How many of you reading this love taking complaints? How about criticism? Chances are, none of you do!  When you deal with, or work with the public, it is inevitable.  Often, whether we want to admit it or not, the complaints are even legit.  How do you handle complaints?

I have found being empathetic is a good start.  I try to put myself in the other person’s situation.  This gives us perspective.  I have also found not getting defensive helps.  When we get defensive it seems like we aren’t hearing the other person.  Take time to listen.  Sometimes people just need to get a bad experience off their chest and need to feel heard.

I have to be careful when addressing issues not to raise my voice. PEOPLE!!!!  I. AM. LOUD! I talk loud in a normal voice. When I get emotional (whether mad or not), I get louder.  This is something I have to work hard on. If I get emotional because my feelings or hurt, or I am upset I hurt someone else’s feelings, I have to work hard not raise my voice and come off as angry.   Know your strengths and weaknesses! 

Be sure you get all the facts when dealing with complaints.  Then, offer a solution.  It’s okay to ask for suggestions.  Sometimes it’s even helpful to ask the person complaining how they would like you to handle the situation.  When their solutions is far-fetched, be graceful in offering a counter.

The customer will NOT always be right; but, we should treat the customer with respect.  Social media is full of hilarious comical responses to complaints. Remember to find humor in your mistakes. Being able to laugh about issues with a customer will make you both feel better.   Laughter is always good for the soul-even an angry one!


What an exciting weekend we had here in Breckenridge! I attended, (and helped host) my first Frontier Days….and I LOVED IT! Of course, you can’t please everyone, and there is always room for improvement, but overall, I was glad to see folks having a great time!

Although I’m not new to chambers and events, this is still my first year for this particular event. To be honest, that is a hard position to be in. There is a lot of pressure and worry of meeting the expectations of the community. However, as we dove into the planning, my nerves quickly began to settle. I saw how much support the community and our chamber members have for this event. This guys…having people to reach out and lend a hand… made my job WAY easier! Having Bo and Virgil who have been through a few years was invaluable. Volunteers and community leaders have stepped up over the past few month and THEY all are the reason this event is a success! Words could never reflect the appreciation I have for the community, volunteers, Bo and the Chamber Board of Directors!!! I also want to thank the City of Breckenridge and their employees (especially the Public Works Department who worked tirelessly all week setting up, worked all weekend, and continue working this week tearing down).

For everyone who was involved as a sponsor, vendor, volunteer, hosting an event, (or any capacity) I hope you know how much I personally appreciate you! Thank you all for making my first Frontier Days experience a great one! Like I said, there is always room for improvement, but we are making notes of things to work on, and looking forward to next year!

Time to shine your boots!

Stephens County Frontier Days and the City Centennial Celebration are just around the corner! Friday May 3rd and Saturday May 4th are lined up to be two full days of fun and entertainment.  Although this is my first year to participate, I can already feel the sense of community surrounding this event.

I understand in the past businesses have been encouraged to decorate “western style” for the festivities.  While I have heard some like the idea and others do not, I want to encourage you to put your best foot forward as you prepare for visitors.  If for you that means dressing up and decorating; or it simply means cleaning up around your business, keep in mind what it is like to be a consumer in another community and the things you look for. Dressing up and decorating create a unique, memorable environment. 

I also encourage you to stay open as much as possible over the weekend.  As a consumer I find it disappointing when I visit a new place only to find everything closed because it is the weekend.  Give visitors an opportunity to stop and see what you have to offer!

Let’s show our visitors some West Texas hospitality and have fun doing it!

