Our Partners and Employees Matter
At Michel Design Works, we work with numerous businesses worldwide in order to create our products. Our soap maker and fragrance company are both based in Sussex, England. Our warehouse is located in central Florida. And, we work with a variety of large and small manufacturers around the world. They’re a big part of the process. While some may refer to these companies as our vendors, I’ve always considered them our partners. I believe that we must work together in order to be successful, and treating each of them as a partner creates a completely different dynamic.
Businesses will always have problems, no matter what. There’s always going to be something, even if we’ve worked together for years. By treating others as our partners, it means that we’re both brainstorming on how to solve any issue that may arise. As soon as I notice a problem, I will reach out to my contact and ask, “How can we make this better?” and “What do you need from us?” At the same time, I’ll tell share with what we need.
Together, we give each other ideas and discuss different solutions. We’ll come to an agreement that works for both of us and move forward in our work. To me, that’s what makes a great partnership, and I always work to set up any new relationship in the same way.
I’m always on the lookout for new partners. If we learn that someone is printing fabrics really well in Turkey and they have a wonderful hand, we’ll try that for a while and see if it works. While I recognize that it takes time and trust to become true partners, I’m willing to commit to the process.
I’ve worked with some of my partners from the very beginning. Treating them as partners was a tremendous benefit to our business. When I’d ask them to move something, add a button or change the color, they’d politely nod their heads. Then they’d ask how many I wanted. The numbers were small, I may have only needed 1,500, but because we worked as partners, they were more willing to accommodate my requests. Now, I’ll order 300,000 or 500,000 of a product, and it’s a lot easier to make those negotiations. But our relationships haven’t changed – working together benefits everyone.
My belief has led me to develop genuine, solid relationships with many of our partners. We trust each other completely, and I consider many of them my very good friends. While Michel Design Works is a business, it’s also very personal for me. I want to enjoy what I do and who I work with.
In fact, I feel the same regarding everyone who works in our office. If it isn’t fun, who really wants to be there day after day? You spend a lot of time at work. And no, it can’t be fun all of the time – I get that. But, your days are generally fun and mostly pleasant when you work with people you like. Even when we were a very small company, I hired people based on their personality. It’s one of the things that make our company special – great relationships in the office and around the world.
It’s October, so I can’t help but enjoy our Trick or Treat collection. Whether you go all out and create a truly haunted home or simply place several pumpkins on your porch, our kitchen towels and soap dish are a fun way to get into the spirit. Plus, our melamine bowl is perfect for handing out candy to the neighborhood ghouls.