One of the things I love about my job is hearing from our customers firsthand. Whether my job comes up in conversation as I’m out and about, or if customers are sharing feedback with our customer service department or via Facebook and Twitter, there often is a common theme. More times than not, people tell me “wow, it really works.”
There are plenty of products out there that can be gimmicky and claim to do things they don’t. Whenever we are creating a product, the first and most important thing I’m concerned with is whether or not the product actually does what it is supposed to do. Our company exists on the fact that our products are easy to use, effective and safe. Without that, Jelmar wouldn’t exist!
The fact is, our products do what they are supposed to, and more.
We recently worked with a community of independent filmmakers to create a new fun video for our flagship Calcium, Lime and Rust (CLR) product. The humorous video captures reactions when first using CLR and showcases how our products really work.
What do you think? Does it capture your first reaction when using CLR? All kidding aside, we pride ourselves on creating products that ACTUALLY work. So thank you for being a fan of our products.
Last week, I was given the great honor to attend the National Association of Women Business Owner’s annual awards luncheon here in Chicago to accept the award for “Woman Business Owner of the Year”. Seeing so many other intelligent, successful businesswomen at the luncheon truly was a humbling experience and it made it so proud to be part of this group of women.
This recognition has really given me time to reflect on the opportunity that my father gave me when I took over the day-to-day operations of this company. Since I can remember, this company has been part of who I am. My family has lived and breathed this company since its inception and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Perhaps its because of the fact that in my mind, Jelmar is synonymous with the Gutterman name, that I have always felt a certain amount of self-inflicted pressure to continue the company’s successes while finding our way in a new world, targeting new consumers and using new tools to reach them.
But then I remember, that because of the examples my father and grandfather gave me when they were running the company and because it’s such a part of who I am, the pride I have in Jelmar, in our products and in our employees will carry us through. And in addition to that, the community of other women business owners is an incredible support system as well. We all are able to provide advice and real experiences that we can learn from and apply in our individual business endeavors.
In short, I think this recognition from the National Association of Women Business Owners has not only made me proud, but also made me realize how lucky I am. Lucky to have such a wonderful family that has supported me throughout the years and has served as a fabulous business example. Lucky to know a community of like-minded, business-savvy women. And lucky to work with such a fantastic, smart group of people here at Jelmar. So thank you. Because this award is as much yours as it is mine.
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the 2013 International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago for the 20th year. This show has always been something to look forward to for Jelmar. Not only is it an opportunity to see old friends and colleagues within our industry, but it’s also an opportunity to meet new people and share some of the exciting developments that have taken place within the company over the past several months.
CLR® Stain Magnet is a powerful all-purpose, multi-surface stain remover that removes tough stains from a wide variety of surfaces. So if the kids have taken crayon to the walls, or if you accidentally spilled red wine, this is the stain remover for you.
CLR® Mold & Mildew Stain Remover stays true to the heritage of all CLR cleaners and is tough on those pesky stains caused by mold and mildew on a variety of surfaces. A unique feature of this cleaner is the foam sprayer that allows for a more direct application, preventing splash back and spores from spreading in the air.
And as with all of our cleaners, we have used an eco-friendly formula that keeps in mind the importance of our environment and the chemicals we are exposed to, while still using strong cleaning agents. The Stain Magnet and Mold & Mildew Stain Removers will be available in the coming months.
I’d love to thank everyone that stopped by our booth during the International Home and Housewares Show. We’re thrilled about the new products, and will have more exciting announcements later in the year. Thanks for being part of our CLR family!
When I started working at the company, there were only three ways for our customers to reach us - by phone, fax or letter. I remember reading very lengthy letters, and answering phone calls. And while it was fantastic to speak directly with our customers or her their thoughts via letter, it seemed to me that people just wanted to know that there was a way to connect with the company that was making a product that they liked or didn’t like.
Many individuals wanted to chat about their family and experience with our products. They told us of the parties they used our products to clean for, the science fairs their children competed in and other nuggets about their lives. Today, while we reach many more people through different mediums, we don’t seem to get the same types of calls that we used to get, or the letters that gave us the life history of a particular customer.
In this digital age, are we closer to the customers that buy our product?
You could argue that because we don’t have in-depth conversations with our customers that we have created a distance between ourselves and the consumer. I don’t think so. I actually think that the conversations we had in the past made us better communicators and have made us better able to give our customers the information they want on their time.
Today, you can get information about our products 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The ability we have given the consumer to see how to clean an item in their own home is almost like brining in a Jelmar employee into their kitchen. Logging on to our Facebook page gives us the ability to learn what people think about different topics in order to make better products and promotions and meet their needs. We also get the chance to enlighten consumers on ways to use our products they have never thought of using, and how to use different products they haven’t seen in stores.
I think now more than ever we are more connected to our consumers. Now we have a two-way dialog, versus 20 years ago when the conversation was just driven by the consumer. By increasing our touch points, we have a much better idea of our consumer and how to make products that will meet his or her needs. In a few months, we’ll share with you a few new items that will be on the shelves of retailers in 2013. We can’t wait to hear what you have to say about them.
While many people lament the end of another holiday season, I always tend to get excited about the New Year. The feeling of what can happen in the New Year can be thrilling and sometimes nerve wracking as well. And with the hustle and bustle of December gone, we can truly focus on the months ahead.
Do you make resolutions? Even if resolutions aren’t your thing, I always think it’s important to set goals for the year. It gives you something to strive for, and a sense of purpose, whether that be in your professional or personal life. For me, I’m thrilled about several exciting things we have planned for Jelmar in 2013 and wanted to share some of these goals with you:
- Build on Jelmar’s heritage to offer new and exciting products. In the coming months, you’ll be seeing some exciting additions to our product lineup. All of these new, exciting products were created with the same thing in mind – to solve the toughest cleaning problems in your home.
- Learn more about what you all want to see: I’m looking forward to learning more what type of products you would like to see and how you are using your products. We consider everyone who purchases Jelmar products to be part of our family, and when you speak, we listen. So please, share your thoughts and opinions either on our Facebook or Twitter pages, or through email.
- Appreciate the little things. This is something that we plan to celebrate more this year. Whether it’s hearing a short story about how we might have helped someone prep for an important event, or made someone’s life easier through some simple tips, these are the things that matter and keep us going every day.
So as 2013 gets off to a roaring start, I urge you to think about your 2013 goals as well. How can you make your life easier? Or how do you want to improve yourself or those around you? Feel free to share in the comments section below. In the meantime, regardless of if you’ve been a fan of Jelmar for years, or just happened to stumble upon my blog, I hope that you have a wonderful new year, and look forward to sharing more with you in the coming months.
- “First Impressions”
- Feeling Lucky
- 2013 International Home and Housewares Show
- Customer Service and Social Media
- Cheers to a New Year
- Time Back this Holiday Season
- Reaching a New Generation
- The Dog Days (of Summer) Are Over
- Lessons from the 30th Olympiad: Women Rule
- The Customer is Always (Usually) Right
- Jelmar Awarded the 2012 Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business of the Year Award
- Learning from Don Draper