Monday, October 4, 2010

Chelsea Gift Card Program

Would you be in favor of the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce offering a gift card program prior to the 2010 Christmas Holiday Season?

Customers could purchase a gift card as a gift for a friend or relative to be spent at a Chelsea Business.

I am researching possible gift certificate or gift card programs for Chelsea to use this Holiday season.

We could have an old fashioned  paper gift certificate program. These are inexpensive but difficult to administer. Gift Card programs are expensive for both the customer and the gift card administrator (i.e the Chamber) but are relatively painless to administer. They are actually a credit card (M/C,Visa,Discover or American Express) and technically could be redeemed at any store (not just Chelsea Stores).

Typically a gift card would cost a customer $5 more than its face value. A $25 Gift card would cost $30 to purchase.  A $100 Gift card would cost $105.00 to purchase.  The administrator  would have to purchase these cards in advance (about $1 per card) and offer particular denominations, usually $25, $50, $75, $100.
Given enough time we could have a Chelsea logo put on the card

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chelsea Fair

Chelsea First interviewed 6 great advertising companies. It will be difficult to choose just one.
Great  Job Dania!!

Go to the Chelsea Fair on Tuesday Aug. 24 evening and make sure Mike Jackson gets wet on his tour of the dunk tank!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chelsea First mid July Update

Our new marketing director,Dania Dunlop Herdon, has been very busy her first few weeks on the job. Dania has been meeting individually with the Chelsea First Advisory board members and the larger Chelsea companies and learning about their advertising and marketing plans. Dania will be working with The Ann Arbor and the Ypsilanti Convention and Visitors Bureau's.
The Chelsea First Advisory Committee and Dania finished the Chelsea First Business Plan. Click to view plan.

Dania completed our RFP for creating a logo and artwork for Chelsea First. It went out to 40+ advertising agencies. If you have an advertising firm in mind let Dania know and she will get them an RFP. The goal is to complete that process by 10/10/10. An aggressive goal that we will try to meet but will change as necessary.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Chamber Membership

The Chelsea Chamber of Commerce is considering changing the membership requirements.
Instead of having membership price based on the number of employees (the method that 98% of Chambers use) to a membership based on benefits. Would you be in favor of such a change?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Interviewing for Chelsea First Position

Four terrific candidates were interviewed for the Chelsea First Marketing position on Monday!
It will be difficult to whittle down the list from such a strong field of candidates. We are one step closer and we will talk to two of the four candidates shortly!
Thanks to Trinh Pfifer,Mike Casey,John Hanifan and Judy Stratman for taking the time to interview our applicants!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Thank You

A special Thank You is in order for the strong and consistent efforts of Pat Cleary, John Hanifan, Bill Harmer, Bob Pierce, Craig Common and Ann Feeney for spearheading the local Chelsea efforts. These people have epitomized the strengths we as a community espouse. We are fortunate to have had such strong leadership during these difficult economic times.

Thank You to everyone who has contributed time,money and ideas to Chelsea in the last several intense months. Your future input and assistance is essential to the progress we are making as a community.
The Chelsea First Steering Committee is in the process of interviewing candidates for the new Chelsea Marketing Position. Once that process is complete and a person is chosen we will need to give that person some time to meet community leaders and organize information gathered up to this point.
Please be patient. This is a LONG TERM commitment, not a short term fix. I expect many things will take time to develop.

This is a good time for me to review and ask you:
What are our strength's as a community?
What specific areas need attention? (i.e. - a Chelsea Cash Program)
What "low hanging fruit" is out there?
What long term projects should be considered?

By emphasizing "Chelsea First" we will reduce problems and increase the overall effectiveness of our new marketing program.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Vogel's & Foster's Tuxedo Rental

Vogel's & Foster's offers tuxedo Rental for weddings,Prom and special occasions. Convienent, Easy and More than competitive pricing
This Calvin Klein Tux is a favorite.
View all Nedrebo's tuxedos available at Vogel's & Foster's

Great for Chelsea Events!! We SERVICE our Prom customers

20 Marketing Applications

The Chelsea First Steering Committee meets this week to discuss the 20 applications that have been received for the Chelsea Marketing Position. Hopefully, We will cull it down to 5 or so and start the interview process soon!!

