What is it about people today that writing to say “thanks” is too much work? It seems the least one can do in return for a gift, a dinner, a night out, a sales order, or a visit. Here is the story of one thank you worth noting.
My frustration is really a hat tip and compliment to NBC’s Today Show host Matt Lauer. You may have seen his visit to the blooming Shinola factory in Detroit.
There, dedicated folks are building a little industry in journals, greeting cards, thank you notes, day planners and personal calendars.
Mr. Lauer’s interest in Shinola is twofold. First he is supporting entrepreneurial growth in one of the toughest and long abandoned districts of Detroit.
The streets are bordered by broken homes and derelict factory buildings. Homeless denizens still occupy the corners of doorways.
Despite that, there is The Detroit Edison Academy, an elementary school nearby where uniformed children are taking on the challenges of learning and self reliance with optimism.
Lauer’s gift to the school are the profits derived from Shinola’s sale of his personalized product line.
All part of the comeback process for urban Detroit.
Lauer’s other pursuit is the rebirth of the hand written note.
“Everything today is digital. I like to live in an analog world, which takes one back to a time of civility when people took out a piece of paper and a pen to say “thank you.”
Shinola’s Detroit product line extends beyond leather and linen covered booklets to precision watches. The combination of the two products appeals to an array of sophisticated and enlightened consumers.
The production lines are the breeding ground for devoted, and motivated workers clad in smocks and dust free head covers.
Lauer is hooked on the booklets and journals. Clutching one he testifies, “There is the joy of hanging onto something that doesn’t ring, beep, or send you a tone.”
Detroit Edison Academy looks like an oasis in the middle of an urban desert. Its hallways are clean and bright, and teeming with good looking, tidy kids on their way to a better future.
They cheer Matt later for his support, and in a presentation, thank him with a bounty of hand written cards.
Lauer is overcome. “Thank you. This means so much to me. I am one of those believers who still write someone a little note… when was the last time you went to a mail box and found a letter that was addressed to you? Isn’t it a special feeling?
Thanks for sharing! You can watch this really cool video of Matt’s visit here.