What if...

What If…

By Danny Summers

What If... someday you are busy with your normal routine and... something really magical happens.

Sometimes new ideas that are real innovations come when you least expect them. And maybe even when you're not really even paying attention. Can you imagine having such a new idea that is so innovative that it creates a whole new business or product line? That is exactly what this story is about. And it is TRUE.

This story begins in 1910 when 18-year-old Joyce Clyde (J.C.) Hall stepped off a train in Kansas City, Missouri, with only two shoeboxes of postcards under his arm. He had little money – not even enough to take a horse-drawn cab to his lodgings at the YMCA, but he had an entrepreneurial spirit and the determination of a pioneer. Hall quickly made a name for himself with the picture postcards he sold.

Rollie Hall, his brother shortly joined him in business, and the company was named Hall Brothers. On Jan. 11, 1915, a fire destroyed their office and inventory. They took the only salvageable item – their safe – and set up shop again. With $17,000 in debt, they decided to press onward. As postcard sales declined, they recognized the public’s desire for more privacy in their communication, so they started offering high-quality Valentine's and Christmas Cards mailed in envelopes. The fateful fire resulted in the decision to buy printing presses and begin producing their own greeting cards in 1915.

[A Now for the "What If" Moment]
Armed with the success of the Hall Brothers greeting cards, J.C. and his brother continued to innovate. Their first foray into other product lines came in 1917 when the Hall brothers “invented” modern gift wrap. During the peak Christmas Season, the Hall Brothers ran out of solid-colored gift dressing, and improvised by selling fancy decorated French envelope lining paper instead. Those sold out so quickly that the brothers decided to begin printing their own gift wrap the following year. To say it was a real hit is an understatement!

Can you imagine being the first to create, produce and sell printed gift wrap? That one "What If" moment created an entirely new product line that would be popular 105 years later!

You can imagine how busy J.C. and Rollie were in the middle of their hectic Christmas sales. They could have easily missed the "What If" moment - but they didn't. Their improvising to satisfy their customers opened up a new area for sales and customer enjoyment.

The take-a-way for me in this story is...

Be watchful for "What if" moments or innovative ideas every day and especially when you are the busiest. Pressures of the busiest times can provide the opportunity to create something magical and amazing!

What If...

And now let's talk about your plans for The Fall Event 2022.

Have you made your hotel reservations? Be sure to arrive on or before Sunday to allow time for seeing some of Kansas City's amazing sites. You can see details on our Best of Kansas City page HERE.

We hope to see you in Kansas City, September 19-22, 2022 where we'll be exploring Beyond the Boundaries of Garden Retailing. The Fall Event is all about sharing, learning, and growing. No matter how long you’ve been in retail or what position you hold in your company, there’s still something to learn. It's a Can't-Miss event!

For complete program details (including a new interactive Flipbook), registration, and hotel information CLICK HERE. All links are at the bottom of each Fall Event website page. And watch for more program details of The Fall Event 2002 each week.

Sharing is at the heart of The Group and your ideas are very important. If you have any trouble logging into The Group WebSystem, please let me know. Are you and your staff all subscribed to our eLists such as GroupEs, Retail-Grower, Retail-Landscape, Owners-Only, and a number of others? Need help subscribing? Let me know so I can show you how you can sign up.
Thanks for sharing!

Danny Summers
[email protected]
Tel: 678-909-7770
Cell: 678-761-7145

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Tim Quebedeaux, Sid Raisch, John Kennedy, Jean Seawright, and of course Danny Summers are included in your retainer!

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