In a year unlike any other, this unique Wish Local merchant has thrived and turned her passion into a thriving business.
Meet Cassie Streit, a local business owner from Salida, Kansas. Cassie and her husband started their one-of-a-kind business back in 2013. What once started as a fun, passionate project making gifts for her friends and family has now turned into a successful sandblasting and vinyl graphics business.
After hearing her incredible journey and the amazing experience she’s had with the Wish Local program, we reached out to Cassie for an exclusive interview to share her inspiring story.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your business?
Cassie: Hi, I’m Cassie Streit. I’m from Salida, Kanas. Our business is called Streit Sandblasting. We have a dual business: sandblasting and vinyl graphics.
That’s amazing! How did you get started?
Cassie: We, my husband and I, started sandblasting in 2013. We were doing it for fun by just making gifts for our family and friends, and word of mouth spread around town. At the end of 2014, we sat down and looked at our financials and said, “Oh, we need to make this a business.”
Wow, that’s the best way to start.
Cassie: Yeah! So, in 2017, my nephew was diagnosed with cancer. We had a CAD machine. I said you know what? I’ll make the vinyl stickers. I’ll make the T-shirts and everything we need for the fundraiser, but after that, that’s it. I’m not doing that anymore. Well here it is, 2020 and I love it. Follow your passion!
How did you hear about Wish Local?
Cassie: I’m a Wish shopper and I saw an ad on Wish, “Would you like to be a Wish Local delivery location?” I said, “Yeah!” So, that’s how we got started.
How many Wish customers ask you about your business? And how many of them would purchase something from you?
Cassie: I’m going to say roughly 60% ask about the business. It depends on the time of year, honestly. Like if it’s the holidays and a customer orders a Christmas ornament or something like that from Wish, they’ll open them in the store and be so excited about it.
And then I’ll say, “Hey did you know I can personalize that?” It gives me an opportunity to sell my own product to go with what they ordered. We can celebrate together.
That’s so great that you’re able to do all that and share your ideas. So, during the COVID pandemic, did you close your store?
Cassie: Yes, we shut down for about two and a half months. It was tough as a business to shut down. That was rough. But Wish made it really easy for us.
We would go to our local post office and pick up all the Wish packages that had arrived. Through our social media accounts, we contacted our customers saying, “We have your packages, and they’re safe”.
They were really understanding. Most people were very thankful that they knew that their Wish products were safe.
Safety is such a priority for us, which brings us to our next question. Have you tried using our Curbside Pickup and Local Delivery feature?
Cassie: We actually do both! I will have clients that will call, and they’ll say “Hey, I’m outside your store,” and I’ll give them their orders contactless. I always ask our customers if they want Curbside Pickup or delivery.
I love the Local Delivery because of where I’m at. We’re not a huge town, population 50,000, so that gives us the opportunity to go to our smaller towns outside of Salina and deliver orders.
We also like to put thank you notes in our Wish delivery packages, which is great to share our store’s information. It’s so much more than business. It’s about that personal connection.
We’re so happy to hear that you love the delivery program and that it’s been so helpful for you to serve your community.
Cassie: Yeah. It works out really well. It’s free for our customers, and it’s safe to deliver. Sometimes we’ll even converse from the sidewalk from their house! I feel like it’s really helping people.
How many deliveries do you do within a week?
Cassie: I do probably anywhere from 5 to 10 per week. The great part is that most of my clients, before shut down, were my first delivery clients. They were the first ones to understand that they could get their items delivered directly to their house, which is really great.
Do you happen to use the Sell on Wish feature in the Wish Local App? If so, what kind of products do you upload?
Cassie: I actually just started testing it. I just did 4 product uploads last week.
Well Cassie, is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Cassie: Actually, yes! I wanted to share a story with you about a customer. She’s a regular of mine and called me about her orders. She’d ordered items from Wish to be delivered to our store. She’s getting married and little by little her orders were coming. Every time she comes in, we get to know one another and start opening packages together.
She was so excited and I love seeing that. She’s in her 40s and has never been married before.
This will be the best day of her life and I feel like I’m getting to be a part of that. Wish is getting to be a part of it. It was so great to just watch her glow every time she opened an order.
That is exactly what Wish Local is all about, appreciating and celebrating the local community.
Cassie: This has been a huge opportunity for us to build a relationship with our community. When you build a relationship with your customers, it’s going to give back 10 fold.
Well said. Thank you so much for joining us today, Cassie. It was a pleasure talking with you and sharing your story with us.
Born out of passion and driven by local interest, Streit Sandblasting is a perfect example of how to serve the community. By signing up for the Wish Local program and participating in its many programs, they have been able to grow their business and keep customers safe during this trying time.
The COVID pandemic has changed many of our lives, but one thing remains constant, the need to connect with others, a community. With Wish Local, you can offer safe shopping, and get to know your neighbors.
Would you like to join the Wish Local program today? Sign up here.