t image the three of us handling the crowd without your help. Aimee from MFA: You came over from the office and spent most of your afternoon Friday in the store. The staff at Martin Physical Therapy: More than once, you guys stepped in to help our clients with fitting shoes.
Last and certainly NOT LEAST: ALL OF OUR CLIENTS, new and old, who came out and made this event even MORE “Grand” than I could have ever imagined.
I would LOVE to hear feedback from those who came out, so please feel free to leave comments on this blog or you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.