A Very Special Anniversary - Thanks KoKo!
This month marks a really big anniversary for the Tickle Trunk. Our beloved KoKo has been with us for 10 years! I wanted to take the opportunity of this very special occasion to sing the praises of a pretty special person. Perhaps this will also give those of you who don't know KoKo very well yet, a chance to get to know them better.
I first met KoKo not too terribly long after we opened, as a customer at the store. I got to know them a bit more when they attended some of our first workshops and events. It was pretty clear right from the start that, when it came to toys, they knew their stuff!
It so happened that my part-time assistant at the store was leaving. I didn't get a lot of notice and was not looking forward to having to find a replacement - it takes a lot of time to teach someone the ins and outs of toy quality and safety. As well, employees at the Tickle Trunk need to have just the right attitude about sex - they need to be open and sex positive, they need to respect people's space and their attitudes and beliefs, they also need to be secure enough in themselves to be able to set boundaries and stand firm against the occasional customer who oversteps. I thought of KoKo - they seemed to have everything I was looking for. But I had no way to contact them and I didn't even know if they wanted a job.
As luck would have it they came in not too long after that and I asked 'Would you happen to be looking for a job?'. Fortunately for me, the answer was yes. KoKo started out with part-time work, helping customers, stocking the shelves and cleaning the store.
As the store became busier and I could afford to have a full-time staff, KoKo came on full-time. Their job has grown and changed and now includes all of the above plus:
- filling all of our online orders - when you get that package in the mail, it was KoKo that put it together and sent it to you
- putting new products onto the website so you can see all the new stuff we have coming in and can order it
- managing all of our inventory on the website and in the store - this has become a bigger job as we started tracking real time inventory after the pandemic started
- managing our purchasing - yes, buying huge piles of sex toys every few weeks is a lot of fun, but it's also a lot of work
- helping to decide which products we sell (KoKo has been personally responsible for picking out some of the toys that have become the store's best sellers)
My very favourite thing about KoKo is their beautiful, tender, heart. They listen to our customers, no matter who they are, where they come from, what their concerns are, with openness and compassion. They will spend extra time with someone, whether they want to buy something or not, just to be sure they feel heard and that they know they matter. They will go out of their way to help someone, even if they don't know them at all. Time and time again I have seen KoKo do this both at the store and away from it. If the world was composed solely of people just like KoKo, it would surely be a better place.
I have known for some time, that KoKo has become a vital part of the Tickle Trunk, but it has never been more clear than this past year.
With all of the challenges that we've been through over the last year, they have dug in an helped and supported the store, and our community, every step of the way. They have not only been flexible with ever changing work hours and conditions, they have been absolutely essential in helping me come up with new ways of doing business and of running the store with these challenging restrictions.
Not only this, but they have been there when I needed them. I have been through an extremely difficult time personally over the last 8 months - which led me to need a lot of time off from work. Never once did I have to worry about what was happening at the store. I knew for certain that it was in very good hands.
Next time you're in the store, or if you're checking us out on social media, please give KoKo at little shout out and say thank you for all the amazing things they do. There is no doubt that the Tickle Trunk would not be the same without them.