Monday, July 18, 2011

What About Children?

Not long after Zoe opened, I made sure that all of my customer's four legged friends were taken care of at the store.  And in my last post, I talked about ways that I am trying to make men more comfortable at Zoe.  But what about children?

Zoe's one disadvantage for Moms with strollers is that we are 7 steps up from the street.  I am always happy to come out of the store and help a Mom bring a stroller up or down Zoe's stairs but most people probably don't realize that (I've done it with a couple friends).  Also, depending on the age of the child, Mothers can also be reluctant to come in with the child because it makes it difficult to shop if they are trying to look/try on and keep an eye on the child at the same time.  If the store is quiet, I'll talk to/play with the child but that isn't always the case.

On my day off last Monday, I was performing my weekly shopping at Target and decided to start a toy basket for the children who visit my store.  I bought an inexpensive round laundry basket and a few starter toys and books.  Each week, I'll try to add a few more items to the basket until I have it full of fun things to play with and good books for all ages.  It has already paid dividends with a couple of shoppers whose children enjoyed the books and toys I had there!  Moms, I'm always open to more ideas!

Speaking of children, I left my "child" for the first time last week.  My mother was arriving from Atlanta at National Airport in the mid-afternoon on Wednesday.  Friends Janice and Karen were so kind to come to the store to "watch" Zoe while I went to pick up my Mom.  Honestly, as I walked down the stairs, I felt a pang of guilt.  I had no concerns about Janice and Karen's ability to take care of Zoe but I felt so odd being away from her in the middle of the day!

My mom's flight had just landed before an intense thunderstorm started and the skies opened up.  There was a ground stop so the baggage handlers were unable to unload the baggage from the plane.  We probably waited for about an hour before the bags finally came off.  The whole time I thought "I know they would call if there was a problem...I know they would call if there was a problem."

It was still raining a bit when we got back to Zoe so I let my Mother out in front of the store prior to parking the car.  Not only had Janice and Karen done a wonderful job taking care of my "baby" but they had also put up the Christmas Tree in preparation for the weekend's Christmas in July on Union Street!  What a beautiful sight!  Zoe was in perfect condition and all was well!

Next up:  Why am I here?

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