October 27, 1999 “Make it Personal!”
At our staff lunch last week, Joy gave a presentation titled “The Art of Communication,” and, in her conclusion stated, “Communication is an art, and when we take the time to personalize it, we’re taking the time to show the receiver that we care.”
I’ve always prided myself as a someone who takes the time to write letters, return emails, and remember birthdays, and I appreciate thoughtful gifts and handmade cards more than anything else.
As a little girl, my two older cousins, Joyce and Debi, were my penpals. Both had beautiful handwriting, and I was encouraged to write neatly from an early age. During summer vacations, I practiced my penmanship over and over in black and white composition books under Mom’s watchful eye.
By the time my classmates were learning to write cursive in the 3rd grade, I was excused from the homework assignments.
Inspired by art-loving teachers and Book Week Poster Contests in school every year, I slowly fell in love with the art of lettering. I found that, even if I couldn’t draw well, letters could make any art project look better.
My mom sent me to the Purple Cow art classes during my summer vacations, and bought me my first calligraphy pen and instruction book when I was barely 10, just to keep me busy. I experimented with different techniques, and copied the examples in the book.
I would watch how other people held their pens, and how they wrote. I admired people with nice handwriting, and would try to copy it. My handwriting has evolved over the years, from “borrowing” Dad’s “S” and Mom’s “K” to developing my own style.
I helped my mom decorate her bulletin boards at school, and when I was in the 8th grade, Miss Decker, whose classroom was across the yard, paid me to decorate hers. When Kandi’s Drive-In had their 25th anniversary celebration, I made the posters. Word slowly passed through Hilo’s small community, and I got my first “real” job the summer before I started my senior year of high school. The owner of Have a Heart called my mom and asked if I wanted to work for her.
At Have a Heart, we would personalize name tags, and almost anything by request. It was the perfect job for me-to get paid for something I loved to do. The other year, I helped Debi address her wedding invitations, and last year, I helped Joy with hers, too.
My most recent “job” was personalizing chairs for my co-worker’s daughter, Jade and her soccer teammates. Friends and family bring things to me to personalize, and it’s something I love doing. The day Malia brought the chairs to work, I went straight home and worked on them immediately, despite having a million other things to do.
Lettering keeps me sane and happy. It’s a stress reliever and a hobby. In my spare time, I make luggage tags and birthday cards for my friends. For Halloween, I decorated my door at the office. Scrapbooking my photos from Japan is another on-going project.
Joy convinced me to help her at craft fairs this holiday season. We will personalize and decorate different things like chairs, picture frames and nametags, and hope we can attract people with our products and crafts.
In this day of computers and advanced technology, so many people rely on email, software and fonts when writing a letter or addressing an envelope. I’ve always been a true believer in the power of pen, and hope that I can assure people that a handwritten note or a personally crafted gift is still more powerful than anything generated by a super processor. A personalized gift is unique, individualized, and thoughtful. And since it has your name on it, no one else can mistake it for their own!
THE FIND OF THE WEEK!(今週の掘り出し物）
I love shopping, and because I’m not rich, I need to find bargains! Here’s my latest shopping story:
Last Saturday, I went to Liberty House to buy some gifts, and on the way to the gift wrapping station, a 75% OFF sign caught my eye. I found a really cute frame that was regularly priced at $16.00, so I figured that $4 is a great deal! In line, the woman in front of me took a long time haggling the saleswoman about the pricing, so the poor lady was a little frazzled by the time it was my turn. She thanked me for being patient, and then gave me 75% off the marked-down price of $7.99, plus 15% off, even though I didn’t have the coupon from the newspaper that morning.
But that’s not all! Instead of taking off 75% off, and then 15% off (which would make it $1.70 plus tax) she gave me 90% off! So, this frame cost me only 82¢!
What a deal!
Susan Sensei’s English Lesson #3(スーザン先生の英語講座 その3）
For two years I taught English in Japan, and was “スーザン先生” to my students in Ikaho town, Gunma Prefecture. I will try and introduce new words and phrases for the Japanese visitor to Hawaii. Here is this week’s situation:
◆“May I try this dress on?”
洋服を試着する時は店員に一言声をかけましょう。Have a good trip!
|Loco Girl’s Profile(ロコ・ガールのプロフィール）
Born in Hilo, I grew up going fishing with Dad, shopping with Mom, and trying to be a good “big sister” to a younger sister and brother. A Waiakea High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa alumni, I taught English in Japan for two years on the JET Program, and am now employed at PacRim Marketing Group, Inc. I love doing a lot of things-shopping, reading, lettering, making jewelry & crafts, watching Friends-and that’s just the start of my list! I like being busy, and am active with the JET Alumni Association (JETAA) and the Honolulu Junior Japanese Chamber of Commerce (HJJCC.) My family and friends are, of course, very important to me, and are why I live a very typical, happy, local-style life in Hawaii and will never leave!