Eliana Gil, RPT-S, ATR
Full disclosure, I am happy and proud to call the owners of the Self Esteem Shop my very good friends. In fact, I have gotten to know them over the years and years of attending conferences and doing book-signings. They also publish some of my monographs so we have lots of business and personal relationships.
I remember meeting Deanne at a conference in 1982 or so. She made an impression on me with her depth of knowledge about books. We had hours of conversations about books: What professional books were needed, what was selling well, what kinds of books children liked the best. I also have a love of reading and it was fun to meet a kindred spirit. As time went by, I was intrigued by how much Deanne knew about her business. A brief story:
I love tuna fish. When I prepare it, I put in special, secret ingredients and I take my sweet time. I always make it in a special bowl and I serve it only to my very special friends, once they have revealed a true love of tuna fish (not what usually goes for tuna fish in delis… a little fish in a massive wad of mayo!!!) How does this relate you ask?
Well, Deanne is like me and tuna fish with her books!! She thinks of them as little treasures, she treats them with respect, she knows them inside out, and she’s excited by them. She loves to serve them to special people who express their love for books or people who want to help a particular child with a particular problem.
One of Deanne’s other fabulous traits is that she is able to quickly identify whatever you might need. I remember once having a therapy session with a child who had just menstruated and was scared to death. Deanne sent me a great book on menstruation the next week that I was able to review with this child. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had unique needs: A child with developmental delays, a child with a mentally ill parent, a child with selective mutism, etc. etc., and Deanne knows what I need. She’s read most of the books she recommends and can quickly differentiate between two books that are similar. And if this was not enough, Deanne has one of the best Spanish libraries around. This is a great resource for us all.
Deanne takes feedback really well. She is receptive to the needs of her customers. And in case you don’t know, she is one half of a dynamic duo: Harry is her one true love. Harry is quite the hard-working partner in this business who loads all the books in and out of the truck, drives countless hours to conferences and workshops, and has a quick and efficient way of selling during very crowded conferences. Together, they are like Batman and Robin! Or Superman and Clark Kent. Or Wonder Woman and Robin. You get the picture.
On a more serious note, I also want to encourage you to support the Self Esteem Shop not only for all the reasons I mention above (unique customer service and depth of knowledge are standouts) but because this is a privately owned small business and we have to make room in our Amazon-ridden culture, for the little businesses to thrive. All the electronic media is hurting the small book-sellers but nothing more than the fact that we frequently turn to Amazon to buy our books. I like Amazon too but I limit my book-shopping to the Self Esteem Shop because it matters to send a message to the small business owner that what they do matters. It’s different, it’s priceless, and it matters. That’s my two cents.
I am a fan of Deanne and Harry and the fabulous business they’ve worked so hard to build and keep strong. This holiday season, if you think of giving gifts worth giving (books), think about them first.
And have a wonderful holiday season and may 2016 bring us all good health, a more stable world with creative solutions to peace, and a healthier environment for us and the future generations.