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April 26, 2018

Welcome to The School House | Meet the Team


Welcome to my "cute" warehouse.  Whenever people ask what the School House is, I usually say it is basically a warehouse, but a cute warehouse.  Instead of a typical warehouse, I decided to take my business to the country where good help and charm abounds.

I've heard my entire life, "You live in a dream world."  For the most part, it was said with an eye roll.  I've always thought that everything has the potential to be a little dreamy - why not?  This sort of attitude can get you in trouble (hello, perfectionist), but it can also bring you a life that is completely full of all of the good things.


The School House Team

front left to right : Aunt Phyllis, Laurie
back left to right : Amanda, Claire & Me

To have my own team is a complete Dream. Come. True.  Not only do I have people that are able to do anything and everything I need them to, but I have people that I can share this dream of a lifestyle with. Our team works Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday, 9am-2pm.  A dream schedule, right?  I wanted to give them a work schedule that would work for a Mom.  I didn't want there to be a hectic morning rush, and I wanted them to have an hour after work to stop by the store or go on a walk before Mom duties resumed.  They work like crazy during the 5 hours they're here, then the rest of the day is their own.


Me

I'm just so excited by the energy of being here.  While I will not be here on a daily basis, I will be here from time to time to pop in, pick up new product samples, take photos and to just be amongst the buzz.  The School House is in Lexington, Mo., my hometown.  It is about 5 minutes down the road from my parents house.  Mike, Emma and I have spent lots of time here on the weekends and plan to use it as a country muse - gardening, projects and spending down time here.  However, for the most part, I'll still be working at home in my comfies most of the time.  Which is my other very happy place.



Claire, The School House Studio Manager

This is Claire.  The stars perfectly aligned for me when I thought of this concept - Claire is the only reason all of this works!  When I thought of this dreamy warehouse idea, she was the first and only person I thought of for this position.  She has a Textile & Apparel Management degree from MU, has worked for Corbin Bronze and has a retail background at Kate Spade.  And she's SUPER organized and has excellent taste.  She manages the School House - the inventory, the staff, the business.  She'll also assist with product development and marketing efforts in the future.  You may get emails from Claire when it concerns product questions.  For instance, if you are wondering about a color or dimension, you can email Claire and she can check on it for you, or maybe send you a snapshot since she is here with the product, she'll be the expert.



On a side note, Claire is married to my brother.  (Minor detail!)  Do you remember the engagement dinner we hosted for them?  They just had their first baby last Fall.  I love to be able to offer her a creative job that doesn't keep her away from him for too long.

Laurie

Many of you already know Laurie.  She has worked with me (and you all) for the past 2+ years as my customer service specialist.  Laurie will continue being the customer advocate and communicate with all of you.  If you have questions about your order status, Laurie will help you get whatever you need.  She is the nicest.  Laurie also has a great knowledge of sewing, so she helps me with the production management component of our textiles as we continue to grow that part of my product line.

email : store@jennysteffens.com



The Packaging Team

Phyllis

This is my Aunt Phyllis.  (A very family friendly business, you might say!)  She had a floral design business for 30+ years.  I grew up at her house on the weekends tying bows for weddings and playing with flowers.  She is a true creative.  Not only a talented floral designer, but painter, calligrapher and gardener, as well.  Just one of those overall crafty people.  (Wonder where I get it!)  She also is the Mother of TRIPLET boys who are in their 20's.  I'm so humbled that she has joined my team.  Fun Fact : Phyllis's mother-in-law went to school in this school house in the 1930's!

Amanda

I've just met Amanda this year while searching for one more person to fill in our team.   She has been a follower of the blog for years and a customer of the store - how could I not hire her!?  She's a mother of two littles, and she and her husband and getting ready to build a home in the country.  She also leads a craft and storytime at our local bookstore, The River Reader, in Lexington.  Welcome, Amanda!



This is our meeting and kitting table where we spread out big projects.  It is also where we have meals and coffee : )


I promise, I will share a tutorial on how we transformed the entry very soon.  I know many of you are anxious to hear about the pegboards we made.  I am so in LOVE with how it turned out.


As I mentioned, the packaging of the products happens on the big table, and the shipping boxes are packed one by one on the island.


Claire's Desk


Isn't this a great table?  I purchased it from one of my favorite suppliers.  I love how utilitarian and simple it is.   If you are interested one, contact us and we can give you a quote.



The island counter is also from the same supplier.  It is great for standing while packing the boxes and the drawers hold all of our supplies like packing tape, notes and stickers.

Mr. Darcy inspecting in the background.


Each order is packed into a basket by one team member, then another team member double checks it and packs it in the box.  We always have two sets of eyes on each order to make sure they are perfect.  We are really trying our very hardest to make the fulfillment process as errorless as possible.  Putting these systems in place has helped tremendously - we hope you agree.




The girls at work packaging some new Strawberry Copper Cookie Cutters.  They each get a recipe card for my sugar cookies and are tied with a bow - a really nice gift.





Each order gets a note signed by me, as always, and we've added some new touches, like the JSH stamped box and the sticker seal.




The interior of each box is lined with a sheet of Kraft paper and sealed with a JSH sticker.  The sticker is removable and will not tear the paper - which was a must for me!  I love being able to reseal the paper and sticker for gift giving.  So many times the sticker tears the tissue or the paper and the effect is ruined : )





Handwritten Gift Notes

I am so excited about this - at the School House we are able hand write notes to be included with your gift orders.   We write them on our School House Stationery and put them in a luxe textured envelope.  So, if you are sending the order to someone, just let us know in your order Notes what you'd like us to write.  There is no extra charge for this service.

We've made so many improvements to our systems this past month.  I'd love to hear more about what you'd like to see from us.  This new "cute" warehouse has endless customer service boundaries - I love it.  It is so fun to think of new ways to make your orders special.


Happy Weekend!  We'll be planting our garden at the School House and about 40 peonies and 10 lilacs. Wish us luck!





4 comments:

  1. Your transformation of the schoolhouse is incredible! It is absolutely beautiful, cozy, and utilitarian at the same time. Best of luck with your planting! Peonies and lilacs are two of my favorites.

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  2. Jenny--do you still have the strawberry cookie cutter? I need one!

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  3. I think you have my daughter's dream job.

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  4. Wow, I love this! I stumbled on your blog a couple of years ago when Googling Cape Cod style lanterns and have been hooked ever since. ;) I love your classic style & everything in your shop. Seeing your business grow and the beautiful way you’ve done the Schoolhouse is so fun. I love how mom-friendly your business is too. Best of luck!!

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