Sixteen years ago I began working at Arie Nol Auto Center. It was a completely male dominated environment. There were very few woman working in the automotive industry and there were pretty specific ways that things were done. I hadn’t worked in automotive and Jeff had worked his whole adult life in the shop. We occasionally differed on how something should be done. I’m fortunate in that he’s opened-minded and agreed with trying something to see if it worked for us. It didn’t always. I occasionally went down in flames but it was a learning experience. I was handling the marketing and advertising and back in 2000, the only decision that needed to be made was what size our phone book ad was going to be. We had a customer that came in and he sold marketing items. Pens, cups, cards etc. We didn’t have any marketing materials at all. I figured it was time to try something out. I picked pens with our name and number on them. Lavender-colored pens. Mostly because I thought they were different than what you normally saw in auto repair shops and, I liked how they looked. They also wrote nicely and writing with a smoothly rolling pen is just better, in my book. They also would be easier to spot in your purse as they floated around with lipstick, tissues, coins and the other important items we all carry. When the pens arrived, I opened the box and showed them to Jeff and he said, “They’re purple?”. He was less than ecstatic that he would have a pile of lavender colored pens on his desk. We hear stories about people finding our pens in random places. They last a long time so they seem to travel. We’ve had new customers that have been handed a pen from a current customer when they say they’re looking for a repair shop. Our daughter attended Central Michigan University and called to tell me she’d spotted another student walking across campus and he had a couple of our pens hanging on his backpack. We still buy the same pens from the same person sixteen years later. Stop by, grab a pen and a cup of coffee and enjoy!