Where have the last 6 months gone? I always thought running our blog would be easy…. Type out a couple sentences hit send and BAM you have yourself a blog…. Wow was I wrong! Before I graduated from school I worked for my parents but on the sales side. Now that I have graduated I have somehow taken over, email, social media marketing, advertising, the website, (if you haven’t noticed we have almost EVERY single piece of inventory on our website. More about that later), and on top of all that still doing sales.
One of the main reasons that the blog has been pushed to the side are the reasons stated above. We have photographed, measured, and posted every single item in our large warehouse. We have now moved onto the reproduction side. When I approached my dad about putting EVERY single item on the website I think he thought I was crazy. He answered with “You do know how many pieces of furniture we have right?”. I slowly looked around and came to realization that… we have ALOT of furniture! My dad and I share a common trait and that is being rather stubborn. Therefore his challenge of how hard it was only fueled me wanting to get it done. Needless to say myself and my trusty sidekicks Florencio and Salvador went row by row piece by piece, pulling the furniture to the corner of the warehouse where we would stage it, take a picture of it, measure it and then return it to its original spot.
It took quite a lot longer than I had thought. However, now that it is done I feel like we are able to give our customers the ability to view items in the comfort of their own home. I mean really… who doesn’t enjoy sitting on the couch cruising the rows of Water Street? I believe we have to be one of the largest online retailers of one of kind furniture items on the Internet…. I say that because if anyone else has anymore inventory they might be crazy to do what we had to do…. Although I might be a little bias.
The past six months have brought more than an online inventory. January marked my first trip to India as a buyer opposed to someone who simply tagged along with my parents. If you haven’t seen the video of our trip you should check it out! Its full of furniture, travel, elephants, cows and more furniture…. Did I mention there is lots of furniture? This was an AMAZING trip! One that cannot honestly be put into words. India is such a great country, one that is so unlike the countless other countries that I have been blessed to travel in. The poverty that is seen throughout the country is truly humbling and makes you realize how silly some of our “first world problems” are. Despite the poverty the people of India are some of the most friendly I have encountered in my travels. Not only was it amazing to be in such a great country it was equally amazing to see my dad in his element. Furniture has been a part of his life since 1972. Hundreds of furniture shops have come and gone in that time. But, his knack for furniture has kept Water Street a cornerstone in the furniture world for all that time.
I have always appreciated my dad’s sense for good furniture. But really listening to him go through each piece of furniture and explaining what needs to be corrected or fixed is truly something that every customer of Water Street needs to see to appreciate a lot goes into the buying process. We do not walk into a giant air-conditioned warehouse and walk through rows of furniture and buy 10 of these and 20 of those and go home. We go through row by row, piece by piece, stopping at each item we purchase and advise them what colors need to be changed, what hardware needs to be switched, etc. These days turn into 10-11 hour endurance runs. Which is fine by me as long as I’ve had a good lunch, my dad on the other hand has some super human gene where he can go hours without eating.
After graduating college I thought all my learning was done. However, on that trip I realized it has only begun and if I want to keep this business running for another 43 years I have a lot to learn. Although I must say that during our trip I did teach my dad a few things, Life lessons if you ask me. For instance, how to connect to the Internet in an airport or hotel. My dad might be the smartest man in the world when it comes to antiques but, the nightly “Is your internet working?” proved otherwise on the technology side.
The 12 days in India are 12 days that I will cherish forever. It was the first time I felt a larger part of the business. I was also able to spend time with my dad and neither of us killed the other which, was a plus. I believe I learned more in those 12 days then I did in my college career. Maybe I didn’t learn what the temperature difference between the inner-core of the earth opposed to the outer core (about 2,220 degrees Celsius if your curious). However, I did learn how amazing it is to be a part of such a great business. How lucky I am to be able to travel with my father and how lucky I am to live in such an amazing country out of poverty. So like I said before if you haven’t checked out our video of the trip click below and give it a look!
Thank you to all the customers who have supported us throughout the last 42 years! Thank you to the customers who appreciate the quality of furniture that we provide opposed to a big box store where the items are bought in mass quality, without the same care and dedication. Thank you for allowing my family and I the ability to pursue what we love, which is buying and selling amazing quality furniture. Here’s to another 42 years!
P.S. I promise to get better at this blog thing!