2016 At Crawford Boys
Posted on 29 December 2016
I did not begin to fully recognize the process until well into 2016. Looking back from this end of the year, I realize that it has been a year of transition and important decisions.
For the most part, our staff who have been loyally with me through the years since we transitioned from men’s clothing to boys - all comfortable with the traditional retail brick and mortar style of retail business - have retired. In their stead is a cadre of relative youngsters, all in their 20s who have brought a new life and vigor to Crawford Boys. Young, enthusiastic, and eager, they are full of new ideas to push the boundaries. Their presence has given me renewed energy, more of a bounce to my step, and challenged me to retain a more youthful frame of mind, encouraging me to look at Crawford Boys from a new perspective.
All of this transition plays directly into the most important decision that I’ve had to make in many years. I had to determine the future of Crawford Boys. After 40+ years in the retail clothing profession I found myself facing a choice: Play out the final few years of our lease, close the business and enter a well-earned retirement, or keep going for another term. If the latter, it was imperative to find a new direction for Crawford Boys.
The decision, made over the course of this past year and after much discussion and research is to take on the challenge of driving Crawford Boys from a successful but local traditional brick and mortar business to the virtually unlimited world of online retailing. This is a project that I cannot do myself. While overseeing the work, it is the young staff who have the skills, knowledge and energy to bring it to fruition. And in this respect I am most fortunate.
Caitlin, Charlotte, and now Iris have jumped at the opportunity of taking on the challenge to redirect the focus of Crawford Boys to include a strong online sales presence. Caitlin researched the best platform then single-handedly designed our new online store. She and Charlotte have spent untold hours brain-storming a coordinated, flexible twelve-month social media plan for Crawford Boys. Their enthusiasm, sense of adventure, and willingness to go where we have never gone before was the key to my decision to carry on and push our limits.
At this early stage, we cannot yet see over the horizon to know the ultimate success of our new direction. It is new and exciting, full of promise, and we are very optimistic.