It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of business books. Even though they aren’t directed to the professional machine quilter, I can always find a takeaway or two to apply to my business. Recently, the book “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson made a huge impression on me. A takeaway that really opened my eyes was Steve Jobs’ passion for presentation. He felt that opening an Apple product should be an experience, something that really enforced the value of the product. I thought back to the various Apple products that I have purchased and opened in the past (including this MacBook Air that I am writing this on) and realized that the presentation was spot on.
Like most books that I read, I ask myself, “how can I apply this to my business?”. It was a humbling question to say the least. I happen to do most of my quilting for customers out-of-state, so I ship a lot of quilts. At that point, most of the quilts were folded and wrapped in clear trash bags (ugh, I shudder just remembering that!) and sent in reused boxes (boxes that other customers had sent their quilt in).
I am confident in my quilting, but I knew that I could improve on the presentation of the finished quilt. I wanted my customers to feel that opening the box containing their finished quilt was an experience. With my assistants, Jessica and Ruth, I decided to improve upon the way my customers’ quilts were returned. After a little trial and error, here is what we came up with:
1. The quilt is carefully folded with the bottom of the quilt facing out.
This is done for two reasons. First, doing this provides the quilt with a little extra protection. Secondly, it keeps the quilting on the front a secret until the recipient unfolds it.
2. The quilt is carefully packed inside a clear cellophane bag.
It’s a little hard to see in this picture, but each quilt it carefully tucked into a clear cellophane bag. This protects it from the elements on the off-chance the box is damaged. It also ensure that the contents of the bag are completely visible.
3. Include an address card.
Before I seal up the bag, I include a card with the recipients address. On the off-chance the box is damaged and the contents fall out, the address of the recipient will be sealed inside the bag with the quilt. Not only is this an added layer of protection for the quilt, it shows your customer that you are as concerned about their quilt as they are!
4. Use a custom seal to close the bag.
You may not want to invest in a custom sticker to seal the bag, but I feel that it helps solidify the presentation of opening the quilt.
5. Pack in a new box.
Once the quilt is packed up safe and sound, it is packed into a brand new box. Justifying the expense of a new box took me a little time, but I wanted to be able to trust that the box would be new and would deliver the quilt safe and sound. Once packed carefully, it’s on its way back to its home and, hopefully, to a satisfied customer!
What about you?
In the quilting business, there is a lot of competition. Doing a few things to help you stand out can really help you rise above the rest. Even if you don’t ship your quilts, what can you do to help improve the presentation of your customers’ quilts?