Nicole Collado-Lopez loves the joy of gift-giving, whether it’s treating her kids to a special toy or stocking up on her coworkers’ favorite candy before training sessions. At Chewy, she’s found the perfect outlet for her generosity: the customer service team, which delivers custom pet portraits, flowers and other unique surprises to customers across the country.
“I love to wow!” she says.
At Chewy, it’s Collado-Lopez’s job to make pet parents feel special. Here’s a recent example: After her team identified a customer who deserved some extra love, Collado-Lopez sprang into action. In researching the customer’s account, she noticed this customer was the mother of two kids as well as two dogs. Her idea? To order stuffed animals from Build-A-Bear Workshop that looked exactly like the family’s dogs—a German Shepherd and a white mixed-breed—as a gift for the customer’s two kids.
“She was really thankful,” says Collado-Lopez, who’s a mom herself. “It was super personal—you get on that level with people.”
Collado-Lopez started at Chewy in 2016 as a card writer, penning the personalized messages celebrating birthdays and other special moments that Chewy sends to pets and their people. Her generous spirit shone through, and she was soon promoted to team lead, helping Chewy send thousands of handwritten cards to new customers. Just over a year later, she was on to pet portraits, commissioning one-of-a-kind works by artists as well as other special deliveries like flowers.
“I love how we send flowers to our customers because I know how special and loved I feel when I receive them,” she says.
Now, a typical day at work for Collado-Lopez involves plenty of time brainstorming and doing research, dreaming up unique ideas to bring joy to pet parents.
The goal: To deliver the perfect present for that customer in that moment—which can mean getting creative. Collado-Lopez and her team have sent out hand painted journals, bike racks, wine bottles, clothes and even guitars.
“I never knew this was even possible, but the sky's the limit,” she says.
Earlier this year, Collado-Lopez took on an extra-special project: surprising Harlem Doggie Day Spa owner Brian Taylor with a special thank-you for his pro bono grooming work during the pandemic. Together with her team, Collado-Lopez devised a plan: to buy 200 of Harlem Doggie Day Spa’s own tote bags and T-shirts, fill them with fun Chewy treats and toys, and send them back to Taylor to give to customers in need. A Chewy artist also painted the company’s logo on a jean jacket as a gift for Taylor himself, along with a $10,000 donation from Chewy.
“When we saw Brian’s reaction to everything, it definitely brought a tear to my eye to see how grateful he was and how blessed he felt,” Collado-Lopez says.
Whether it’s major undertakings like Taylor’s big surprise to individual, personalized gifts for Chewy customers, the reward for Collado-Lopez is the same: feeling the joy of making the world a little brighter for pets and their people.
“Seeing the customer’s reaction to the gift is the best part,” she says. “I’m so happy to be a part of a company that makes this big of an impact on our customers’ lives.”
A Few of Nicole's Favorite Holiday Things
Frisco Holiday Hot Cocoa Tearable 2-in-1 Plush Squeaky Dog Toy
Elf on the Shelf
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