My Father’s Day Tribute

In honor of Father’s Day this Sunday, I wanted to share a little bit about my beloved father and what he taught me about marketing – without realizing it at the time.

My father was a tailor who operated a small alterations and dry cleaning business. When I was little, I loved visiting him at the store to watch him work on a treadle sewing machine that was surrounded by rainbows of thread neatly stacked on shelves. Sometimes I would accompany him while he picked up and delivered his customers’ dry cleaning.(Home delivery of services was the norm when I grew up, including doctors making house calls.)

Reflecting on my childhood, I learned a lot from my father amid the colored spools of thread and smells of dry cleaning solvent. I especially loved how customers loved my father. My father was not only a craftsman when it came to sewing, he was a master of relationship marketing. Whenever customers came into the store, my father would warmly greet them, inquire about their family, and then get into the specifics of their clothing alteration needs. He took as much care with the customers as he did with their clothes. And they kept coming back, while referring new customers to him.

The term “relationship marketing” didn’t exist back in the 1950’s-70’s when my father ran his tailor shop. It was just an intuitive way of how he did business. I was blessed to be his daughter and learn from him.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Thanks for a wonderful legacy.

2 replies on “My Father’s Day Tribute”

Thanks, BJ. I agree that while technology has made our lives more efficient, it’s also made us more insular. Yet there are still organizations (e.g., Zappos) that manage to maintain “high touch” relationships with their customers in sync with “high tech” operations.

What a great tribute to your Dad, Sybil. It is unfortunate that the kindness and respect that seemed to be the (natural) norm of the day back then has changed; maybe in part due to the increased use of technology that separates people physically. Implementing customer service via phone, internet, video, etc. may be more challenging, but even more important because our communications and interactions are technology-based. I am sure you made (and make) your father proud.

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