During last week, I spent some time on the road travelling as far afield as Scotland, visiting some of my key accounts, one such customer is a delightful lady, Claire, who owns and runs an exclusive accessories and jewellery shop, The Herbary in Troon, Ayrshire.
Claire used to be a senior buyer for a large chain of clothing stores, based out of Glasgow, (so she knows her onions). A while ago, she decided to become her own boss and bought The Herbary and started stocking Owen Barry, who, I am thrilled to say have become a principle line within her formidable range of brands.
So, Claire and I were talking at length about customers – discussing what is important to them in terms of product, customer service and reliability etc. - both she and I are passionate about this subject and the conversation went on late into the evening (10.30pm) – which for retail, talking about customer needs is quite committed (or perhaps we need to be!).
Anyway, Claire told me an interesting story about a regular client –
A vegan, aka Mrs Green – best name I could think of, who had invested in jewellery and other bits from her shop in the past.
Whilst visiting recently, Mrs Green spied a Dudley bag in a particularly glorious skin and fell in love with it. However, because of her vegan principles buying a leather bag was not hardly politically correct, so she declined. But came back, declined again, returned and was tempted a third time, finally on the fourth visit (in the space of 2 weeks) Mrs Green decided to take the plunge.
Here was our conundrum? Why would a lady who had been a proud vegan for many years change her mind and purchase an obviously leather bag?
Of course, we concluded, it will be a combination of factors, bi-product of the food industry, eco- certified, British made, life time guarantee, great style, great service from the shop staff, all of these things will have given her the confidence to invest outside of her comfort zone.
Interestingly, one thing that we know made her even more comfortable with her conscience, actually came after the purchase had been made - it was the dust bag – our complementary dust bags that come with full price OB bags are all made here in Somerset from upcycled/oddment fabrics and stunning – she loved it.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the first vegan we have managed to covert, but, frankly most have been friends or family, who already have some kind of partisan bias towards the company and know our principles well –
But this was thrilling because it had been a very considered purchase - 4 visits / 2 weeks.
Mind you - I could have eaten 14 cow pies in that time – however, I do base all my dietary needs around world renown foodie guru Desperate Dan (young ‘uns look up Dandy comics). So no hardship there but patience is a virtue.
What? oh yes, absolutely, in answer to your question – NO regrets – Mrs Green loves her bag, she wears it proudly even to the greengrocer.
Dudley is a good generous size, 2lbs of King Edwards and a Cauli – no probs – why wouldn’t you?
click to view the Dudley