Megan thought this night would never arrive. For two months they'd been working 16 hour days to get this store open. Managers and sales people had cleaned construction dust, lugged around fixtures, steamed and hung merchandise, and polished every surface. They would all meet in the loading dock first thing in the mornings, coffee in hand, have a cheering session, get their assignments, then start the days work, and keep going until late in the evening. This was a huge undertaking and a very important one for the southern department store chain opening its' first flagship store in the north. The management team had come together and became fast friends. They came from Birmingham, Atlanta, South Carolina and a small group from Indianapolis. The cohesive nature of this team could directly be attributed to the well known, likeable store manager.
Megan's own group of seamstresses and tailors had come from all over the world, a couple of them didn't speak English. She swallowed the lump in her throat as she thought of the day Diana came in for an interview with an interpreter, and had cried because she wanted the job so badly. Megan still couldn't believe how they had worked so well together to get the alterations department ready to open. If you wanted a little entertainment you could walk into the alteration room, see and hear people from 7 different countries, each using a different language, talking and laughing like they were old friends. It was amazing... and wonderful.
Opening night was finally upon them. This was to be a VIP night, and many dignitaries from around Indianapolis would be there to see for themselves what all the buzz was about. Two hours before there was a last flurry of setting things just right before they had been told, "Go home, shower, and get back here quickly. Make sure you look good, and have your very best smile on." As Megan put on the cream and pastel silk shantung suit she had just finished making, she couldn't hold back the excitement. This was a life changing experience. She finally felt like a grown up, and a professional. The values this company stood for and taught had empowered her to finally be true to herself. The ugly days of her previous management job were gone and this was a complete fresh start in every way.
Back at the store Megan took her place with the other managers up and down the escalator in the middle of the store. There were beautifully dressed people everywhere! They lined the railing that circled the open second floor, and stood at the foot of the escalator all around them. The ribbon cutting ceremony began, there were speeches, and loud cheers came from all directions. Megan closed her eyes and thought, "I can't believe I'm here and part of this. I hope I never forget this feeling." ........
This again is my story. It was almost 17 years ago when we opened the first Parisian department store in Indianapolis. It really was life changing for me, not only was the job one of the best I've ever had, but I met my husband during all this chaos. I remember that opening night like it was yesterday. Dreamy, glittery, opulent, and joyful are all words I would use to describe what I saw and felt , and wanted to hold on to from that evening. I wish I had kept a better journal during those days, as it is I have to settle on my datebook to remind me of the events of November 1993. So let this be a lesson to you! Write things down on paper, describe your feelings, write words that will remind you of sights, sounds, and even smells. You will never regret the time spent doing this. I'm going to go print off what I wrote above and stick it in my journal, then I'll never forget!
The "Write It Down" Special Event continues in my Etsy Shop. A big thank you goes to all of you that have been reading here the last few days and have taken the time to take a look at my shop. I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment with a special memory or feeling you would like to leave in a journal!
Until next time,