As we’re all spending most of our time at home, and with our services limited to collections and deliveries, we thought we’d introduce you to some of our staff virtually! Here’s a little bit about Mel, who manages our Brierley Hill branch.
As of last Sunday, I’ve worked for the shop for 16 years! I started working here after leaving a retail job with Royal Doulton, feeling like it was time to do something different. I joined what was then Keep Able – and later Hearing and Mobility – in an office-based customer service role after a friend told me about the position.
I’ve worked in lots of different capacities here since then – from setting up an online sales function from scratch to working as a full-time sales assistant, then becoming the shop manager! Our store became part of the Snowdrop family back in February, and I love the level of appreciation and support there is for both staff and customers within Snowdrop.
What I enjoy most about the job is that no two days are the same. Each customer is completely different, with completely different needs. What’s nice about being on the shop floor instead of in the office doing a telephone-based customer service role is all the real connections I make, and the way I can get to really know customers over the years.
One of my most memorable customers was a lady who walked into the shop in the middle of November, in the pouring rain and freezing weather, wearing just a pair of sandals because of a problem with her toes. I got her to try on a pair of CosyFeet Karens and couldn’t get her to take them back off – she said it was the first time she’d been able to wear shoes in ten years! She came back to buy them in every colour we had, which caused a bit of a squabble with her husband in the shop. She clearly talked him around though because he was soon back in to buy himself some Kens!
We sell such a wide range of items that it’s difficult to pick a favourite, but there are definitely a couple of standouts for me. The Illusion scooter is easily the most portable scooter I’ve come across. There are lots of lightweight or folding scooters on the market, but I can’t name any others that are as easy to take apart for transport as the Illusion. Our engineer, Andy, was convinced I’d forgotten to put the batteries in when I handed it to him – it’s really that light!
A much simpler product that I love is the Novo Cup. I bought one for my dad when he was in the hospital and it was the difference between him being able to drink unaided or not. The angle on the cup stops spills and the straw reaches right to the bottom, so people can use it lying down. My father was fiercely independent and being able to do that simple thing unaided made such a difference to him.
Outside of work, I’m generally kept busy by my four-year-old granddaughter! Gardening is my big love otherwise though – I love tending to mine and I help my sisters out with theirs too. I’m a huge fan of acers and have five in my small back garden that I’ve raised from twigs!
The Brierley Hill store is currently open from 9-3 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (excluding Good Friday and Easter Monday). Mel and the team are offering a call and collect service as well as a delivery service so if there’s anything you need, give her a call on 01384 473 719!