Monday, May 18, 2015

Intentional, Flowery but Warm, Welcome

Photo description: Ladybug siting, in the sun, on a daisy.
There was a ramp up to the door of Ladybug Florist but when I looked at it, and glanced inside the shop, I decided that the fact that my chair was wider than normal and I wasn't sure of my ability to get up the ramp and through the door, I'd wait outside. It was one of our first really warm days and I was enjoying the feeling of sun on my back and the warmth that the sun seemed to generate in passers-by. Finally Joe came out and told me that we'd be speaking with the owner of the shop in a few minutes.

We waited and talked, we had a clear idea of what we wanted in flowers for the church at our wedding and we were hoping we'd be able to get the image in our head into the head of the woman from the shop. As we waited a couple of staff from the shop popped their head through the door and gave us updates on her pending arrival. As she came out carrying two wooden folding chairs and asked us if we'd like to meet in the park that was next door to the shop.

Finding a bit of shade, we sat down and chatted for a few seconds, getting to know each other, and then it was down to business. She is a quick thinker and she's done this before, so she easily caught what it was we were trying to do. She felt that it was possible and that she'd love to do it for us.

I was completely impressed at how she handled the disability factor in our business together. I could have gone into her shop but she respected my wish not to use the ramp that was there. No jolly hockey sticks 'you can do it' stuff at all. She said, as she carried the chairs out to the park, how glad she was to get out of the shop and thanked us both for the opportunity to be outside. I know that what she was doing was telling me that the adaptation she was making to meet with us was something that she, personally, welcomed in her day.

As we spoke she listened to both of us. Unlike maybe 70% or 75.273% of our initial interactions where, before I demand inclusion, I am physically there but conversationally eliminated, we started at equal and stayed there throughout. We all ended up parting on a cheery note. Probably more cheery if we'd been inside the store. I think the weather played a bit of a part in that, but I think that intentional welcome is what made it such a good experience.

Intentional welcome.

Now there's a business strategy I'd like to see more often. You?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's just good business sense (and a nice person): for a tiny accommodation which cost her nothing, this businesswoman acquired the custom of another paying customer.

And one who has already told a lot of people about her.

No brainer.

Disabled people are people with money and needs, too.

I remember, when I was younger and more mobile, but heavy (I'm also tall), going into a store, desperately looking for things to wear - and leaving with my money in my purse because they didn't carry the larger sizes, or only had stocked one of such items. Over and over.

My money goes online now - where I can find businesses which want it.