Tuesday May 22, 2018 was an interesting day for me; and, I am guessing for the retail home improvement b-to-b industry too. For me, I took the day off and went with my daughter on her school’s 5th grade field trip to the Mystic Seaport, coined the Museum of America and the Sea in Mystic, CT.
For those of you who are not familiar with Mystic, CT it is a small town in the southeastern part of the state that is along the Mystic river that flows into the Long Island Sound which is access to the Atlantic ocean. So, it is a seaside town and the Mystic Seaport Museum re-created the 19th century seagoing village NOT with replicas but real buildings fully staffed with the most amazing historians, storytellers, cooks and musicians. It is quite impressive and really brings history to life. It was a great field trip for the children but all of the parents loved soaking in some history too!
We had an excellent tour guide who was a retired Librarian named Kate. She helped to refresh my memory; plus, I learned new things about 19th century living in Connecticut. The experience was enlightening and sometimes surprising; but, definitely an interesting day for me.
Being involved in the home improvement business-to-business retail world, the internet was blowing up with breaking news while I was enjoying the field trip. We were asked (no, really told) to be role models to the students by not using our phones. So, I had no idea what was going on…until much later.
I finally read the news that a major CEO had left a retailer to head up the second largest home improvement mass retailer. Surprised? Yes, but it makes so much sense.
When DIY home improvement and hardware get under your nails it is hard to get it out. The hardware/home improvement industry has a way of pulling you in and while it is boring and un-exciting to many there are also those of us who love the business. So, as I was walking around exploring and taking in the sites and literally watching history come alive before my own eyes, where was my gaze fixed?
You guessed it! What really caught my eye and interest were the old hardware and maritime stores.
This tiny village back in the day had its hardware store and its mass merchants that were central to the survival of villagers and seamen who relied on these products.
So, Tuesday May 22, 2018 was an interesting day because it reminded me that the hardware/home improvement industry means a lot to me but it also means a lot to so many people out there that contribute and work in the industry.
From the outside, I understand why this executive went back to his hardware/home improvement roots because it draws you in and when you leave it you miss it. I bet he had an interesting Tuesday too!
Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges. Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands.
Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.
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