Springtime in the South is known for many traditions – Easter, graduation, and weddings. One Albany small business has been part of these traditions since 1985 when owner Susan Wiley opened the doors at Place on the Pointe. Since then, this tiny shop in Northwest Albany has been the place to shop for grandmothers, mothers, and daughters as they passed down traditions and started new ones.
Now, more than ever, the ladies at Place on the Pointe are hard at work to make sure their customers have what they need to continue their traditions this year. Like all small businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, creativity in determining new processes became paramount. The staff at Place on the Pointe took their above-and-beyond customer service and combined it with their steady online presence to up their retail game and meet customer needs!
“We began getting phone calls from our customers who were upset about not being able to put together Easter baskets,” said Elyse Brown. “One customer is a first-time mom who grew up dreaming about putting together her children’s baskets, and she thought she was going to miss out on the first one!” Elyse Brown and Honey Bolton, both store co-managers, moved to action and began to post videos and pictures that showcased all the Easter selections from the sales floor. Orders began streaming in right away. The staff worked overtime to assemble the custom baskets – and even added home delivery!
“It makes us feel so good that we can help our customers,” added Honey. “Another question we are asked frequently is about our Easter bunny pictures. And while we can’t move forward with those – don’t count the Easter bunny out! We might have a trick up our sleeve!”
As the shelter-in-place guidelines came down the pipeline from the City of Albany, another group began to call the store, sharing their disappointment and asking for suggestions with another springtime occasion – graduation!
“A sweet grandmother from out of town called and wanted to do something special for her grandchild – a graduating senior this year,” said Elyse. “She had no idea what gifts to purchase, so we created a virtual video tour of all our graduation items to send to her!” That video will soon be added to both Place on the Pointe Facebook and Instagram accounts for more graduation shoppers to do the same. Another plus for graduating seniors who haven’t taken advantage of a gift registry is the ability to watch the videos, make their wish list and email or call it in to the store.
Another group facing uncertainty in these times are brides in the process of making final arrangements for registry and wedding invitations. “We are creative with wedding invitations since we cannot allow brides to come in the store,” Elyse explains. “For these brides, we are printing out drafts of their final invitation and taping them to the front door for them to come by and look. We continue to text, message and email as much as possible.”
“God is our biggest supporter and we are beyond grateful! We want to do everything we can to make sure our customers have the same hands-on experience we’ve always strived to give,” Elyse says.
“While keeping everyone safe!” Honey adds.
In a time when everything seems to be changing, the ladies at Place on the Pointe are making sure at least one thing remains the same. Each customer receives the same personalized service for which this small business is known, proving that this small biz has a really big heart!