Let’s Not Sugar Coat How Hard Things Are…
Shoutout to the ones who are doing it right! We wanted to spotlight Alison Kenis, the brilliant co-owner of Sugar Lab in Ventura.
I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! Here are a whole bunch of reasons why Ali….and this email….and her business….and her desserts….are badass.
First, it’s honest – she clearly explains what’s going on and why. They also weren’t afraid to announce this last minute. The email was sent at 1:32 pm to announce a 2 pm same-day closure. This was clearly a game-time decision and Ali communicated the quick change efficiently. I can tell it was difficult to send, and I’m so proud that they made this hard decision. Further, they close the email with instructions on where to find the most current information on when they will be open.
This email acknowledges that it is HARD right now for many, including Ali, her team and the readers of the email. She didn’t sugar coat the truth like they sugar coat Ventura with their delicious desserts, and that honesty was seen and felt. The email reminded me that, while this may be an inconvenience for me (because I never know when I’ll really crave a Chocolate Salted Caramel cupcake), it is also very frustrating for them. Sugar Lab is showing that their employees should be treated with decency (WHY is this unique and impressive???) and the email acknowledges that small business owners are people too – with new babies and sick mothers (see above – WHY isn’t this normal yet?).
I loved that the email kept reiterating their core values: team, customer service and quality baked goods, and reminding us that it was these values that is motivating the wonky hours.
I think my favorite thing about this email is that they DO NOT APOLOGIZE – As a recovering people pleaser, I LOVED that they are NOT sorry for the inconvenience; instead, they appreciate our patience and understanding. This is SO AWESOME. (I am a huge fan of the Just Not Sorry chrome extension. 10/10, would recommend).
I think we all need to treat each other with a little extra kindness and understanding – stuff’s hard right now (actually, hard STILL), and an ounce of kindness might get you a pound of thanks.
And with that, like Ali said — Stay safe, stay well, and stay home if you are ill.
Emily & the VISIONALITY crew.