It was a normal, average day in the office… (or should I say workshop) until I get an email regarding a visit with Dave Clark of amazon to MY workshop. Mind blown. A million thoughts ran through my mind, and emotions were flooding my head, and I knew this visit was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
To fill you all in on who Dave Clark is, (no not the musician) he is the CEO Worldwide Consumer at Amazon. He has been in this role since January of 2021 and has been at Amazon for over two decades now! I would say having Dave Clark come to my studio, was a very pleasant surprise.
As we all know, I create my bags in my very own workshop and share my "behind the scenes" clips of me making the bags, and studio updates. When Amazon reached out, they wanted to visit to get to know more about the brand, and then try and see if Dave could sew a bag (which he has never done before!) and I could not wait to show off my personalized studio.
The start of this memorable visit from Amazon Handmade
Dave and his team visited me on Tuesday afternoon, and during our visit, we got talking about how Crystalyn Kae started, and how the brand has grown over the past 20 years. Dave and I also spoke on how Amazon Handmade has helped my business and other businesses grow as well.
It was such a great experience explaining to Dave how Amazon Handmade has given my brand traction over the past couple of years, and how beneficial it is to sell products through the site. For instance, I can create huge batches of hundreds and hundreds of products and sell them all at once and seamlessly through Amazon Handmade. Our fan-favorite item on the Amazon Handmade platform is our Card Cases, in which I sell hundreds a week. Showing Dave the ropes on how I use Amazon Handmade and how I use my studio to create the magic behind the scenes was a memory I'll never forget.
As we got talking more about the sourcing behind my bags, Dave showed appreciation for how I create my bags in a fast-paced and creative setting! Explaining to Dave how I source my materials by reusing and upcycling fabrics, for example, our glazed fabric that is environmentally conscious was a HUGE highlight of the day. (Well, the whole day was a highlight!!)
Dave then asked the question, “If you wanted people to know one thing about your business and product, what would be the thing you would want to share with us?”
I was overcome with emotions because I knew this visit would be everything and more, but the visit with Dave was not just about Amazon Handmade it was about the brand, and that’s all I could ask for. I responded with two words that came to mind instantly, longevity and uniqueness. I emphasize to my customers how durable each bag is, and how these bags come with a 100% lifetime guarantee.
Dave showed appreciation to how the Crystalyn Kae is an inspirational story about entrepreneurialism at a very early start to then building a brand bigger than I could have imagined 20 years ago. He recognized too how well the brand has adapted to change and being flexible and working around all of the missteps is something very special.
Mitch asked a great question as well, "What does it feel like when someone from halfway around the world buys your creation on Amazon?" (I was so thrilled that they kept asking me these insightful questions that all dive in on the Crystalyn Kae brand itself and my journey!)
I then explained how exceptional the feeling is, and how it is so rewarding to see customers wearing my bags out in public. Of course, I had to show appreciation to my Crystalyn Kae community and the relationships that have formed over the years from customers all sharing experiences with my bags! Also, a little fun fact, I got to share that the furthest bag I have ever sold was to Australia. (I am still super pumped about my bags reaching customers over there!)
Dave’s real test happened once we got into the mechanics…
At this point I realized after all the talking about how I create my bags, and showing Dave and the team the different machines, I knew I needed to have Dave hop on the sewing machine and see what he could do! (this was for sure another highlight of the visit in my book!)
I had Dave get on and use the machine in which I create my Hobo Bags and the machine in which I create my glazed fabric, and he was a natural. (He has never sewed before, and I can't say I wasn't thrilled his first time was in my studio!) Dave even helped in the Card Case making process, which was great because that is our highest volume product on Amazon Handmade!
How Amazon Handmade and small businesses are coming together
The best ending that could have possibly made this visit somehow even better, was when Dave asked, “Is there anything Amazon Handmade could do to help make it better for you and your business?” His question prompted me to ask the question, "What are your goals for Amazon Handmade and help boost small businesses?"
He explained how Amazon Handmade would love to help in any way they can for small businesses and would love feedback from myself and other small businesses.
Dave was very engaging throughout our whole conversation on how Amazon is helping or could help small businesses out even more, and it made me feel more connected to Amazon Handmade as a business owner and consumer!
The visit with Dave Clark and the team was nothing short of exceptional, and It was so rewarding and fulfilling being able to share my story and show appreciation to how Amazon Handmade has helped me along the way as well.