In this series, ActionCOACH Mary Ann Hauser (MAH) and team virtually sit down with business owners to learn how they are working through COVID-19. Check out their inspiring stories for tips on how to cope with and successfully recover from this pandemic as well as ideas on how to avoid making common mistakes. And be sure to look at special offers from these businesses – we can all use a little extra help right now!
CP: Colin Peet, Marketing Manager
DS: Donna Stanley, owner of JD Stanley & Co
CP: What do you do and how long have you done it?
DS: I have an interior design and decorating business, we've been in business 35 years. What sets me apart is that I have my own custom work room, where we do many things with fabric, window treatments, shower curtains, bed coverings, pillows, we upholster new furniture, antiques, reupholster, anything with fabric for interior of the home. In addition we sell blinds and shutters, shades. We don't manufacture them, but we sell them. We are experts in the window covering industry. We are in the furniture capital of the world, so we have great resources for furniture and accessories (rug, lighting etc.) I am always staying ahead of the trends.
CP: Who would you describe as your best customer or target customer?
DS: Best customer for me would be a busy, professional person who needs me to help them put their vision together. Offices and home, we help both commercial and residential. My customers trust me to help them make their vision come to fruition.
CP: What has been the biggest impact of COVID-19 on your business?
DS: We actually have seen so many people working remotely from their home, which a lot of people still are and will be into 2021. We have seen some increase in sales for furniture, because they are creating nice office environments that are both functional, comfortable and beautiful because they are spending more time there. We have been busy. Normally we would be busy with families entertaining and Christmas, but of course families are not entertaining. We are working with clients that are remodeling and or buying new homes. Thankfully, we're still working.
CP: What are one or two actions you've taken because of the pandemic?
DS: Well, besides just wearing mask and being careful, and our spacing, I still go out and meet with clients and we keep a safe distance. One thing we have done is meet clients via Zoom and Facetime. This has helped save time, because of where our studio is located. We are still able to show them samples and fabrics. We can send pictures by email. We are not limited, I still travel and meet clients but we stay safe
CP: What has been your biggest learning since you've been a business owner?
DS: I didn't learn this in business, but follow through. Always treat others how you want to be treated. The sandbox rule. I have found in business to always do the right thing. Whether I lose money or make money, I still do the right thing. Satisfying the customer is the #1 goal. When you do that, they come back to you. I really have lots of repeat business and lots of referral business because I think our integrity and reputation speaks for itself.
CP: Do you have any offers you want to include in the newsletter?
DS: I'm offering discounts on any orders placed the first two months of 2021!
CP: What is most inspiring to you right now?
DS: I appreciate people who work and work hard to accomplish their dreams. I love what I do. Its a joy to get up and go to work everyday. I know a lot of people who want to get something for nothing. Those working hard to achieve their goals inspire me.
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