I have a confession to make: I am a terrible businesswoman.
Let me explain.
I have my online store called Cuba to Go! It’s pretty straightforward. I have come up with some fun designs for shirts and bags and things. My products are all about showing off your Cuban heritage. My husband is an Internet marketing guy and he is my own personal in-house (literally) Techno-Geek.
I’m pretty computer savvy myself, besides being an artist. I am pretty good about getting the orders from the in-box all the way to the mail-box. I am very competent.
But here’s where my business skills break down. I have customers who contact me with questions, and then we start talking. There it is. Right there. I get hooked by people’s stories. And every one of them has a story. I went out of my way to get the "Guajiro" sweatshirt to Robert’s dad across the country for his birthday with the note: "Here you go, Papi. I love you. Robert." (got choked up by that one)
The friends of the proud new Cuban dad sent a gift of a onesie to their friend’s newborn "Cubanito." (does he look like the dad?) There is my new friend, A.L. from Glendale who bought his Cuban wife a shirt in every color and style in our catalog. We talked for over an hour about her Cuban heritage, how proud he was of his children, how we homeschool and…. oh… yes…. about his order. Eric & I are making plans to meet them at Porto’s in Glendale one day very soon.
How unprofessional is this?? I care more about the people than their business. I exchange emails with them. I want to hear their stories. I met my friend Lee when she wrote me a lovely email with the thought that we could be friends. You should see the pictures of her grandchildren! They are gorgeous! (Hope you have a great time in Boca Raton, Lee & Steve!)
So if you find you like my products and I see your order in my inbox, rest assured that I will wonder about you. I will laugh at your clever email address. I will wonder how Cuban-Americans ended up in that part of Texas, or what nationality your husband or wife is. Chances are I might even pray for God to bless you.
This is not an apology. I’m just giving you a head’s up. I’m not really a very good business woman. I want Life to Life contact. I must connect with people. It is in my DNA. I’m Cuban!
Mi casa es su casa. Which makes professional detachment impossible for me.
But my stuff is cool. I know you’re going to like it. Even if I am a big sentimental dork!
Consider yourselves warned.