At the ripe old age of 60, I'm keenly aware that most life experiences encompass good & bad, positive & negative, and this past week was no exception! My older son Nathan, age 39, required emergency surgery at St. Vincent's Hospital in Birmingham, AL, so off I flew from Dallas last Thursday, where I stayed until Sunday, when I was able to take him home to recuperate. Certainly a frightening experience for me, my son and the rest of our family, but he came through it quite well and is comfortably resting now and feeling stronger every day.
Now for the good/positive side of the coin: I got the opportunity to wander through St. Vincent's Hospital Gift Shop and meet its manager, Lee Patterson. Lee, his staff and his wonderful shop couldn't have been nicer! In fact, Lee even loaned me a phone charger for my son to use while a patient there. He told me how much he enjoyed being a Kelli's customer, and he couldn't stop raving about his Kelli's rep, Mary Ann Petts. What a pleasure to hear such compliments!
Lee's gift shop was amazing...one of the largest I've ever seen: it even included a book store along with the standard gifts, plush, HBA, balloon treats, candy & snacks, etc. Lee told me that this combined book store & gift shop was among the largest in the nation, and I most definitely believe it!
Having worked at Kelli's Gift Shop Suppliers for nine years now, it was a fantastic opportunity for me to see one of our customer's stores in person, see so many of our products on someone else's shelves, and to actually see one of the statistics I've heard about in action: the largest percentage of hospital gift shop customers are the staffers. The nurses taking care of my son told me they're always running down to the shop for something...snacks, books, gifts for their kids, etc.
I actually became a customer as well, purchasing candy bars for my son (a real sweet junkie) and contact lens solution for me. Thank you, Lee, for providing me with such a positive experience. And thanks to all hospital gift shop managers, volunteers & staff for providing such a fantastic service to hospital staff, patients and visitors!