GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — (GRBJ) – Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Shannon Cohen has fast-tracked the barrage of a greeting agenda mail account she began brainstorming nine months ago beneath her Tough Skin, Soft Affection brand.
Recognizing that bodies are stressed, afflicted and abandoned during this division of amusing distancing, Cohen on March 24 launched AffirMAILtions, a account that allows anyone to adjustment a themed greeting agenda to accelerate to a admired one or client, and Cohen herself will devise and address a alone agenda to the almsman on account of the chump and mail it through the postal service.
Cohen is architect and arch of Shannon Cohen Inc., a consulting abutting with the accessory cast Tough Skin, Soft Heart, through which she is a speaker, columnist and administrator to leaders and aberration makers.
The Tough Skin, Soft Affection cast additionally encompasses a broad and retail band of greeting cards, stickers, stationery, postcards, mugs and bank art.
Cohen said she began incubating the abstraction to mail bodies handwritten belletrist of positivity and affirmation afterwards her Rockstar Woman brunch aftermost year, at which she presented anniversary of the 200 attendees with a handwritten letter.
Since then, she has been “testing the waters,” including sending alone belletrist with the copies of her book ordered by accumulated clients, as able-bodied as commitment addendum to others aback they appear to mind.
But aback Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued her “Stay Home, Break Safe” controlling adjustment acute Michiganders to apartment in abode and businesses to shut bottomward nonessential in-person activities, Cohen said she bare to “pivot” her business archetypal for the greeting agenda line, as up until this point, best of her sales took abode through retail stores, allowance shops, bookstores and boutiques that aren’t currently open.
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The custom account is $6 and includes the amount of the greeting card, a distinctively curated bulletin to the agenda almsman and shipping.
To abode an order, all bodies charge to do is aces a affair for the card, such as encouragement, sympathy, altogether card, acknowledge you or bless a aberration maker; email email@example.com with the sender’s name, the recipient’s name, pronouns and their abundant address; and accelerate $6 via Cashapp to $ShannonCohenInc.
Cohen will again address the claimed bulletin in one of the cards from her inventory; email the sender a photo of the central and alfresco of the card, “so there are no surprises”; and mail the agenda to the recipient.
She said her custom account enables audience to celebrate, affix with and extend abutment to those they affliction about afterwards actionable shelter-in-place protocol.
“Even in a pandemic, animal beings still accept an congenital admiration to connect,” Cohen said. “We appetite to bless birthdays, abutment accompany in the accident of admired ones, and boost colleagues and association bloom workers in this time of crisis. We may be shut in, but cogent love, affliction and affair is never bound out.”
While bodies could address and mail their own greeting cards during this time, Cohen said she capital to action a account that would do “the affecting lift” for the client, who may be associates of the pared-down capital workforce, unemployed, alive from home while additionally parenting and homeschooling, or aloof about afflicted by the new realities of life.
“You aloof acquaint us the affair and the person’s name and how to get it to them, and we’ll do the rest,” she said.
Cohen and her two advisers are active managing their account and business and all the added aspects of active a business remotely, but she said the new account has fabricated it all account it.
“This accomplished activity gives me all the feels. It connects my activity as a baby business owner, my passions as a being and my affection to affliction for leaders,” she said.
“People are responding back, like, ‘I cried aback I saw the card.’ Some of the association we’ve beatific cards to, one was a new grandmother whose babe lives in South Carolina, and she can’t authority her new grandbaby yet. We’ve done ones for new moms. We beatific a agenda to accession who absent their father. We did one for an controlling at Spectrum who, it was her academy roommate’s birthday, and she’s been so absorbed in aggregate affiliated to COVID that we beatific the altogether agenda so she wouldn’t absence the friend’s appropriate day.
“It was like, ‘I appetite to accelerate something, but I’m so afflicted emotionally and physically with work, too.’”
In accession to business-to-consumer sales, Cohen has done several business-to-business transactions, such as aback Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women and the Michigan Farm Bureau ordered cards to be mailed to all their agents members.
“I’m seeing our accumulated audience use this division of abeyance to accelerate affirmations to say, ‘Even admitting we can’t accumulate together,’ or ‘Even if we’ve had to briefly close, we aloof appetite to drag that our agents matters.’ Sometimes in silence, you alpha to acknowledge the bodies who accomplish a aberration more.”
Cohen said aback ablution the custom service, she already has gotten added orders than she did in a ages through her broad partners.
While she hopes to abide the AffirMAILtions account afterwards the pandemic, Cohen said she additionally is committed to advancement ties with brick-and-mortar retailers.
She said she doesn’t apprehend to accomplish abounding sales through retail channels at a time aback grocery arcade is a dart to get in and buy essentials bound while affecting as few items as possible. But currently, Tough Skin, Soft Affection articles are continuing to be abounding at Horrocks Market and Bridge Street Market, and she hopes to be able to resume affairs her articles in the added venues afterwards amusing isolating ends.
Cohen calls the custom agenda commitment account “telehealth for the soul.”
“We carriage the affliction and affair you feel in your affection on your behalf,” she said.
This adventure originally appeared in the Grand Rapids Business Journal. To acquisition agnate content, aces up a archetype or acquisition added on their website.