Although the fourth quarter is crucial in terms of sales, it's also important for another reason. It's a time when we create connections - between ourselves and our customers, between our customers and the people that are important to them, and also amongst ourselves here at Gilden Tree.
It's like ringing the starting bell on a race that starts on Thanksgiving and doesn't end until the last shipping day before Christmas. It does get crazy and a little stressful at times, but I love it - mostly because of the wonderful, dedicated people we work with.
I've been places where asking to have something special done with an order is considered being a "pain in the you know what." I've also been places where there is no flexibility so there's never a need to do anything more than what's required.
But call us at Gilden Tree. Ask someone to do something special for you. Prepare to be delighted.
It's not that I'm some kind of miracle worker, cheering people on, or running out and doing everything myself. I don't think Kumy (my partner and husband) and I can take any credit for this, except for perhaps having the extraordinary good luck of finding truly fine people to work here and somehow being able to make them want to stay.
But there is something quietly amazing about the way that everyone pitches in, stays late, makes emergency supply runs, or even brings in treats during crazy busy weeks. Getting orders out, getting gift-wrap done (and it always looks gorgeous!) taking care of returns, or just helping people navigate our websites is always done kindly, carefully and thoughtfully, even when there are a million orders piled up. (I wish!)
And nosy me, I love seeing the little notes people include in their gift orders. I love how good people feel about sending a gift from Gilden Tree to someone far away, and that we try to do our part to make it the most magical moment of the day for the person who receives it.
Finally, where else can you really be yourself and speak heart to heart with people you only know through the web? Although my posts are few and far between, I always feel like I'm just writing to a friend I haven't seen in a while.
So enjoy the craziness, the challenges and the special requests in life during the holiday season, and recognize that crazy times are an opportunity to bring out the best in us all.