Customized belt buckles were a new idea to Jenna. She was one of the best fundraisers we had at Food For Everyone and, if it came down to it, we would do everything we could to avoid losing her. But she didn't always have the most open mind. So, when George floated the idea of giving customized belt buckles from BuckleBuilder.com to our big donors, well, she really just didn't get it.
"I mean really,
George! Everyone's not as fond of all things western like Dusty is," she
said. Even for her, Jenna was wound a bit tight this time of year, as we planned
for our big end-of-the-year to-do. It was to be a western theme this time, in
honor of this year's volunteer Campaign Chair, a real good ol' boy named Dusty
Delamont. Dusty was a local meat packing mogul and unabashed cowboy. (It was
actually Dusty who turned me on to the good folks at BuckleBuilder.com
back in the early days of the campaign when we were getting to know one another.
Have you seen all their gorgeous customized belt buckles? Incredible.) I admit
that customized belt buckles may have been considered by some to be a bit of
overkill. Dusty D. probably had more custom
belt buckles and trophy
buckles in his personal possession than most people will see in their lifetime.
But, like all things in this organization, the decision was up to me. I was
the Campaign Director, after all.
Would customized belt buckles from BuckleBuilder.com be something Dusty would enjoy? At first, I went back and forth on this customized belt buckles idea. Yes, Dusty was "the man" and we needed to be sure he was happy. This was our biggest "thank you" of the year, after all. But I got to know the man over those many months. Anyone who knew him as I did would not be surprised that he wanted to see his army of volunteers treated well.
So, that became the next question: would Dusty's volunteers appreciate customized belt buckles? We had doctors and nurses, file clerks, day care workers, Postal carriers, CEO's and garbage men all involved. A very diverse group, to be sure, and who would know if they would appreciate customized belt buckles from BuckleBuilder.com?
Well, all my questions
went out the door when Dusty came struttin' into the office one fine morning
wearing one of his customized belt buckles from BuckleBuilder.com.
Holy smokes! It was stunning. All that silver and gold and, shoot, this one
even had color and flames on it!
"Dusty," I said, looking him straight in the eye. "Take off your belt and hand it over."
Now, Dusty is a good salt-of-the-earth type of man. God-fearin' and wife-lovin'. But he got to know me pretty darned well over this time and, better yet, got to trust me. The big man didn't flinch. Keeping eye contact, he proceeded to undo his britches holder and, yes, handed me my first up close and personal look at what customized belt buckles from BuckleBuilder.com are all about.
He didn't really
know why I was doing it, but I proceeded to look very closely at all the details
of this find piece of craftsmanship.
"What yer lookin' at," he said, "is a sample of some of the finest customized belt buckles known to humankind."
So much detail! Real gold filigree all fancy and schmancy over a silver filigreed background. It was all swoops and curves and tiny, detailed stippling. This particular one of his customized belt buckles commemorated Dusty's Average Champion winnings in team roping at the Taylor County Fair 1988.
"That buckle was actually stolen from the back of my truck last year," he said. "I had BuckleBuilder.com re-make it for me. Looks even better than the first one."
He noticed me gaping at the high quality.
"Amazing, isn't it? And you know what? Out of the 200 customized belt buckles styles they offer at BuckleBuilder.com, that's not even a high-end model."
"Okay, how much?" I asked.
"Customized belt buckles like that run around 70 bucks."
I did some quick math in my head. I had 20 key volunteers I wanted to give customized belt buckles to. $70 x 20 is $1400. Yikes. Do you know how many mouths you can feed for that? I won't get on my soap box here, but just suffice to say that the numbers are staggering.
I gave him back
his belt and he instantly could see my disappointment and also read in my mind
what it was I was wanting to do: customized belt buckles for his key volunteers.
I never cease to be amazed at the unflinching generosity of our donors and volunteers.
If I surprised
Dusty with my "take off your belt" command (he didn't show it), he
blew me away come the night of the "Rootin' Tootin' Cowboy Cavalcade".
Not only had he purchased all 20 customized belt buckles for his top volunteers,
but he also had BuckleBuilder.com
create 150 more antiqued brass customized belt buckles for everyone else who
put in their efforts. What a thank you!
And to heck with Jenna.
"I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all your assistance with my order. This being my first order with you has been such a pleasure. Great communication combined with great service. Gold Mountain Trading sets an example other companies should follow. I have told all my friends to visit your web site and encouraged them to buy from you. Thanks again for allowing me to have such a pleasurable shopping experience with you."