What a Year This Has Been!
Hi everyone! Robbie from Chase Street Accessories & Engraving here to share with you what this last year has been like on the anniversary of the day our doors first opened.
It all started about 15 months ago now, I was struggling a bit with what I wanted to do with myself. I knew that I wanted to do something that made me feel good, that allowed me to be creative, and something where I always felt like I was learning something new. That’s when the seeds of Chase Street were planted. One night over dinner Shana, Chris, my husband Shawn, and I were all hanging around having our usual monthly dinner. We used it as a time during everyone’s hectic schedules to feel grounded and connect with one another. After, a couple bottles of wine Shana mentioned how one day when she retired from the armed forces, she would like to open a trophy shop because “who doesn’t love getting recognized?”. It was at that moment that (and honestly I couldn’t even tell you what compelled me in that instance, wine probably) I looked over at her and said “why wait? You want to really do this? I will be with you every step of the way”. We laughed about how great it could be done right, and we enjoyed the rest of our evening. The idea stuck with all of us, and we started to really think of it becoming a reality. We all had unique personalities and skill sets that when combined could be a beautiful and symbiotic relationship. A couple of weeks later Shana, and Chris invited me over and offered me the opportunity of a lifetime. To be a part of a new business venture from the very beginning, to make me people feel good, and be a part of memories. Shana immediately started to research and got to writing a business plan. With that, our journey had started, and boy oh boy what an amazing ride so far.
We immediately started training, researching, and looking at creative ways to help us stand out from the crowd. We knew we were entering a field that was typically older than our age range. People that have been in the industry since we were toddlers. But we had a passion, a vision, and because we all had graphic backgrounds, and experience of various degrees – we knew we could provide a unique experience from start to finish. In what felt like a blink of an eye we started building out the shop and researching products. The first couple of months were intense, but I learned such an incredible wealth of knowledge in just that short time that before I knew it, I was confidently running industrial equipment from our laser to an industrial embroidery machine. It was amazing to watch the skill we as a team learned come to fruition. It was then, that we decided we were ready to show the neighborhood what we could do, and applied for Flower Mart. It was that weekend that I knew I was exactly where I needed to be, with the team I wanted to be with, in a job that made me feel good at the end of the day. I spoke with hundreds of people that weekend, and I loved every single minute of it.
Our first summer in the shop was amazing. At Chase Street we are always learning new techniques and processes to assist you in creating truly something special. We like to practice all the time, and it was that August that something truly amazing happened. What started as just an in-house joke, posted to reddit and spread like wildfire. I spent day and night in the shop engraving case after case of drink tumblers. That’s when the personal requests for tote bags or tshirts came in and we started to do those too. To say it wasn’t stressful at times would be a lie, but the feeling of seeing people with the items you know you created. It is the most beautiful feeling in the world.
Towards the end of the summer we added another member to our team, and I couldn’t be happier. Lauren has enabled us to continue to learn new processes, refine old ones, and assist where needed. What a game changer. This winter Lauren and I worked tirelessly not only bringing her up to speed, but refining in house processes. It was great having someone come in that was a fresh pair of eyes, that could look at things differently. That in itself has been tremendous, from how we communicate to the processes we use on a daily basis. For me personally, it made a huge difference in just my workflow alone.
Over these last few months I have learned so much about our industry from standard engraving, to design and even apparel decorating that I am forever indebted to Chase Street Accessories & Engraving as well as my team. Especially Shana, she has been my rock, my mentor, my disciplinarian, but a true leader. The knowledge and skills that I have learned from her alone have been invaluable to me, but the skills we have learned and developed together are even greater. If you haven’t gotten the feeling by now, let me just say it “I love my job. I love it even when I am exhausted, I love it even when a mistake has been made, and I love it when a client comes back and tells us what a difference we made for them with a memory. See for me, this business isn’t about just recognition and awards. This business is about taking a memory and creating a tangible object associated with it.”
Over the last couple of months, as tumultuous a time as ever while we collectively deal with COVID-19, the entire team at Chase Street Accessories & Engraving is here for you.