Disney has always been associated with the power of the imagination and the idea that if you dream it you can do it. This culture of “dream, believe, dare, do” has inspired businesses around the world to go beyond the traditional boundaries of business and aspire to inject imagination and fun into their passions.
This ideal is, perhaps, no more evident than with Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service in Valparaiso. Flanagin’s, established in 1996 by Donna Flanagin and her two daughters, Erica and Monica.
Flanagin’s began operating with the mindset that business is not only about providing excellent service and rates, but also in creating an experience for customers that left them not only satisfied, but happy as well, after discovering the Disney business model in 2008. Since then, Flanagin’s has worked tirelessly to model their business after Disney, a company in which Donna explains, has always left them with lifelong positive memories.
“My Disney experience is in how I love the way they do business,” Flanagin told Ideas in Motion Media. “Behind the scenes, what really goes into Disney is amazing.”
“It’s more than just pixie dust.”
And all this hard work, Flanagin adds, is geared towards one main goal: improving the customer experience.
“Safety, quality, courtesy, and efficiency is how we operate,” added Flanagin. “Wherein most businesses would put efficiency first with a ‘hey, we have to get this done, we have to make a profit’-first mentality, we put that last because safety, quality, and courtesy all go towards helping efficiency.”
This “Disney Way” mentality is also what has inspired one of the most time-honored and look-forward-to traditions at the Valparaiso Popcorn Festival: “Flanagin’s Fairies,” where Flanagin, her daughters, and members of the community transform into magical, mythical princess-like figures during the annual parade; a perfect example of how creativity and the power of imagination can not only capture the hearts and attention of onlookers, but also introduce your business to the community in a fun and memorable way.
One of those impacted by the magic of Flanagin’s Fairies was Emmori Schott, daughter of AMA Design & Print’s Kelley Schott. Today was Emmori’s first time as a fairy.
“I love being a fairy and look forward to riding on the float and waving to the crowd today,” Emorri said.
The success of Flanagin’s Bulk Mail, Flanagin’s Fairies, and “doing things like Disney” has not gone unnoticed, even outside of Valparaiso, where their style of doing business caught the eye of “The Disney Way 3E” Authors, Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson, who featured Flanagin’s in their aforementioned book.
And today, Capodagli was on hand to get the first-hand experience of Flanagin’s Fairies at this year’s Popcorn Fest.
“We were writing our third edition of the book and we were looking for a small business to add to it,” Capodagli told IIMM. “So we researched ‘dream, believe, dare, do’ and Flanagin’s Bulk Mail came up. So we called Donna and that’s how we came together.”
“To find someone out there like Donna that is living the ‘dream, believe, dare, do’ motto in a small business and really taking it to heart is hard,” said Jackson. “‘Donna really understands customer engagement.”
“Even from the very first moment when you look at the signs in the parking lot, in what we call ‘moments of truth,’ it’s clear that Donna understands that every aspect of her business forms an impression,” Capodagli added.
And the experience, Flanagin adds, as represented in today’s parade, is always remembering that the people you interact with and the heart and imagination you put into what you do, make the magic.
“Sure, Flanagin’s gets noticed today, but a day like today is all about the kids, the community, and the experience.”
To learn more about Flanagin's Bulk Mail, click here.