Meet Our Team Members: Shana Gardner

Here at Maple Ridge Farms, we love taking the time to get to know our distributors better. We feel that our relationships with them set us apart and help us to provide the best service we possibly can. As part of our ongoing series, here is a look at another member of the Maple Ridge Farm team!

Name: Shana Gardner
Department: Customer Service
Years of Service: 4

Your Time on the “Farm”…

What brought you to MRF, and what were you doing before coming to MRF?

I first began at MRF as a seasonal employee after being laid off from my previous position as a title searcher.  When the season ended, I took another position as a title searcher, only to be offered the option to return to MRF as a regular employee.  I never looked back!

What is your role on the MRF Team? How do you typically spend your day?

I work primarily as a Gift Specialist in Customer Service, handling everything from simple price checks to completely custom gifts.  I also work with IT, the website, and other behind-the-scenes documentation and support.  Given the wide variety of pots I have my fingers in, there is no such thing as a typical day!

What part of your job do you most look forward to?

I love the variety--no day is the same.  One day I'm elbows-deep in custom gifts, the next I'm up to my neck in website updates.  Whether I'm working closely with our distributors to best help their customers or manipulating spreadsheets, I enjoy being able to leave each day feeling as though I've made a difference.

What is the strangest request you have seen since joining the MRF team?

I don't know that I'd necessarily call any request "strange", but some are more unusual than others.  State-themed gifts, custom-shaped cutting boards, color-specific requests, we've seen them all!

What is your favorite MRF item?

Any item with our English Butter Toffee is at the top of my list.  I also have a weakness for our Chocolate Covered Oreos®!  (I'm probably lucky that the Chocolate Covered Nutter Butters® are only available in assortments, or I'd really be in trouble.)

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

I recently completed a Dale Carnegie course, which I feel has helped me take my ability to help customers to the next level.

What do you feel sets MRF apart in the industry?

We make things happen; we're happy to blow the box apart to provide customers with the perfect gift or service.  Add in the gourmet quality of our gifts and you've got a winning combination.

 On the Lighter Side…

What do you do in your spare time?

I'm a hardcore gamer--my PlayStation 3 is never dusty.  I also read extensively and have recently taken up garment sewing and kumihimo (Japanese braiding).

What are you proudest of in your personal life?

I'm constantly trying new things; I don't like to be stagnant.  I'm always proud when I work up the nerve to try something new, even more so when I master it.

If you could have a drink with anyone (fictional, real, dead, alive, famous, non-famous) who would it be?

My best friend.  We unfortunately live hundreds of miles apart, so I treasure the time we are able to spend together--drinks in-hand or otherwise!

What is your ideal vacation?

Some years ago, I was fortunate enough to visit Tokyo, Japan.  While I loved the experience, I was disappointed by the fact that I didn't really get outside of the city.  I deeply wish to return some day to explore the rest of the country.  (I'm a sucker for historical sites--visiting Sensou-ji in Asakusa was the highlight of my trip, especially as I got to do so on New Year's Day!)

What is your favorite quote or saying?

"Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric."

~Bertrand Russell

What three words best describe you?

Diverse.  Tenacious.  Quirky.

If you were stranded on an island with 1 book, 1 movie, and 1 CD, what would they be?

Book: Beauty by Robin McKinley

Movie: Hot Fuzz or Pacific Rim (Deciding between them is like choosing between children!)

CD: anything by Jonathan Coulton (Re: Your Brains is the best thing ever!)