• Abby Myette

(originally published to the Business Owner Tide Chart newsletter - August 2019)

I first came to Salem in 1989 for a Derby family reunion hosted at The Derby House at Salem Maritime Park (that's me in the pink with my mom, grandfather, and sister). My mom’s maiden name is Derby.  Through all of my grandfather’s research and some of my own, I can safely call Uncle Elias Hasket Derby a distant relation. It was a relation my grandfather was very proud of. I don’t remember much about that visit except trying to play with a spinning hoop along Derby Wharf. While maybe not the most memorable visit for a seven year old, it planted a seed.

My second visit to Salem was a bit more stereotypical.  I was working on a big project my freshman year of high school and I had selected witches as my topic.  Naturally that drove me to Salem.  I was researching the history of the witch hysteria, the philosophy of wicca, and the science of herbal remedies. I visited the Salem Witch Museum and The Witch Dungeon Museum.  I was enthralled by the stories, the tragedy, and the beauty of wicca, the belief in nature.

Little did I know during these two relatively inconsequential visits that one day I would call Salem home. What brought me back to Salem probably sounds familiar to many North Shore transplants.  I was moving out of Boston, looking for more space, a parking spot, an affordable condo, good people, and a lively community.  I was in my mid 20s and knew making friends in a new city was going to be hard but Salem definitely had a lot to offer.  After a serious pep talk from my dad and some hand holding from my mom I bought my first place in the Bridge Street Neck neighborhood.  I have been here for six years now.  This little seaside town has become home.  I have come to love the people, the places, the community. 

  • Abby Myette

supporting happy employees during the holidays

(originally published to the Business Owner Tide Chart newsletter - September 2019)

It’s game day for the Gators at the University of Florida. It’s the 4th of July on Martha’s Vineyard. It’s a crisp Sunday in October in Salem. Whatever the day, wherever the location, what these settings all have in common are busy shops, eager tourists, and employees who would rather be watching football, celebrating the holiday, or really anywhere besides work. But working in the service industry requires us to show up with a smile even on the holiday.

I worked in a gift store in Gainesville, Florida for about a year. And each Saturday while my friends were cheering on the football team, I was selling jewelry and purses. I envied my friends. But what made the work day a bit more enjoyable was that my boss knew I’d rather be at the football game. As a small token of her appreciation she had gifted all of us with earrings in Gator blue and orange. We were allowed to wear a University of Florida shirt to work that day, instead of our typical black. We could show our team spirit even if we couldn’t be at the game.

Then there is the summer I worked at a t-shirt shop on Martha’s Vineyard. No one wanted to work on the 4th of July. The tourists expected otherwise. The deal was everyone had to come in and work a 4 hour shift. We all had to bear the burden together. In the end, it ended up being a lot of fun! Everyone was in great spirits, excited for a night of BBQs and fireworks.

The commitment of 4 hours was minimal and we knew we were all doing our part.

For Salem, the busy season lasts a whole month. Every weekend is busy with more and more visitors as the month goes on. Find the small ways you can show appreciation to your employees and invite them to celebrate along with your customers. Can they wear something outside normal uniform one day a week? On Halloween, can everyone pitch in and work a shift? It takes a whole crew to ensure a successful Halloween season. Acknowledging the sacrifices your employees may be making in their personal lives helps them feel valued. Setting consistent expectations for everyone shows a common purpose. And a little gift, be it themed earrings or free lunch, can go a long way to show your employees you appreciate them.

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