His Lens/My Pen + Great Harvest = Synergy

“My first question to you,” Tina Yancey said, “is why you think your His Lens/My Pen greeting cards are a fit for our store?”  A fair enough question.

Tina and her husband took over the local Great Harvest Bread Company some time ago. It’s been part of my routine on tiling days at Song and Spirit to bring a loaf of bread to the lunch table for my fellow volunteer tilers to enjoy. In the past year I’d noticed a big change in the store.  The atmosphere felt warmer.  There was new cute merchandise for sale — sweet aprons and kitchen towels — and an inviting kiddy table by the window, scattered with crayons and drawing paper. These touches made me wonder if there might be some synergy there, no matter how far-flung it might seem at first glance, to offer our His Lens/My Pen greeting cards in a bread shop.

I told Tina that I had no idea if bread and greeting cards would make a good match. But I did know that she had brought a feeling to her store that inspired warmth and connection, and that’s what our cards did, too. Would she give us a chance?

She offered us a four-hour time slot to create a pop-up shop — a one-time event during which we could make our cards available to customers coming in for their great breads, scones and cookies. Marketing research in real time. If we were successful, she would give strong consideration to carrying His Lens/My Pen at Great Harvest. As an initial vote of confidence, Tina  purchased our Difficult Times card to offer in her sympathy baskets.

Right or wrong, selling can take on a negative squirmy-vibe strong-arming connotation. I’ve tried to surround our His Lens/My Pen adventure in a spirit of sharing and connecting — sharing with others what we are doing, engaging with people and offering a way for them to connect, through our images and words, with their friends and loved ones.

In addition to our cards, I’ve also enlarged and matted some of Martin’s photographs that we’ll offer as well. If you’re on his list, you know his gift of capturing images that drop your jaw and lift your heart. So if you’re local, drop by Great Harvest Bread Company on Adams Road (at Lincoln) in Birmingham, MI. October 15th from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. We’ll be there. A portion of all sales will be donated to Gleaners Community Food Bank.

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