As any working parent knows, when it comes to juggling child care during school holidays, it can be something of a nightmare. Balancing quality holidays with time off just to look after them, ferrying them to out of school clubs, in-laws, parents, friends and back again is hard. Sometimes though, there comes those days when you get really stuck. Being a dad of two great children, I’m no different. My kids know I do some really cool personalised stuff but if you tell the average 10-year old that you work “in personalisation”, expect a blank, uncomprehending stare.
As with many kids, “The parent’s work” is something of a mystery. It’s a place they disappear to in the mornings and appear back from in the evening. It's what pays for football and dance lessons, holidays and Christmas presents, keeps them busy, out of the house and (very occasionally) makes them tired and grumpy!
So, with the long school holidays stretching ahead of us - and the recurring and inevitable concerns about keeping the kids entertained and occupied – this Summer seemed the perfect time to let my boy in on the secret, and get him involved in some of the fun and interesting stuff that Dad actually gets up to.
Eager and keen to be involved, he started the day using our front-end system to “order” some personalised spoons for his school pals. Then, togged up in protective clothing and eye wear, he excitedly headed down to the production area (where the real magic happens) and set to work making them.
With a spring in his step and the enthusiasm he’s no doubt inherited from his old man, a few weeks later he’s back at school and bursting to share his excitement with said mates. “Spoons?” they queried in an un-enthusiastic way when he told them of his gifts. “Wow, SPOONS, these are amazing, fantastic!” they chorused when he gave them the actual gifts he was armed with.
That’s the power of personalisation. A run-of-the-mill or everyday object becomes an object of desire and affection when you personalise it and emotionally connect it to the recipient. Its uniqueness demonstrates thought and care giving it extra meaning and added value.
Those spoons are now the treasured possessions of his friends with most meal times disrupted as ’the spoon’ has to be used because no other will do.
So, Sam became the coolest kid in the playground and this Dad the coolest parent in town. At least that's what I like to think. An alternative, crueller conclusion could be that my work is “child's play”…I’ll leave you to decide!
Written by Jon Tolley | @Jon_Tolley