And just like that…2022 is coming to an end. The past few years with COVID and how that impacted our lives, our businesses, family gathering and even our physical and mental have been a journey. This year for many of us still feels like a recovery year, not just for business, but also the anxiety that comes now with this time of year and sickness. I was able to travel back to India earlier this year to see friends and family, our kids are back in school learning and everything seems to slowly be getting back to “normal”.
I’m sitting here now, in between prepping for holiday meals and entertaining and making sure we have all the presents covered and reflecting on our successes this year. I think crisis, for all of its anxiety, challenges and horrors, sometimes force us to take risks and try something new. In our case, after celebrating 15 years of business we launch more new products than we had since the shutdown. New product launches are always exciting, but also nerve wracking. We hope you’ll love it, hope it will solve your problem and if we’ve done our job of explaining it well, you’ll give us the opportunity to show it to you. Marketing campaigns are tricky business because we need to really frame a problem you have and really clearly explain not just how our product can help you, but also how it fits in with our other products. What makes a campaign successful? Sometimes it’s the unexpected and heartfelt truth.
In 1939 the world famous Montgomery Ward department store had a problem. Every year to lure in holiday shoppers, they had a promotional item that they teased as a big giveaway, something for the kids. Up until that year they would buy and give away coloring books, but that was starting to cost the big department store significant money. They decided to create their own book, something memorable, and unique. The task was given to one of their ad copywriters, 34-year-old Robert L. May. May had been a struggling author, deeply saddled with debt and a very sick wife. That year in particular, he found it hard to really connect with the Christmas spirit to tell a good story. So, he looked back on Christmases from his youth, and as an awkward shy boy…he recalled bullying, how he felt and the seeds of a story were planted.
That December of 1939 the store teased a free children’s book, “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” and brought in some of the biggest crowds they’d ever had. Over 2 million copies were given away, rising to 6 million copies by 1946. The following year, 1947 May would lose his wife and his debt became crushing. Amazingly, the Montgomery Ward store signed over all rights to May and between licensing and the 1964 stop-motion special, May’s debts were quickly settled. May’s poem and book became one of the most successful marketing campaigns of the 20th century, born from crisis and deeply connected to the life story of its creator.
When we launched our Toppers this year, it gave me such joy that they were so well received. They too were born from a personal place and moment of crisis for someone I love dearly: Mom. My Mom had been struggling with hair loss, so I explored creating a high quality, natural looking hair topper for her to give it to her as a Christmas present last year. I will never forget the look on her face when she opened it, or the look on her face when she looked in the mirror and saw herself again. That moment and that feeling is why we’re here, over 15 years later still sewing together wefts and units, wigs and extensions.
The end of the year sees the hustle, bustle of the season as we finish up promotions for the year and take time to celebrate ourselves. This time of year give yourself license to stop, put everything down and be a kid again…laughing and celebrating with friends. I found myself at an Ugly Sweater party for the first time in 2 years and went all in on creating just about the best worst sweater you’d ever see. Wefts aren’t the only thing we sew here at Perfect Locks…the ornaments on that sweater? I sewed them in!
I always treasure the fun the holidays bring every year, and also being able to look back and take stock of all that we did. A New Year is just around the corner, but if I leave you with anything I want to remind you to love each other in the good times and the times of crisis. Sometimes, in trying times, something truly magical happens that will endure.
From our family to yours, Wish you all Happy Holidays!!