“I won what?” asked Kerry Sheridan, owner of Kerry’s Warwick Photo LTD at 1944 Warwick Avenue, yesterday.
Sheridan didn’t know her shop had been chosen to receive the U.S. Commerce Association’s 2011 Best of Warwick Award in the Custom Photofinishing category.
“You know why I won that?” she asked next. “Because I’m the only one.”
Sheridan has a sense of humor, which is perhaps one of the reasons her customers are so loyal.
“Customer service is more important than anything else,” she said. “All of these Internet dealings … you’re not talking to anybody.”
Today, in an age where many people can print and edit their own photos, Sheridan said the key to her continued success is attention to detail.
“Color correction and cropping, that’s all done here for zero, for nothing,” she said. “I need to do it for you so you come back and you’re satisfied.”
Larger chain stores like CVS and Walgreen’s can’t offer the same customer satisfaction, said Sheridan, nor can they accommodate people who bring in old photos or slides.
“They don’t even know what slides are,” she said.
It’s not just her special skills that keep people coming back; it’s Sheridan’s willingness to make them happy.
Sheridan recalled a customer who came in with professionally taken photos.
“She hated them,” she said. So Sheridan Photoshopped together the best shots of each family member and carefully edited the photo to the customer’s specifications.
“My customers know me. They tell me to make miracles,” she said.
Sheridan has been the owner of Kerry’s Warwick Photo LTD since 2005, when she bought the business from Warwick Photo Labs. Her passion for photos is an old one, and began behind the lens. After working for an appraisal service that outsourced its prints to Warwick Photo, Sheridan found herself becoming interested in the process of developing photographs. She began working for Warwick Photo Labs, which was established in 1955, in 1987.
Now, she’s receiving an award the USCA gives to businesses for their quality of work and service to community. The USCA uses data gathered internally and through third party sources to choose winners for its “Best of Local Business” award program, which recognizes outstanding businesses throughout the United States.
Soon, Sheridan will receive a shining glass award, engraved with her business’ name, and the title of “Best of Warwick.”
“It’s great. I’m very happy,” said Sheridan about the honor. “You need a pat on the back sometimes.”
But Sheridan said returning customers are enough of a pat on the back for her.
Dina Dionizio is one of those customers.
“She does a really good job and is very accommodating,” said Dionizio of Sheridan.
Dionizio stopped by Kerry’s yesterday to print up her Christmas cards and photos from a recent family vacation.
“I come here for special things, especially,” she said.
Sheridan said she’s seen more customers recently, especially those who want to talk to someone in person about the details of their prints.
“When you buy something, you want to talk about it and get it just right. I don’t do anything without speaking to people,” she said.
Providing services that people can’t find online or in larger stores are what have kept Kerry’s Warwick Photo in business, despite the odds.
And now, with a shiny award to display, Sheridan can boast she’s the “Best in Warwick.” Although, the glass award may not be exactly what she wanted.
“Is it food?” she asked. “I’d rather have food.”