Saturday, February 12, 2011

Customer Service Like it Should Be

This morning in Dallas was one of those crisp, blue sky days...after being snowed in, iced in, and just plain shut in, I was ready for a road trip...and I knew just where I wanted to go!  A friend told me about a shop in Greenville, Texas called the Calico Cat, where "gold standard" service was the norm.  They apparently had women's clothing, shoes, jewelry, housewares, food items...heck, just about anything a girl could want.  So, I grabbed my camera, saddled up the Honda and headed northeast.  It was such a beautiful day, and I thought it was a good sign when Doug Kershaw came on the radio with a bit of Cajun music. How you can not be happy listening to music like that?!
Now I'll drive as far as I need to for good customer service.  I'm a horrible clothes shopper; everything always looks bad on me, and I usually leave without buying much of anything.  I had a feeling that today would be different, and it was.  A bit of history about the Calico Cat: it's located in downtown Greenville in the Uptown Forum building, and it was started in the 1970's.  I was VERY excited to see that the shop and building owner is Janeen CUNNINGHAM!  Nope, not a relative, but a super nice woman with an obvious eye for eclectic fashions.

I found the shop easily by following their website directions, and even got princess parking right up front!  Walking into the building is pretty much sensory overload, as it houses a multitude of shops, and I couldn't wait to check things out.

The shop is right up front, and my soon-to-be personal shopper, Betsy Kingsbury, welcomed me inside, gave me the grand tour, and introduced me to the owner, Janeen, and other staff members.  Before I knew it, I was even in the stock room, being introduced to Mary Lauderdale, who is 83 years old, and checks in the new merchandise (what a great job that must  be!).  Mary told me that she "flunked retirement," after co-founding and working at Mary of Puddin' Hill, another Greenville-based retail and mail-order company, for more than fifty years!
I tell you, I've seen a lot of shops, but the combination of great merchandise artfully displayed and a more-than-willing staff takes the cake in my book.

Betsy wanted to know what type of clothing was on today's shopping agenda.  Work?  Play?  Dress Up?  Who knew people even cared!  I thought about for it for a minute and decided I needed clothes for work, travel, and something comfy for my photo shoots.  Mary told me to sit my camera bag down in the stockroom, where she'd watch it.  Betsy and I went on a mission to find a few things, not at easy task with over three floors of merchandise! Here's Betsy, bringing into my dressing room the first of many clothing deliveries!
Janeen also got involved, making some good suggestions.  I was, as Betsy put it, "a willing victim," and tried on everything they brought my way.  It was hard work, but I did it!  Halfway through, Janeen brought in a glass of water, which perked me up and got me to the end of it all!  Betsy offered honest critiques of each article of clothing, and ran back and forth getting the right sizes.  Did I mention that the Calico Cat also does alterations??  Well, they do, and I'm short and don't sew, so that service was much appreciated.  Before I knew it, I was up on a little stool, with Betsy pinning up some pants, that will be mailed to me next week.

Of course the Calico Cat is happy to wrap up any gifts you might buy!
I talked Janeen into posing for me by the front door, which was all decked out for Valentine's Day.

Although it was an exhausting several hours, not once did poor Betsy let on that she had anything else she'd rather be doing!   I finally finished up in the dressing room, and then took a little break to snap a few more photographs.

It was finally time to tally it all up, and pay for the damages.  Although I spent too much, I have to say that everything I bought was reasonably priced.  Betsy even carried it all out to the car for me!
So, to all my Dallas friends, I highly recommend the Calico Cat.  You'll get the best service you've ever received, and it'll be well worth your drive.  I know I'll get the same level of service no matter if I go overboard like I did today, or if I simply buy a $40 item, and that alone makes me a fan.

Oh, and if you need a little lunch and a glass of wine, right down the street is the Landon Winery.
Do yourself a favor and mosey on down to the Calico Cat.  Tell them Vickie sent you!

1 comment:

  1. What a fun excursion Vickie!
    I went to a fashion show last spring in McKinney sponsored by them and it was delightful....looks like I might need to plan a trip to Greenville to see the shop in person. Look forward to seeing and admiring your new wardrobe!