Always stay humble and kind

I saw a powerful story posted on Facebook last week and while some may have seen it, I wanted to share it again. It was a great reminder that we should be willing to work in the trenches if we expect members of our team to do so.
In the post John Moore shares, “Two weeks ago I posted a job for my corporate executive assistant role (pays $90,000-$115,000). Well, while I was out visiting stores yesterday, they received a 473 box truck and had 3 people call in. Immediately, I help them unload the truck and I was on the floor putting up merchandise. When I visit stores, I don’t wear a suit. I dress like my team. My pants and shirt were dirty from lifting boxes and stocking but I was getting the job done. All of a sudden, my first candidate for my EA role walks in and asked for me. She heard me talking and started laughing. The cashier asked her what was funny? She said ‘OMG that guy (pointing at me) talks so country/funny!’ The candidate started small talking and then said ‘hey, are you having fun stocking those shelves?’ I said YEP! My cashier IMMEDIATELY put her face in her palm. The candidate asked me what do I do? I looked at her smiling and said—I’m a cashier. She said yea, you would NEVER SEE ME ON THE FLOOR doing that. My REAL cashier spoke up quickly, trying to SAVE HER, and said Lauren, meet John Moore, the President of Store Operations. Her face turned so red and she apologized. Needless to say, she literally just talked herself out of a $100,000 job. My point? Leaders, we are called to serve our people and teams regardless of our titles. Guess what? There will be times we get really dirty doing it as well! Also, don’t you ever think you are too HIGH to get LOW when necessary!”
Can you imagine being that candidate? Being willing to help you team isn’t degrading; it is being humble. Always stay humble and kind.

This week…

It’s a busy week here at the chamber! I have to admit, I like being busy. Being busy means we (the chamber) are working for our members!

Tomorrow we will have Coffee and Connections at 8am at TSTC.  I encourage our members to attend. It’s usually short and sweet, but a great way to meet other members.  Networking is such a vital tool in business today.  Stop by, grab a cup of coffee and donut and utilize this opportunity to share what your company has going on.

We also will be welcoming two new chamber members this week with Ribbon Cuttings.  We will be at My Nails and Spa Wednesday at noon; and Breckenridge Rentals on Thursday at 5.

We are also finalizing the schedule and activities for Frontier Days.  We can use some help! We need volunteers, sponsors and vendors!  We encourage students who need community service hours for college applications to call us.  Showing community involvement looks good on resumes, and we have lots of ways students can serve. I love doing things to help our youth!  Frontier Days is also a great opportunity for youth organizations to set up vendor booths for fundraising as well.  Having a presence at community events and people being able to see the youth working increases support. Feel free to call Bo or myself for scheduling or vendor information.

Also, I want to thank everyone who participated in Spring Fling! It was a lot of fun and great exposure for our businesses.  Be sure to remember all the spring items advertised when you start those spring projects! Have a great week!

Spring Improvements

This weekend was so nice! It finally felt like SPRING!  My hubby worked on our garden area and I am ready to plant some veggies! I have a place prepped to add some rose bushes, and even thought of some ideas for yard art.

I love working outside, especially with Brian!  He’s always making me laugh; plus he can do the heavy lifting lol! It never fails though, I start one project, and then I start thinking of others.  It’s a wonder he will even come outside when I’m out there! I start naming things to do and he says, “We don’t have the stuff for that.” For me, that’s not a problem.  I know stores in Breckenridge that can fix that!  I’m like… “I’ll be right back!”  Soil! Plants! Décor! Equipment!  You can even rent a tiller! 

We were able to get so much done in only a few hours. Stop putting off those home improvement projects!  There’s no time like the present to plant those gorgeous flower beds you have always wanted, and to set out those beautiful accent pieces you’ve been wanting to buy. 

Be sure to come out this Thursday from 1-7 for lots of great deals during the Spring-Fling shopping event!  Get those home items, and pamper yourself with spring bling for yourself as well!  Visit the Spring-Fling Event on our Facebook page for more details!

Who’s at fault?

Like many of you, I was shocked when I heard Hibbett Sports had shut the doors to our Breckenridge store.  I had gone down for a meeting at Tractor Supply when I heard the news.  Immediately, I went to see what was going on.  The representative from the corporate office informed me they were closing effective immediately.  Immediately???  I started asking questions. What about the employees? Why did we not receive notification?  Ugh! What about the jacket I bought last week that’s too big that I intended to return?

