In Traverse City, Michigan, stand two stores nearly side-by-side.
One sells art.
Around the property are some truly beautiful pieces, but I felt claustrophobic.
“NO PHOTOGRAPHY” signs hang all over the long, narrow shop.
“IF YOU BREAK IT, YOU OWN IT!” shouts a sign near the counter.
At the top of the back wall a sign near the ceiling (next to a camera) reads “SMILE! YOU’RE BEING WATCHED!”
Fun while shopping? Not quite.
I hadn’t done anything and all I could think about were the number of people who must have tried to steal from them.
A couple shops down stands Cherry Republic. They have signs, too.
On the door one reads, “ALL VISITORS OVER AGE 21 MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A MINOR.”
Once inside, there are several others, including: “CHERRY PITTERS WANTED—PLEASE APPLY IN OUR DUNGEON.”
Cherry licorice. Cherry salsa. Cherry wines and liquors.
Cherry Boomchucka Cookies.
You can buy any flavor ice cream you want, from vanilla (with cherry sprinkles) to chocolate (with cherry chunks).
Water is free, but of course it comes not with lemon but with….you guessed it….a cherry.
Cherry Republic even has a slogan: “Life, Liberty, Beaches and Pie.”
What else do you need? They’d submit: nothing.
No matter that I’m not a big fan of cherries. I smiled my way through one store (Glen Arbor) and then brought my family into the store in Traverse City just after we’d left the art gallery from thieving hell.
Here’s your homework, Stackers:
Invest in single minded, laser focused companies.
Hire hard-working, smiling help.
Have fun with your work.
Be Cherry Republic in your life.
Your portfolio will love you and so will the people around you.