We need you, and we thank you!
We need you, and we thank you: A personal letter from Liz
How do I, representing a company, write something to express how truly grateful I am for each and every one of our customers without sounding like I’m doing it as an advertisement? This question has plagued me since we started Sunrise Science.
I am a people-person, much better one on one than in a group. Any of you who have met me at a conference know that I’m not the gregarious one of our group, and that I won’t be dancing until the wee hours or singing karaoke. I’ll be in the back of the room making sure any emails from you get answered. I’ll be posting pictures of flowers or trains from my trip to see you. I’ll turn in early with a glass of wine so I can help Customer Service with quotes and questions to make sure you have what you need no matter where I am.
I love talking about our company story, and about how we work together. I can talk about how committed we are to never making you wait any longer than absolutely necessary to hear back from us. I can talk about how thrilled and excited we are when we get an email from one of you thanking us, and telling us you enjoy working with us. We drop everything to share those things with each other because they truly make our day worthwhile.
I am not, however, very good at asking you directly to please buy something from us. I want to make sure you love us and that our internal processes are efficient. Dave will make sure you have good products and help with your higher-level scientific questions. Becky will cheerfully ask you to please order and will triple check procedures. We need and complement each other.
Our team has expanded and contracted in size over the past 13 years, and has included consultants, full time teammates, part-time helpers, and a whole group of former co-workers who have become friends. We know change is a normal part of growth, and while we relish the days when everything goes according to “plan”, those are not most days for us any more than they are for anyone. So we embrace upheaval as best as we can, and are grateful for the people who have worked with us to ensure we continue to be here for you. You may not see us, but you have some of the best people I know committed to helping you find what you need to make at least one part of your day easier. This is more than a job for us. This is our passion. This is my passion. And my colleagues and my customers are part of my family.
Prior to starting Sunrise Science, my favorite job had been working at a small “bucket” flower shop in San Diego my senior year of high school and the first 2 years at UCSD. People came to us looking for something to make things better for them or for someone else. They knew we were not a fancy florist. They loved that we were flexible and caring and approachable. It was hard work. Constantly changing. We scrubbed and swept and lifted and went home with hands stained green and scratched from thorns. And it was incredibly rewarding to see people smile and walk away with the very best we could do to meet their individual needs.
As a Biology major, I realized that at some point I needed to start along the path of washing glassware, pouring sequencing gels, and performing endless mini-preps as a job, and that I would have to leave the flower shop behind. But I left knowing that some day, I would have my own. It was part of who I am in a way that I couldn’t have articulated at the time.
I thank you for giving me my flower shop. Whether you have ordered one thing from us or hundreds, or whether you have asked a question and walked away with an answer without buying a thing, I thank you. Please keep stopping by. Please keep smiling at me as you pass me at a conference when I’m too nervous to make conversation. I will not bother you, but if you need to know where I found good coffee, or if I know where the extra push-pins for the poster boards are, or whether or not we can make your specialized media formulation, I will drop everything to help you. And it means the world to me when you take the time to thank us for helping to sponsor the meeting. We do not do traditional advertising because we choose to spend the money we have on supporting your science. It is always so nice to know that we have made a difference.
Next year will see us moving the company out of California to better compensate new employees in place they can afford to live. It will help us mitigate ever-increasing pricing on raw materials, insurance, and utilities. We spent 2018 test-driving our remote office processes and have had great success with no noticeable impact on our standard of service. Once we have a place and a date chosen for our move next summer, we promise to give you plenty of notice so you can be stocked up on products as we set up our new space! This move has been a long time coming, and we are extremely exited about the possibilities it will open up for our team.
Thank you for ordering our products and for cheering us on from the sidelines as we grow. Thank you for your patience with our small team as we wear many hats to help you. We would not be here without you, or without each other, and we truly enjoy being here.
Please share as much love, calm, strength, and peace as you can during the winter holidays and beyond. There cannot be too much of that, in easy times and in difficult ones. We are all in this together.