Who doesn't want to be the best at what they do? I know you've seen various "Best Of" lists in magazines, newspapers, and blogs. Everything from beaches to cities to restaurants to colleges to denim is reviewed and compiled into a list of some kind.
I knew that the Washingtonian Magazine was compiling a "Best of Old Town" feature for their December edition. Several of us in the Boutique District went in on an advertisement for the magazine but we did not know which businesses would be featured in the article. Of course, I hoped that Zoe would be included!
Jim and I were headed to Georgia on November 30th to attend the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. Once we got through security and to our gate that evening at National Airport, we had the following conversation:
Me: Hey, I think I'm going to walk over to that newsstand.
Me: I want to see if they have the new edition of the Washingtonian. There is supposed to be a "Best of Old Town" section in it.
Jim: That's cool - is Zoe in there?
Me: I don't know. If she isn't, I'm not buying it and I'm going to be mad.
A few minutes elapse...
Me (returning to gate area): I need some money. Zoe is in it!
Yes, I was very happy to find Zoe listed among the Best of Old Town and to see the pretty advertisement that had been designed for those of us who had participated in the OTBD ad. You can read the full article here.
So what happens when you are featured in a "Best Of" list? Well, first off, you feel pretty fantastic! Second, you immediately start getting emails and faxes from a company trying to sell you a plaque that you can hang in your store showing that you are part of a "Best Of" list. (If you were ever in Who's Who, you know the drill - you get named to Who's Who and then the company starts sending your parents multiple letters about buying the Who's Who book. Which of course they are going to do. They sent letters when I was that age. Now they probably send emails. And the book is probably on a CD.)
While I am truly honored to have Zoe on the "Best Of" list in the Washingtonian, I've been suspect of other "Best Of" lists. The store had been open for about 6 months last year when another publication came out with a "Best Of" edition. Zoe was not on the list. Shortly after I had reviewed the magazine and discovered this, one of the magazine's ad salespeople called for the umpteenth time, trying to sell me advertising. Although I know that the sales and editorial staffs are separate, I asked the ad salesperson about the criteria for being included and if their editorial staff even knew about Zoe. I also asked that if they had come into the store and they had decided that we were not appropriate for the list, I'd like to know more about how I could improve Zoe and make the store eligible for future lists. The snarky reply was "Oh, we know who you are. And we can't tell you if we've been in the store or not."
Sigh. Don't ever make a mother angry. Because that is exactly what that reply did to me. My not so nice comment was "I know that you know who I am when you want to sell me something!" Despite the conversation not ending very positively, I felt a little better when I took a closer look at the stores listed in the article. In a couple of cases, they had stores listed that had been closed - one for at least 3 months prior to publication of the article. I didn't feel quite so bad that Zoe wasn't included, especially since it didn't appear that they had gone out of their way to do any homework whatsoever for the list.
That bad experience behind me, it was fantastic to be part of the Washingtonian's Best Of list! Nothing makes me happier than seeing my "daughter's" name in print!
Next Up: Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend and Dressing a Model