One of the great things about dealing with the public is being constantly reminded that people are unique, peculiar, and odd. (We mean that in a good way). Working at Two Neat provides a non-stop parade of personalities and situations that are forever fascinating, educational, and befuddling.
A woman is buying a t-shirt. After looking at several, she makes up her mind. You hold it up so she can examine it. “The design looks a little crooked,” she says. You hold up another. “The neck on that one’s not sewn evenly.” You try again. “The color on that one is a little off.”
You want to say: “Hey lady, it’s just a fuckin’ t-shirt. It’s going to be thrown in the washing machine with dirty jeans and smelly socks.” (But of course, you don’t.)
At this moment, you’re reminded, once again, that life’s too precious to ponder the piddly.
A really good looking man came into the store. $3000 suit, perfect hair, perfect teeth, perfect body. He’d recently climbed off the cover of GQ. He spent a few minutes looking around, came up to the counter, and asked, “Got any more of these?”
“You've got a good idea here.”
My company could cookie cutter this concept and take it national.”
“No thanks. We like things the way they are.”
Everybody wants to make cards! All kinds of people come in, from Picassos to Ansel Adamses, Gary Larsons to George Carlins. Some are going to be a pleasure to work with; others are going to be a pain in the ass. The trick is to figure out which are which.
We do this by telling them a fundamental fact about the card business:
IF YOUR CARDS SELL WELL HERE,
YOU'LL MAKE TENS OF DOLLARS A MONTH
Some just roll their eyes, gather up their samples, and depart our "stupid little joke shop." Others get inspired and can't wait to get started.
Robin Williams (name drop, name drop) was in Two Neat doing some Christmas shopping. Customers were quietly and respectfully buzzing. When he came up to buy his stuff, he uncharacteristically burst into a bit. Right there in the store!
I looked across the counter at a young, newly-wed couple visiting from the Midwest. Their faces were transfixed with awe and wonderment (as I’m sure mine was). They were spellbound and dumbfounded to be standing two feet
from the one-and-only Robin Williams doing his thing.
Their California dreams had just come true. So had mine.