My family and I have a tradition of going around the dinner table and saying what we are thankful for. We try to do this once a week. It is a way of showing appreciation and thanks without bringing God and religion into the picture. Usually we are thankful for our food, for our family, and of course I am always saying thanks to the blessing of having children.
For this Thanksgiving I wish that all 163 employees of Brooklyn Industries could sit around our metaphoric table and say what we are thankful for. I cannot speak for others, but what I am most thankful for is the continuing support of our customer. This might sound like marketing speak, but we are in the service business so of course we serve our customer. Throughout the recession, our customers have come back, and they have continued to shop, talk to us, and share their opinions. They have purchased new styles; they stop by our windows; they tell us what they think. In short, our customers help us exist every day and in turn help us form a community in which we share our ideas.
I have been reading the Omnivore’s Dilemma recently and thinking about localism, sustainability and how we can apply some of the ideas from the food movement to clothing. This is starting to happen. The Sunny Side Bag and the Penumbra Tote are the first bags we have made in Brooklyn in many years and customers love it. We see the sales one week and we make it the next week. However, localism is not just about manufacturing. It is also about where and how we all consume. By shopping at Brooklyn Industries, our customers are supporting our 163 people working in our neighborhoods, plus helping them pay rent, buy coffee, go to movies, support families. In turn our company can then pay health care premiums, do non-profit work, pay lots of rent (too much) and mostly (this is the biggest part of our budget) pay salaries. By purchasing locally, customers are in turn supporting themselves and the micro-economies that we all live in.
The last three years as an entrepreneur have been very hard, perhaps even harder for me than living in a factory. My goal throughout has been to keep us going, to keep us relevant, and to keep our wonderful products flowing through our stores to give support and purpose to our community. And ultimately, it is our customers we thank for making all of this happen.
Thank you Brooklyn Industries customer. We appreciate your dedication and purchases. Have a great Thanksgiving.