Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Cassie's Introduction

Here we have it. The General Merchandise Blog. Blog? I’ve heard the word. I know it is on the computer. I’ve heard my fellow 40ish year old moms talking about their teenagers “blogging” and trying to keep them away from it. I think they were talking about “myspace.com”. I just had to ask one of my student staff the name. I thought it was “myface.com”. Oh! She said there is “facebook.com”. No wonder I’m confused. I figure a lot of you will be confused too or a little unsure about this format. Now that I’m getting the hang of it, I’m pretty excited about being a contributor and catching up with the teenagers. For us, this blog is all business……fun business.

I am the manager of the Grinnell College Bookstore in the little rural Iowa town of Grinnell. I have been at this bookstore for over 18 years. I started in retail at a very young age when my mom joined a business to run the toy department. It was a family oriented business so they allowed me to join her after school. Before long they discovered how many grandmothers wanted my opinion! Soon, I was traveling with my mom to toy shows. I graduated from Iowa State University with a BS in Business Administration. I came here in 1988 after a stint in mall retail and before that a coming-of-age period in the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone where I actually learned a lot about resort retail. I was really there to be free and hike the wilderness.

That’s the abbreviated map that brings me to this wonderful, old, liberal arts school of 1500 traditionally aged, residential students from all over the United States and the world. In future blog posts, I want to tell you about our venture into non-imprinted gifts. I think this is a growth area for small stores like mine. I found out it is easy for a small store to do.

By the way, don’t expect my writing to be of the caliber to receive a prize. I am not a writer. I’m just talking here.

Cassie Wherry, CSP
Manager, Grinnell College Bookstore
wherry@grinnell.edu

1 comment:

Lynette Seymour said...

I am looking forward to your comments Cassie, as well as the others. Your observations about branding (the Charmin Restroom Tony visited) brings to mind the need to keep the brand and level of service going. About 4 years ago Charmin opened a similar restroom at the Iowa State Fair to much fanfare and local press. Although it is still a handy stop upon leaving or entering the fair, the only service that stayed was softer paper products than the other stops. The greeters are gone and cleaners visit less often. It is difficult to sustain that high level of service, in any operation. PS Everyone will have to stop by the Charmin restroom next August on the way to the Iowa State University Book Store Booth!!