It was inspiring to see some of the trainings from Grow with Google and think, ‘Yes, I can do this.’
Laurel Uhlig Hansen
For years, Laurel Uhlig Hansen worked as a nurse and a teacher; her husband, Jim, was a master goldsmith. In 2013, it was time for a change. The pair bought The Clock Shoppe in their hometown of Fort Wayne–one of the few dedicated clock repair shops in the state–with Jim bringing his love of fixing things to clock repair. Laurel joined in 2017 to run the business. “What I love most is helping our customers retain and restore their clocks, which often have great sentimental value,” says Laurel. The shop draws customers from near and far through word of mouth and through their Google Business Profile. That’s where they showcase positive reviews, and provide contact information and directions. “Our Business Profile allows me to communicate regularly through posts and updates, and field inquiries. The fact that our listing came at no cost was huge,” she says. And Gmail makes reaching customers easy. “Gmail has been so useful, because it’s very easy for me to type back a response as opposed to spending time on the phone,” Laurel notes.
A self-described “tech newbie,” Laurel was initially wary of digital tools. But Google lowers the barrier for entry and has reinforced Laurel’s belief in lifelong learning. “I’ve benefited from a number of interesting webinars through Grow with Google,” she says. “Every time I learn more of the ‘techy’ tools, I feel better about learning more yet.” Today Jim, Laurel, and their “watchdog,” Mooch, are there to lend a helping hand to their community. They have plans to partner with organizations to reach refugees, veterans, and members of underserved communities who could apply their talents to clock repair. “There will always be a time where people will rely on clocks that do not need a battery,” says Laurel. “In a world that often seems transactional, I love being able to offer the kind and respectful service that I like to receive.”