Losing a business and a chamber member is always hard for a community.  It can be an eye opening experience as well.  How often did YOU buy from Hibbett Sports? How often did you instead go to Abilene for what you needed?  Every time we shop out of town, we hurt our local economy.  We, as consumers, are often the reason businesses close.  This was the case for Hibbett Sports.  Corporate told me that they simply did not get enough business in Breckenridge to be profitable. 

I’m not saying all this to step on toes. I’m guilty as well.  I’ve gone to the big box store to buy kids shoes. But, I do try to shop local first. There have been times I didn’t have time to go somewhere else and it was convenient to get what I needed here.  Many, many, times I have been grateful for local businesses who have saved me when I needed something. (My kids are great at telling me they need something last minute).

We had hometown people, people who support community programs, lose their jobs last week.  That makes me sad.  It makes me sad to see another empty building.  It makes me sad that the community passes blame.  Folks, when you see places close down don’t be shocked if you never set foot in there.  A business cannot survive without the financial support of the community.  I know people get tired of chambers saying “Shop Local”, but if we as consumers don’t shop local…there won’t be anything local.

Special thanks to Rob Durham and his crew at Hibbett’s for their support over the past few years. Rob personally paid Hibbett’s chamber membership and was always eager to participate in community events.

Spring Break!!!

There are many different perspectives when it comes to Spring Break.  There’s the “go all out” week-long family trips to somewhere tropical. There’s the “road-trippers” who hop in the vehicle and head out, seeing where to road takes them.  And then there’s the “stay-cationers”. 

Some “Stay-cationers” are in panic mode today.  They have a week off, not sure of plans and facing the daunting task of occupying kids.  (Of course, Mother Nature is making being outdoors a bit of a challenge).  At my house the hubby and I are planning for “us time” because the kids are all gone with spending time extended family & friends.

For those “road-trippers” passing through this week and for the “stay-cationers”…the Chamber is here to help!  From shopping; scheduling painting classes; taking the kids to Party Planet; tours of the museum and art gallery; to a nice couples dinner… we have suggestions!  Call us before you start pulling your hair out! (559-2301). 


Are you ready to get that yard looking better??? Do you need a new spring wardrobe? Spring Décor? If you said “Yes”, then get ready……we are having our first annual SPRING-FLING!!!

I love everything Spring!  Flowers, décor, clothes….I’m a sucker for the florals and pretty bright colors! So, I was really excited the Chamber Board was supportive of this idea! It will be along the same lines as our annual “Mingle Jingle” hosted in November, but we will be focusing on all things Spring!

Breckenridge Chamber businesses have such an amazing assortment of Spring items and we want everyone to #shoplocal! The Chamber will be featuring Spring inventory March 28th from 1-7PM.  As a bonus, at each participating business you visit, you will have the opportunity to enter for a drawing for a Spring Prize Package!  

It may feel like it today, but this cold weather is NOT gonna last forever! Go ahead and mark your calendars for March 28th! Stay tuned for more details, and stay warm for now!

(Bo sent an email to our businesses, but if you missed it and want to participate, call one of us before Thursday to be added to the list!)

Frontier Days & Centennial Celebration

The Stephens County Frontier Days are right around the corner!  May 3rd & 4th are lining up to be 2 days packed with activities for all ages!  Chuckwagon Cook-offs, Carnival rides, 42 tournaments, Breck Idol, Kids Got Talent and the Car show are just a few of the events planned.  Stay tuned to the chamber website for a full schedule and updates!

Also, this year marks the Centennial Celebration for the City of Breckenridge!  To recognize this milestone, the City has partnered with Frontier Days and will be hosting a FREE concert. Blues artist, Michael Lee will be performing on Saturday night from 8-11pm.  Lee appeared on the TV show “The Voice” in 2018 and is currently touring with the BB King Band. 

Mark your calendars for May 3rd & 4th and plan to join in the fun!