| Dear Customer,
While this is the 30th annual woodworking catalog we've published,
it seems as if it was only a short time ago that we first opened
our doors. That is, until someone recalls we heated our warehouse
with a woodstove, received orders almost entirely by mail, and,
for really urgent matters, used a telex machine to communicate
(but only at night when the rates were lower). At that time, our
mailing list really was a list – each customer had an individual
card in an index file in our office, upon which we recorded every
order; our first computer was still years in the future.
Having reached yet another significant milestone (an anniversary
divisible by 5!) there's an almost irresistible urge to do something
to celebrate it. But perhaps the more pressing question is –
how does a company actually "celebrate" its birthday,
and does anyone outside of the company really care? Sure, it's
easy to ratchet up our marketing machine under the guise of a
celebration, and find all sorts of ways to try to sell you something
else (and we'll get to that in a minute), but there should be
more to it than that.
Even though we're having a hard time coming up with suitable
special events, we do want to say thanks for supporting us all
these years. We're proud that many of you have been with us since
that first year.
As for the marketing part, we want to draw your attention to
both our web-based newsletter and our about-to-be-activated opt-in
email program. If you're not receiving the newsletters, we encourage
you to have a look at the archived issues on the website; there's
excellent content in there. We intend to start sending the opt-in
emails shortly after you receive this catalog, but will send them
only to those who sign up for them. Our 30-year policy of never
renting out our mailing lists will continue. We guarantee never
to rent your name or use it in any sort of list swap. If you get
on some junk list, it will not be by anything we have done.
back to the anniversary, when we can figure out how to give each
of you a piece of cake, we'll have a real celebration ... perhaps
by our 35th!
Robin C. Lee