It’s our second birthday on the web! Our Ecommerce Director, Emily, shares her story of how a historic October snowstorm delayed the launch of BerkshireBlanket.com.
Two years ago, we were ready to launch our fab new website on November 1st. We were giddy – it was the first time we’d ever sold directly to our customers or even online! Just before we were about to launch, we had a freak snowstorm here in the Northeast- it wasn’t even quite November yet. Because there were still leaves on the trees, the snow collected in branches and they just broke, toppled, fell, and cracked everywhere. I remember standing on my screened-in porch, in what should have been that still quiet that only happens during nighttime snowstorms, but instead listening to the sounds of wood cracking and falling – literally, every few seconds.
I called the police department in Ware, where our old mill stands, explained I was hoping to come into work to launch our new site that day. He said “You’re not launching anything! There isn’t a single road into Ware that’s passable. Please don’t try to come here – stay home and stay warm.”
We were without electricity for 5 days, which for us means no heat. It was 20 degrees during the day. I literally don’t know what we would have done if I didn’t work at a blanket company! We borrowed some extra warm ones to bring home and slept on the floor of our living room in front of the fire. I brought my son in to work with me once the roads had been cleaned up enough, serpentining between the lanes to avoid the piles of snow and branches that remained, so he could plug in and get online. Fortunately, we also have a fitness club next door to our mill. Berkshire Blanket made arrangements with them so that if anyone from our company – and their families! – went in, they could use the facilities and Berkshire Blanket would pick up the tab. This was HUGE for those of us without heat or hot water. It was an amazingly generous thing to do.
It took months before all of the storm cleanup was done! But we did manage to pull it together and launch the site, just one week late. It took a tremendous effort from people who were inconvenienced, frustrated, tired, and unbathed (it wasn’t pretty).
Two years out, and we’re going great guns! THANK YOU to our customers – your enthusiasm and loyalty is what keeps us going. As always, please keep in touch and let us know how we can better serve you.
All my best,