Monday, March 22, 2010


“Character is a victory, not a gift.”

- Ivor Griffith

It takes strong charachter to survive and thrive in difficult economic times . By working together and showing and letting our strong charahter show we will all make Chelsea an even better place

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Applications for Marketing Position

Chelsea First
The search for a marketing person is in full swing!!

Send applicants to the Chamber of Commerce
Application Forms available at
the City of Chelsea website
The Chamber of Commerce Website

The Chamber of Commerce board of directors voted to accept being the fiduciary for the position.

The City of Chelsea and the DDA are indicate they are likely to repeat the $25,000 payments into marketing Chelsea as a destination for the next fiscal year. The fiscal year ends June 30th. So, More funds will be available soon.

The Chelsea First Steering Committee is working very hard (for free) to make this happen this year and carry the marketing effort forward years into the future.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Merit and Meaning

Sklover’s Perspective

Posted: 04 Mar 2010 10:00 PM PST

“The Migration to Merit and Meaning”

For the past few years, I have increasingly noticed what I call a “migration” of sorts. It seems to me that many of the best, brightest and brashest of my clients, and others, too, have expressed a desire to “migrate” away from the largest corporations, the largest organizations and the largest finance, law, accounting and advertising firms.

Instead, these motivated, successful people – male and female, young and old, of every type there is – have shared with me an inner yearning for two things in their daily work lives: (1) reward for merit, and not politics; and (2) an enhanced sense of meaning in their daily lives. Merit and Meaning.

In a relative “rowboat,” if you are not doing your share of the rowing, it can’t be hidden. Either you’re a valuable member of the team, who does his or her job, or you are not. It’s hard to miss. Not so on a relative “ocean liner,” where how eagerly you salute the captain may make all the difference in your career.

Waking up each morning with a sense of true purpose in your day is an experience like no other. It seems to me that more people are saying, in their own way, “There’s got to be more to life than making a ‘mega’ corporation just that much more ‘mega.’” Perhaps “making a difference” in a world with significant problems is starting to “make a difference” to more people. Perhaps those of us with all we really need in life have discovered there’s joy in helping others not so fortunate. There’s really no greater personal passion than the power of purpose in your life.

The Migration to Merit and Meaning.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chelsea First Followup Focus Group.

Thanks to everyone who showed up for the followup meeting to the focus Groups.
We have made a lot of progress .

We had a problem communicating with everyone through email so...
We have been collecting emails from a variety of meetings and...

The Chamber of Commerce is about to finish a new "Chelsea First" email list!
This list is separate from the Chamber of Commerce members list.
Look for a test email soon !

The job description for the marketing position should be posted sometime next week.
Encourage all interested people to apply. Qualifications will be listed on the job posting.

The Marketing Steering Committee is considering Quarterly Public Meetings.
Any Thoughts??

Monday, February 22, 2010

Focus Group Followup Meeting

The followup meeting to the Chelsea Business focus groups is Tuesday 2/23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Chelsea Library.
Hopefully, we will all be dug out of the snow by then!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chelsea First 2/17/2010

Great Marketing meeting this morning!

The group followup meeting at the library will help to catch everyone up on the progress.
That meeting is Tuesday February 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Library.

Come and hear the latest updates on creating an all encompassing Chelsea First Program.

Special Thanks to Michelle Balaka for taking the time to walk around the downtown and talk to business owners. She plans to make her way to the Southend of town businesses soon.

Check out the Chamber of Commerce website. They will soon have a form to take ideas from Chamber and non -Chamber members .

Mike Casey -Thanks for your input!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Comments from the Chocolate Extravaganza

Important Chocolate Extravaganza comments from the River Gallery

Congratulations to Trinh and the "chocolate" movers and shakers here in Chelsea...we'll share a few thoughts and invite you to do the same....

River Gallery used the event as a leverage to invite our art patrons to come on out and have some fun. A number of our regulars did come for a visit and we sold one major piece of art and a few smaller pieces. These folks are new to the events in Chelsea and "Chocolate Extravaganza" provided a nice introduction.

We asked every single person where they were from and discovered that most of the new faces for us were local families. Most of the locals were moms and children with the early morning visitors being seniors. There was also a strong representation of women out with women having fun. The Ann Arbor visitors we met were in town to have lunch at the Common Grill and the "Chocolate Extravaganza" came as a surprise to them.

