How to Keep Your Glass Half Full

Some people are amazing in the way they see the positives in a negative situation. I’ve never met her, but I’m willing to bet that Amanda Summerlin is a naturally glass-half-full person.

Amanda’s studio is Amanda Summerlin Photography in Lawrenceville, Georgia and she has been a Finao customer for seven years. A few days ago, she sent us an email that just made our day.

“You guys, I’m gonna brag on your albums for a minute. While my wife and I were in California last week, my office flooded a bit. The area around my desk was a big puddle about ¼” deep when I found it Wednesday morning.”

Thankfully the flooding wasn’t because of hurricane Florence; it passed north of Lawrenceville. It was due to a clogged air conditioner, so even though no one likes flood damage, at least it was clean water.

“My sample wedding albums I show folks were in a leather bag on the floor behind my chair where I store them, sitting in the middle of the puddle. I thought the albums were ruined, but I took them out and put them on the shipping counter with the pages spread anyway. I just checked on them and they have completely dried out.”

Finao ONE page example (Amanda’s not shown)

I wondered what problems she would be left with—I’m a rookie Finaon, so I’ve never seen one of our albums after it has gone for a swim. We know they hold up well for all types of use and handling, but water is a different challenge altogether. I was surprised by Amanda’s experience.

The artONE album looks like nothing happened. The pages are still flat. There’s zero damage to any image. The Finao ONE album has a slight discoloration on the edges of the pages that came in contact with the wet leather bag. There’s no damage to any image or the leather cover.”

Example of an artONE page (Amanda’s not shown)

Wow. I know we use quality leather and papers—maybe you’ve seen the description on our website, “every artONE page is finished with a proprietary surface modification that protects this delicate paper and printing from moisture, fingerprints and scratching.” Still, I was impressed with Amanda’s experience. She went on to say

The playBOOK album didn’t do as well. The fabric cover is stained from the brown leather bag. The front and back cover delaminated slightly and buckled. However, every single photo is still in perfect condition.”

Fabric playBOOK examples (Amanda’s not shown)

I wrote to her and offered to recover the playBOOK if she wanted to keep it. Many customers don’t realize that damage to an album can often be repaired rather than having to replace it. Amanda declined our offer, saying

“The albums seem to be fully dry now, and I actually intend to keep the two with the least damage and show them to clients as an example of the quality of the craftsmanship. …And the one that has the most damage is the oldest and most in need of replacement. I’ve been procrastinating for a while now (actually, years), and this was just the fire I needed to have lit under my feet to get me to finally design and order another sample.”

I’m sure water damage isn’t your favorite motivator, Amanda, but I’m glad you’ll have a new sample playBOOK. And that you’re happy with the Finao products you have.

“I am seriously blown away. Obviously, I’ll be keeping an eye on them for a while to see if any damage develops, and ordering replacements since I needed to do that anyway, but I am incredibly impressed with the quality of these books. I mean, I’ve always been impressed, but now I’m a customer for life. Thanks for making such high quality products that I can loudly brag about to my clients. You make me look really good.”

Many of you have never met us, but many dedicated people in the Finao family work to make sure your art shines for your customers. We want you and your clients to have the confidence that should something happen, your albums will hold up amazingly well. I asked Amanda if it was OK to share her story with all of you. The closing of her last email is one I’ll remember for a while

“From the minute we switched to using your books a few years back, we’ve always been blown away by the quality and beauty of them. And we’ve also been equally impressed by the amazing care we get from you all. Every aspect of working with you has been exceptional in every way. I’m very proud to offer your albums to my clients and I’ll certainly continue to sing your praises loudly to everyone who will listen.”

We’re very grateful that with her lemons, she took the time to make lemonade for us. Amanda (our customer for life 😊), if you are ever in our neighborhood in Michigan or New York, come by to visit–the lemonade is on us! Or depending on the day maybe coffee or single-malt. It’s the least we can do for family.

A picture of Amanda by Amanda on top of Ryan Mountain at Joshua Tree NP

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