OrÖthe day I got lost in a bead store. It was a cool, grey Tuesday. Iíd visited the bead store a few weeks prior with a few girlfriends to celebrate a birthday. It was a surprisingly relaxing afternoon as each friend went on the hunt for the perfect set of beads for her earrings and necklace. While I enjoyed the birthday celebration, something was happening inside of me. I was falling helplessly in love with the whole beading process. I decided that Iíd come back soon to make gifts for my sisters and friends. On that life changing Tuesday, it took me forty-five minutes to get to the shop; the anticipation was high and every moment worth the drive. Shannonís Beading Basket in Longview, Texas has over 8,500 beads for customers to select from. They have pearls, glass beads, wood beads, turquoise and more. If youíve ever seen it hang on a chain chances are you will find it at the Beading Basket. This is perfect option if you are looking for a unique accessory for a wedding or other special occasion.
The time went by quickly as I selected beads for the first necklace, trying hard to come up with a design that included blue and grey, the request of my second sister. With helpful hints from Shannon, the owner, I put together a beautiful necklace with a drop pendant. Before I knew it I was the last person in the story. The funny thing is I didnít realize the store was closed. I lost all track of time. Two hours felt like twenty minutes. I left that day planning my next visit. The Beading Basket is a place that I can get away from it all for a few hours to indulge my creativity and to make special gifts for those I love. Itís no longer just a business itís a destination.
I critique businesses and customer service all of the time, even when I donít realize Iím doing it. I notice everything that works well and what doesnít work so well. I was in an eating establishment meeting a friend for coffee. In the middle of morning rush a worker came out and began to deep mop the area where we were sitting, causing us to relocate to a new table to get away from the strong bleach smell; and also keeping other customers from sitting in the area leaving very limited seating options. It seems that there would have been a better time to deep clean the floor, perhaps when the restaurant was not so full. This in contrast to the service at the Beading Basket, the atmosphere was welcoming and inclusive, causing me to feel more like a friend than a customer. I think thatís the success of every great business. If you want your customers to come back to you time and time again, even passing others by to get to you, then make a lasting connection with them. Give them a reason to get lost in your store and forget about everything else. It doesnít matter if you have a bead store, a coffee shop or even a pet clinic, you can provide a great experience just by making a connection. Give them a reason to think of you above others when they need what you have to offer. If you have an online business you can make a connection by doing a few simple things like making your contact information easy to find. Share something about yourself and your people; share your passion and your joy over what you do. Invite them to connect with you and they will remember it.
I got lost in the bead store that Tuesday and I canít wait to go back only this time Iíll arrive early and set my watch so that the kind people at the Beading Basket wonít have to ring a little ďtimes upĒ bell to get me out of the door. Nearly every town has a bed shop that offers on-site workshops, classes or at the very least instructors to help you get started. If you need a little R&R during your week search out the nearest bead store in your area and give it a try. I hope your experience is as positive as the one I had. The one that got me wonderfully hooked on beading!
If you are in the East Texas area and would like to visit Shannon's Beading Basket I have included the contact information below. There are bead stores and workshops around the counry, click on a link below to learn more.
Shannon's Beading Basket
100 W. Tyler St. (Downtown)