Do you work on vacation?

I was on the beautiful island of Nantucket this week. Now I’m an entrepreneur, but whether you’re an entrepreneur, and association exec or unemployed and looking for work, I know that most of us can’t turn the thinking engine off. It’s not always brilliance, but it’s something. Consider it quantity, rather than quality.  Out of a constant churning of ideas comes a couple good things, right?

Well, I bumped into a few old entrepreneur friends and made some new ones while on vacation this week. The common point of discussion with every one of them was keeping (or not keeping) their team happy. One conversation, for example, was with Luke Gutelius. He’s the founder of an innovative clothing retail store called Town Pool  They have stores in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. It’s high-end product for the H.E.N.R.Y.’s of New England. That stands for High Earner Not Rich Yet demographic. By the way, this is all my analysis, not the company line. Anyway, really cool stuff. There are 2 things that differentiates them from other expensive clothing retailers.

  1. They focus on creating a crazy fun experience. When you walk in, there’s a secret door to get to the main store. It’s almost like a family event when you go there. There’s a rubber ducky scavenger hunt for the kids and a hidden mini golf course up an inviting set of stairs to the second floor. In the basement, there’s a candy shop that rivals Willy Wonka’s factory. There’s a Zero Gravity room with the option to take and post pictures on social media. Luke and his partner are always on the hunt and working with their manufacturers and partners to generate a new experience
  2. They have an interesting revenue model that drives revenue not only from product sales but also from stocking/marketing fees they charge the manufacturers for the experiential based retail sale around the products.

Needless to say, awesome company. And his team loves working there, both on a vacation island and at the store… for the most part. He has a lot of young staff and he’s not there all the time, so he doesn’t hear the mumblings and grumblings as they come up. He told me yesterday that he would have lower turnover if he knew what his team was thinking before it turned into bigger issues. Fewer people would quit and he wouldn’t have to fire as many for poor performance.

It was validation that we’re on to something good here

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