Sojourns and Stories: Memories of Lanikai
You never forget your firsts. First time riding a bicycle without training wheels, first trip out of the country, your first love. And, when you put your heart and resources into creating a business, you never forget your first customer.
I had just finished my website and anticipated a flood of customers racing to purchase their perfect piece of jewelry. I hit publish and waited. I waited and waited and waited – not a drop, not a bite. I felt defeated, doubtful, and embarrassed. Then, a little less than a month after going live I woke up to an alert on my phone, You have an order.
Ejecting out of bed, I opened my computer to check out the details. Not only did I have an order, but my first customer had also shared her story with me, which is a story I want to share with you today because this sort of story is the driving inspiration behind LTD.
This woman, my first customer, shared that she purchased the piece for a friend who had recently lost her husband. She wrote that they had spent his last years in Lanikai, living in a house on the beach and enjoying the view of the twin islands from their home. When he passed they scattered his ashes there.
Her friend had since moved back to the mainland, but the place meant so much to her that when she found this collection with “their view” of the islands, she felt like she’d found a piece of her friend’s heart made physical, and she was so excited to gift her with a memory made real.
I read her story, and realized her reason, her story, meant more than a first sale, more than a first customer. It meant that this jewelry could find a place into people’s hearts; it could help them express a memory; it could help them feel connected to a special place. It could be everything I hoped it would be, and part of me knew that it would be.
Since then, my customers have blessed me with many wonderful stories and memories from the places we photograph and preserve, and I couldn’t be happier.
Tell me, do you have a story about a place we’ve photographed? Or your favorite place that we should photograph? Share it in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear it!