Why would a cosmetics boutique invite an author to speak, especially if her book has little to do with beauty? It’s good business–a win for proprietor and clients. Smart entrepreneurs create “being spaces”–places where customers are encouraged to linger–and where strangers become consequential strangers. “Through decor, but mostly through attitude, smart managers create welcoming environments that say ‘hang out’ to their clients,” says Melinda, echoing material from the book. “Just as important, they give customers more than one reason to spend time there–special discounts, an unusual mix of products, and services you wouldn’t expect to find, interesting guest speakers. It makes for good conversation and creates a sense of community.”
This is exactly what has happened at the Lancome boutique (201 Columbus Avenue) in Manhattan. Over the last year, manager Carla Posner has served up a smorgasbord of guest speaker/schmoozers, and on November 17, she featured Melinda, because Consequential Strangers confirms the wisdom of these unusual partnerships. That evening went so well, that the two of them then hosted a holiday party on December 10. Melinda talked about the book and Sue Phillips, founder of Scenterprises, had a fascinating demonstration of scent-blending. Melinda’s six-pound sidekick, Bogey (previously featured in this post) and assorted other guests showed up for the festivities.