River Gallery events: Many thanks to Phil of Northwoods Jerky for setting up a very cool table of "Signature Cocoa Jerky" .Phil greeted and spoke with every visitor, persuaded many to take their "maiden jerky voyage" and regular jerky lovers had a ball learning more about his business. Lora Wang did a superb job demonstrating the art of calligraphy and has a very special talent reaching out to children, teens and those who knew nothing of the Lunar calendar and the Year of the Tiger. We gave away about 40 artworks and believe me there were a lot of hopeful, smiling faces taking home bright red calligraphic representations of "Love", "Double Happiness", "Prosperity", the "Tiger" to hang in their homes for the New Year.

Ideas for next year: I think the event is so well organized and established at this point that reaching out to Ann Arbor and beyond in a targeted way might really pay off. I think it might be nice to offer some special events and give-aways and discounts to seniors (there are a lot of them in Chelsea!)
Maybe we could ask the CCA (or merchants can create their own) to design some interactive events for the moms and kids, with prizes and shopping coupons etc...there were a lot of families in town. These are just thoughts...whatever you do next year count us in the mix.

"DESTINATION CHELSEA FIRST" For those of you who don't know there is a meeting on Tuesday, February 23 at 6:30 PM at the Chelsea Library to review the results of the focus groups that were created as a result of the marketing efforts and dollars that come from the DDA, the City of Chelsea, and some private donors. ALL ARE WELLCOME...ALL ARE INVITED!! Chocolate Extravaganza is certainly an event that nees to be leveraged in the campaign for Chelsea.

thanks for including us, we enjoy you all,
Deb and Patty

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chocolate Extravagnza

The Chocolate Extravaganza was successful in bringing shopping customers into Chelsea.
Post your results on this site. This event and the wine women and shopping event have been successful in bringing customers into Chelsea. What other events could we do to draw paying customers into Chelsea?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Followup Focus Group meeting

Thanks for the comments concerning creating a Chelsea First Program.
The followup meeting for the Chelsea Focus Groups is scheduled for Tuesday Feb.23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Chelsea Library (use the north side entrance near Merkel's).
The focus groups will be discussed as well as the creation of the Steering Committee to move forward in creating our program.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Steering Committee

Creating Chelsea as a Destination will take another huge step forward next week . The formation of a well rounded Steering committee representing all Chelsea businesses and business interests. Think Chelsea First is the initial theme.
We as business people must put Chelsea First, our businesses or special interest second. Each committee member must put Chelsea first. Every effort will be made to encourage inclusion, transparancy and to identify and create measureable marketing programs for CHELSEA.

We will attempt to capture all the great marketing ideas that a creatively flowing from so many people and organize them for consideration.
The initial steering committee will finish creating the structure of our Think Chelsea First program. Create a job description for a marketing director to be hired. Create a list of Chelsea's strengths and unique areas for an advertising agency to develop into a marketing plan. Eventually a Marketing Board will be created with defined, measurable goals.

Continue sending your ideas to this blog and they will be forwarded to the Steering Committee.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chelsea Cash Program

One idea that we need to explore is creating a new Chelsea Cash program.
Please submit ideas to this blog and we will accumulate them and work on creating a GREAT CHELSEA program. Hand written Gift Certificates are an option but not an optimal option. Gift Cards may be an option , if the system can be worked out with a bank. A passport system has been discussed. A cash program creating physical "Chelsea " Dollar bills could also be an option.

Submit your ideas as soon as possible.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Next Step in the Chelsea Plan

The creating Chelsea as a Destination plan is still accumulating information but appears to be ready for the next step.
A structure will be crafted that incorporates all areas needed as defined by the focus group participants (and other input gathered by other means). The structure will incorporate what is best for Chelsea first with individual businesses and groups needs coming second.. New ideas will always be accepted and are an expected part of the process.
Results of the focus group will be made accessible to interested parties very soon. We have a very good opportunity to unite as a community and make something great happen.

