If you follow us on social media or have been to the shop recently you've probably heard about the smash and grab incident we had on November 14.
An EARLY a.m. call from the alarm company is no way to start your day.
We sped to the shop and arrived to three police cruisers parked in front, a smashed in front door, and a mostly empty reel display. The thieves had limited time, but managed to leave with about four dozen quality reels from Islander, Nautilus, Sage, Orvis, Lamson, Brittania, and Hardy.
We spent that morning in a haze of anger, and disbelief. We did our best to catalog the stolen reels in order to complete the police report. We contacted the landlord. We replaced and upgraded the glass in the door. Ironically - or maybe it's a sad reflection of the state of Calgary's economy - the glass company has pre-cut sections for our style of door because they're having to replace too many strip mall doors these days. We're fortunate that in our almost 23 years of business in Calgary this is the first time we've been targeted like this.
We sort of went in to auto-pilot to get through that morning. We were disheartened and frankly lost faith in folks. It's hard not to take something like this a little bit personally.
It sucks that leading up to a busy holiday season we're scrambling to replace reels that are gone. It's annoying to know we likely spoke to whomever did this smash and grab. It makes us just a little more cautious when we're at the shop.
It sucked that morning when we had to go home and share the news with our teen-aged kids as they prepared for their day.
"Kids the shop was broken into overnight and they stole a bunch of reels. But no one was hurt. They took stuff and it will cost money, but no one was hurt..." Switching into parent-mode and putting those words out there helped me put the event into perspective.
As they were getting ready for school, I emailed other local shops and our staff. Our competitors have all been very supportive requesting a list of the stolen reels and promising to keep an eye out. Some even going so far as to offer us loaner reels so we have product to sell.
Later that morning we posted to social media; Facebook and Instagram. We're still shocked at the reach of that initial Facebook post (almost a quarter of a million people to date!) The support we've had over the past few weeks through things like social media shares, messages asking whether recent ads on Kijij or listings on E-bay are for "our" reels, customers offering help as we navigate the insurance claim, and endless other gestures are overwhelming.
One of the things I've always liked about the shop is that I feel like we have something in common with pretty much everyone who walks through the door. A love of fly fishing or tying flies. A love of the outdoors. That morning the thieves stole more than reels. They stole a bit of that feeling.
But life continues.... we're replenishing our inventory, fortifying our defenses, and compartmentalizing our emotions.
The day after the break-in one of our regular customers stopped by with a gift card for a dinner out and a card that read: "Sometimes bad things happen to good people."
Thank you to everyone who's
- helped spread the word
- lent their support
- offered their sympathies
- been angry for us
- is watching the for-sale section of their local fishing forums or other on-line sales venues.
Thank you for reminding us that the fly fishing community is filled with "good people."
N, D, and the rest of the Team.