It's the night before the 2021 Holiday Market, and all through The Perfect Pair, Wanda, Deb and Debi are staging the very last Christmas tree....exhausted, still laughing (probably from exhaustion), but so grateful. We are all grateful.
The definition of "grateful," according to Miriam Webster, is : appreciative of benefits received. I love the dictionary. It gives a brief, but correct definition with almost no emotion. If you know any of us, you know that just saying the word "grateful" brings on a tear, a laugh or a small smile.
Words like "Grateful" have more emotion during certain "seasons" of the year. Tonight, after hours and hours and more hours, and one last hour, of entering inventory and staging the showroom before 12:00 am the day of the Holiday Market, is one of those seasons for us.
For us, this "season" of the year lets us look back over the last year and think about everything that was accomplished. If you know Wanda, you know that there were probably 50 different things that changed. It lets us look back and think about situations that didn't go exactly the way we planned, but we learned a lesson. This "season" lets us look back at all of the new relationships we have built and the relationships that are still as STRONG as ever. We are so grateful.
If you have been around The Perfect Pair for any amount of time, you most likely have visited the shop during the Holiday season. Did you know, we actually start ordering Christmas inventory in March or April? The crazy thing is, we may order it at that time, but we don't get it until October or November. Often times, Deb and Wanda can't even remember everything they ordered! It's like Christmas morning for us each time we open a new box!
Did you know that 95% of our Holiday items are entered at the end of October through the very last hour before the Holiday Market? From November 1-November 11, we entered over 700 different items to have out and staged for our customers to shop during the Holiday Market! It truly is like walking into a shop with Christmas magic.
Deb and Debi are the masterminds behind the amazing displays throughout The Perfect Pair. They can turn an old fireplace mantel into a piece of art. Lacey and Shelby are the ones who keep our Social Media looking fresh and clean, while I (Samantha) make sure the online store is looking its best. Jenny and Ava are new to The Perfect Pair, but we love their interactions with customers and any help they may provide. And, there's Sue, oh Sue! We aren't sure what we would do with out her! She paints, cleans, moves furniture and always has a smile.
Because of the fantastic team I mentioned above, Wanda has painted a wall in the warehouse, built a huge shelf display, transformed the old salvage room into the Christmas shop, and probably 10 more things I can't think about right now, all since November 1. The outside of the building was transformed and finished in November. It's amazing how fast things change around here.
Our Vendors aka, Our Pair Partners, are always thinking ahead to the next event or what they can make that will catch a customer's eye. They listen to our suggestions on what to make that might sell. They help us on Saturdays when the shop gets busy. They stop in and say, "Hi" when they drive by. We wouldn't be The Perfect Pair with out them! Our relationship with our Pair Partners is something we are grateful for.
Our weekly staff meetings that include Wanda, Lacey, Shelby and myself are some of my favorite times. None of us have had lunch by the time the meetings starts, so we are usually grabbing food from 121 Coffee Run. We are so thankful, grateful and happy after we've grabbed a snack pack or some peanut butter energy balls. (Did you know 121 has salads, wraps and gluten free baked goods?!)
In these meetings, we brainstorm and talk through situations. We laugh and tell stories. We are all Moms. All in different stages of life. We've cried and celebrated. We talk about the future of The Perfect Pair. We have been serious and not so serious. Our brains are constantly going and going, especially during the Holidays. We are grateful for those relationships.
You would think our main goal for this time of year is to sell as many things as we can. I mean, that is the point of being in retail. Of course, we want to have great sales. 2020 was amazing for us! Being a small business, customers didn't want to lose us or 121 Coffee Run, so our sales were out of this world. More than anything any of us could imagine. We were so grateful.
We want great sales, but what all of us love about The Perfect Pair is the atmosphere, the laughter, the stories and the relationships that have been built....a whole experience that makes you want to spend your lunch break just wandering around the shop. We've been told that The Perfect Pair allows our customers to just enjoy quiet time. It's a place to get away from the real world and a place to laugh with friends. We love being the place that will bring a smile to your face or give you peace.
The relationships and the stories that detail how those relationships began are definitely a God thing. We want to continue to build those relationships. We all actually love talking with our customers and Pair Partners. We love to see our Pair Partners sell an item and to see the face of the customer who bought it. We are grateful for each and every person who walks through our door or purchases an item on the website.
Wanda put it in her words and it is perfect!
"The word for tonight is "Grateful." I am beyond grateful for the amazing village we have built at The Perfect Pair. The amount of hours of work that go into our Holiday Market is enormous, but each person, employee and vendor, has a special skill to bring to help and they do. They all show up and shine every time. This photo was taken before we left for the night when just a couple of us were left to put on the finishing touches. Walking out feels a little bit like going to bed on Christmas Eve, with the anticipation of a magical moment in the morning. We hope you enjoy this year's Holiday Market. All of our employees and 30+ business owners are so grateful for your support."
Wanda, Debi, Deb, Lacey, Ava, Jenny, Sue, Shelby & Samantha