A Marketing Board (that covers Chelsea geographically and other important segments) will be created to manage the defined areas of marketing.
It is hoped that the Marketing board will hire a Marketing director after creating a job description. Other communities have similar positions that we can use as a guide . The city of Zeeland was recently mentioned as a city that has gone through a similar process. Zeeland created a slogan " Feel the Zeel", a new webpage and several social networking sites with facebook ,twitter blogs and more.

Funding is a huge issue. All funding ideas are currently on the table. The city and DDA have a committed $50,00 to the effort. Once a strategic plan is written more funding options will be explored. A long term sustainable funding plan is the goal.

Applying for grants is one option currently being examined.
Bill Harmen , director of the Chelsea Library and city manager John Hanifan are meeting to discuss using theircollective resources in assisting the marketing and funding efforts. Their collaboration will include but not be limited to grant writing for strategic planning efforts for Chelsea. Grant applications will be submitted to the Chelsea and Ann Arbor Foundations. Other foundations, including the new Wellness Foundation will be examined .

There is an obvious need to create a"parking lot" for the plethora of marketing ideas that are being suggested. For the time being this blog represents an opportunity for all ideas to be expressed. They will be forwarded to the Marketing board for further discussion.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Focus Groups at the Chelsea Library

Thank You to everyone who participated in the focus groups at the Library this past week!

The Library provided a great setting in the McKune room. (Special thanks to Bill Harmer and the library staff for excellent service.) Thank you Pat Cleary for investing huge amounts of personal time to make this happen. Take a day off... you deserve the rest.

An excellent mix of people participated. A wide variety of topics were discussed. Participants from downtown, South town, the senior comunities, real estate,non profits,the new kitchen group, the Arts,many historical people, banks and more.
Hank Weber conducted the focus groups and will be reporting his results next week and we will start our next phase .
It was fantastic to see so MANY people who have a great passion for Chelsea and the wonderful community that we already enjoy. Participants freely discussed a variety of open ended questions and had the opportunity to provide input and ideas. The focus groups were intended to have discussion but not to come to any conclusions. Mr. Weber specifically asked that no one champion any one cause during the focus groups.

Participants spoke freely and Mr. Weber made sure that everyone got a chance to talk. This provided a lively discussion at the focus groups. There was some discussion of repeating the same process but focus on the residential community. It was also suggested that we repeat the process at least yearly. Every effort was made to include segments of every obvious group but there was not enough time (or a good enough list) to include everyone.

Participants identified Chelsea's strengths and discussed why we should spend money marketing Chelsea. Creating a way to measure the success of the marketing program that is put together was one key discussion. Close Proximity to a Ann Arbor, Jackson, Detroit-even Chicago and further was discussed. Our two recreation areas-Waterloo and Pinckney are a HUGE reason for people to come to our community.
Participants were asked to discuss the biggest challenge their business faces this year. 99% of participants had spent at least $100 shopping in Chelsea this holiday season. Shopping locally is a huge element of any marketing plan that will be developed. One general theme was Customer Service and its importance in all Chelsea businesses. It was suggested that many local people are unaware of the variety of products and services available in Chelsea.
Drawing in out of town shoppers for day and overnight visits was discussed. Tracking visitors by zip code or some other method was discussed. Cooperation among different business groups to combine a large number of marketing efforts into a cohesive package was an exciting discussion. Making sure that customers received the high level of friendly service that is expected in Chelsea was a hot topic as well.

Now . How do we keep the momentum going? Involvement.

We have commitment from the City, the DDA, the Chamber, the business community and key residents. We all need to put aside our personal and business needs and focus on creating a great marketing plan for ALL of Chelsea.
The next steps will be decided after hashing out Hank Weber's focus group information.
A long term and sustainable effort will be generated that will have great opportunities for community members and businesses.
We have a GREAT community. We have many qualities as a community that are unique to Chelsea . This offers a rich pool of resources that will require a great deal creativity to effectively tap.

The best is yet to come.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

River Gallery Kickoff

The Kickoff at the River Gallery. Thank You Patti and Deb for hosting and providing wine!

River Gallery Kickoff 1

The River Gallery kickoff meeting brought together many business people to discuss the idea of creating Chelsea as a destination. An energetic, informative and fun kickoff event.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Focus Groups Location

The Focus groups will be located at the Chelsea District Library on January 12 and January 13. We are looking for lots of input for creating Chelsea as a Destination and drawing customers into our stores.