Now that the crazy-busy holiday rush at Hazelnut Kids has passed, I’ve had a few minutes to reflect on the season.  And the result?  I am in awe of how wonderful it has been.  This season (and year) couldn’t have gone any better, and it is thanks to two groups:

  1. Our customers
  2. My staff

Everyone is talking about the U.S. economy, so it would seem that the stress of that would result in stressed shoppers.  But, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, who has shopped at Hazelnut Kids this season has been wonderful.  There have been a couple of times where someone was upset about a problem with an order or a toy, but that’s understandable, and as soon as we wrote or called the customer, their frustration was gone and they were friendly and happy.  Everyone was pleasant, we were receiving kind words and positive reviews all season long, and there was a lightness in every interaction.  So, to all of our customers I send a very sincere THANK YOU.  It is one thing to be happy because we are making a sale, but it’s a very different feeling when each sale feels like it was placed by someone who is a perfect fit with our company and our products.  Every customer has felt that way to us this season.  I can’t express just how great it feels, but I feel like Hazelnut Kids has a permanent golden cloud floating over our office.

The second group to thank is my staff.  We have two key customer service representatives (both of whom are named Shannan/Shannon and both of whom are pregnant!) and one manager (Bridgett).  I can’t believe what good fortune I have had in finding them.  They are some of the nicest people I have met, which our customers can sense when they talk to them.  Because they all have families of their own, they understand how upsetting it would be to not receive the right toy when it is needed, so they are super-conscientious of ensuring that orders are correct.  On the rare occasions that a mistake is made they do everything they can to make the situation right as quickly as possible.   They are honest and dedicated.  One of them has actually checked Hazelnut Kids emails in the middle of the night because she was “up anyway with a pregnancy bathroom call”.  I don’t think I would do that, and I own the company!  They do not make it seem like they are just at Hazelnut Kids for a paycheck, they act like they are part-owners with a genuine interest in how well things go.  When Hazelnut Kids won the NASE 2008 Achievement Award earlier this year and we had to quickly move to our new facility and get ready for the camera crews to come in for a day of filming, Bridgett and Shannan jumped in to action and put in a ton of extra hours to ensure we’d be ready.  Since I do most of my work from home, I trust them with all of the daily operations of Hazelnut Kids, and I am completely comfortable, knowing that everything will be taken care of perfectly.  So a huge THANK YOU goes out to Bridgett, Shannan, and Shannon.  You are amazing women and I couldn’t feel more blessed to have you working with me at Hazelnut Kids.

I wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Joyous Kwanzaa, and a beautiful 2009.

With sincere thanks,

Sheri Novak, Owner – Hazelnut Kids

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