Today was a very exciting day in the life of Wake Foot Sanctuary ownership for Brian and I. Some of those reasons, I can’t yet divulge, but, some of them were much more humbling and chest-swelling as we started our week. I need to back up and say that the title of my article is really a nod to the celebration and holiday that is upon us here shortly, one that I think we more and more take for granted as a speed-bump onto the Christmas holiday season. It’s unfair, really. Thanksgiving increasingly brings me reason to reflect on all the things I am grateful for, particularly when I feel like I’ve had my fill of bad news on my TV. It feels so energizing to think about things you are grateful for.
For Brian and I, it started with our first encounter of the day, as we bumped into our Front Desk Training manager, Taylor. She had headphones in (listening to a podcast of course) diligently sweeping away each corner and crevice of the shop until it gleaned. It’s a modest task in comparison to other amazing things she does to help the team keep Wake running. But, as I watched her, I was reminded of the care and attention to detail she puts into all the tasks she endeavors in at Wake. From merchandising, to goods procurement, to guest relations, and to training. She has a lot of hats to wear and she wears them with great calm, resolve, and care. And for this, we are very grateful.
Then on to our first meeting of the day, a performance evaluation with our Director of Team Experience, Lisa Kiebzak. We met at one of our staff’s favorite coffee shops. We talked about staff challenges, the year ahead, and what we’ve accomplished. While we talked, Lisa commented that she regularly thinks about how it all started. That empty Sanctuary space with a prototype chair and hashing out the details of our processes and plans. I admitted I liked to take myself back to that place regularly, as well. It’s humbling because I remember how scared I was to start the journey. Particularly now, though, Brian and I look at how far we have come in less than 5 years and we’re filled with even more gratitude. We don’t just have teammates in all of this, we have family.
A few short moments after our meeting with Lisa, we passed our Sanctuary Teams manager, Jenny, in the Grove Arcade and just outside our shop. She was preparing diligently for her own employee review with one of our Wake staff members, but she was also excitedly showing us new designs for her amazing and always popular bath bombs! So, when she’s not working at Wake, she’s dreaming up new creations for us. It’s crazy to think about how much devotion she has put into this business. It’s contagious, inspiring, and we love her for it.
Next, on to our next meeting with our Director of Business Development, Lindsey Kugler. Her talent and propensity to learn amazes me every day and every week. We have thrown so much her way in terms of learning curves and she digs in each time and tackles the challenge with gusto. We have learned so much about our business, about staff, about franchising, and about each other this year that I don’t think the rest of my body has quite caught up to all that we have absorbed and experienced. She’s quick-witted, tenacious, empathetic, and a tremendous team player. She’s there for us even when the path isn’t perfectly paved and that is definitely a person you want in your corner.
For all of this, and for all of our Wake family, from our foot soakers to foot soak-makers, we are humbled and grateful as we prepare to celebrate this Thanksgiving.
What are you grateful for?
This article was written by Melissa Long, CEO and Founder of Wake Foot Sanctuary.