Phones Down, Eyes Up

June 18, 2018

A question was posed to me during some brand development work, “What does a K. Renee customer really want?”  I have been pondering this question over the last couple of weeks, and many, many answers have crossed my mind.   All of them right in their own way.

As a home furnishings and women’s clothing store we sell great style and the concept of Living Life Beautifully (made simple.)  


We want to make it easy for each of our customers to get what they want...a gorgeous and comfortable home, an outfit that makes them shine in the best of ways, an updated look, collaboration on their home or wardrobe, a vision realized...the list goes on.

But (as one of my co-workers pointed out) the one thing that all these things have in common is the desire to be PROUD of our homes and ourselves.   


Yes, I think that’s it.   All of us want to be proud of our homes and ourselves.  It makes me think about of all the ways that style has played an essential role in my life.   It gives me a sense of pride that I am doing and being the best I can be, and style itself helps me better connect with the world.

How does style help me better connect with the world?  

As a generally introverted person (shocking, I know), style in both my home and in the way I have the opportunity to dress has helped me become more of the extroverted person that most people would guess that I am.    

It's like a doorway for me.    Style doesn’t solve my desire for living life beautifully and to be connected to people but it does encourage me (opens the door) to have more of the experiences that are meaningful to me.   

For example, a beautifully updated and styled home that I am proud of motivates me to invite others into my home.   

I love to host gatherings and events.   And now when the opportunity arises, I am the first to say we can do it at my house.   It’s never when I get this or that’s ready and waiting for whatever happens to present itself!   

Or an inspired outfit that I am proud to wear always either stirs my imagination for where and when I will wear it or promotes me to find an occasion to do so.

Kelli and I were in New York last week buying for the clothing store.    As we moved from showroom to showroom finding the pieces that stood out above the rest, it would go something like this…



When I feel confident and proud, no matter where I am, I am more likely to engage with other people...and that we all seem to need more of in our lives.

One of the many great conversations that Kelli and I had while in New York was about how all of us have become way too accustomed to spending our lives with our nose in our phone or computer instead of connecting more with people around us.    

unsplash-logo Priscilla Du Preez

I love social media, really, I do.    But the deeper we get into it, the more I think it has the potential to trigger loneliness and self-doubt.     Why is it that everyone else on Instagram and Facebook are living these exciting, perfect lives while I am bored enough to be zoning out on my phone?   

I kid you not, when Kelli and I were having lunch while in New York a line formed to order and I noticed eight people in a row who were staring at their phones.   No one looked up to connect with the people around them.   

And I am guilty as well.    Once home from work, I have found myself sitting on the couch engrossed in my Facebook and Instagram newsfeeds for an entire evening.   Instead, I could have asked someone over or put on a great outfit and went to dinner giving me the opportunity to share the company of people that I enjoy - face to face, eye to eye.   A lot more rewarding and certainly less lonely.


Guys, it’s a lonely world.   Why do we insist on doing the things that make it even worse?   For a decade now, we have been advised that it is so much easier to shop online.  


unsplash-logo William Iven


And marketers have lured consumers by promising the best price and the most convenience. Why we never have to leave home...and voila, what we desire shows right up at our door.

Do we really desire isolation over face-to-face interaction?  

After all, it's the experience of collaborating with other humans that makes us better and our lives richer.    Remember the old days when we got together with our girlfriends and got ready to go out on the town together?  

We swapped clothes, gave each other advice and did each other's make-up.   Those are some of my fondest early memories.   

I think that is another strong reason why our customer wander through our doors.   They want and need to connect and collaborate with other humans.   If you walk into our clothing store, you will find DJ, Emily, Frank, Susy or Lana - and they will play dress up with you, share advice and if you ask, help you with your make-up.  

And when our customers are working on making their home a place they are proud of...Stacie, Kelli, Lisa, and Gina are readily available to collaborate.   And in both places, more times than not, you will discover something that perhaps you didn’t expect but is better than you imagined.    

 A phone or computer will never be able to do that.

Let's all put down our phones if not for just a little while and spend a few more moments connecting with the people around us.  Phones down, eyes up.

Come on in instead of looking from afar and have a great face-to-face conversation about where you are at and where you want to be.   I promise you will be inspired.