We had an order for an ‘ei katu made of real flowers this week, for a teacher’s graduation. Due to a family hospitalisation and stinking hot weather, rushing about, heads elsewhere, the ‘ei was in a wilted state with the flowers holding on for dear life in the morning :( Both the mama and I were devastated at having promised a fresh ‘ei katu by 9am. We urgently contacted the customer to give them a heads up, gift wrapped a plastic ‘ei katu and got a lovely bunch of flowers, and delivered by 9am. Phew. The ‘ei katu and flowers were on time, a real hit, and much appreciated. And the school is keen to order more ‘ei katu/kaki and puletasi 😅
I was horrified thinking I wasn’t going to be able to deliver what I had promised to the customer, scrambling to think of options and other alternatives, persuading the mama to make another one in the morning?… but at this point I asked myself, what kind of business do I want to be?
I have worked for apparel retailers who are ruthless in the way they treat suppliers, I definitely do not want to be forcing people to remake the order on tight deadline (especially when they have family emergencies to deal with), air freight or send the fastest way at their own cost (don’t think there’s any air freight option from Mangere to Manuka 🤔😂), charge them 3% cost for each hour/day they are late, or calculate loss of sales.
I deal with humans, fellow Aucklanders and Kiwis who are decent people, also take pride in their work, have families and lives. The only way I could think of to approach this situation and mama was with empathy, an ear to vent to, some encouragement and a good old carrot cake - her favourite. It means more to me to build and keep good relationships with people I work with (suppliers, makers and customers),grow and learn with them along the way.
Yes, I know it’s just flowers, no one died, no one lost a $10M account, but I want @ourlittlemarket_nz to be a business that cares, and makes the little things count. 💛
Big thanks to our customers who have supported so far - for joining us in the beginnings of something small :) 🌺🤙🏾
- Ei kaki that didn’t make it :( made of Gardenia, Peruvian lilies, Carnation, Dracaena Kiwi leaves. Beautiful and so fragrant.
- Felicia from Redoubt North School with our alternative. She has just graduated as a teacher!! 👏🏽