Welcome to the launch of Just TypiKel Momday Motivations.
Why It Took A Wardrobe Failure? Because it was an absolute game changer in my fledgling career at Frankie Robinson Oriental Gallery. (Yes “Oriental.” This was the ’80’s and the word Oriental, rather than Asian, was common practice.)
My intention is to create a post every Monday, revealing a window into my memoir about the dramatic changes I underwent surviving ten years working alongside my type A mother at her successful Vancouver Asian antiques store.
Well, obviously to drum up a healthy interest in this book that I am writing …
and also to keep me happily blogging.
Mom … Monday … get it?
These pictures were taken on my recent trip to northern Scotland. She graced the wall of the lodge’s cosy study and that window shot was of the view from my bedroom.
It Took A Wardrobe Failure
My mother insists that I begged to join FROG. I don’t remember that but I do recall being relieved that it was only for the summer.
I also thought that the selling aspect would be an absolute picnic.
A good six weeks slid by before I managed to sell anything. It was demoralizing, yet understandable. I was 27 and looked 15. Would you buy a $1500.00 antique Japanese cabinet from a 15 year-old who was incapable of answering any of your questions?
Add in my “helpful” suggestion that a couple go to Ikea to purchase a “reasonably priced” tv stand rather than buy our $900.00 antique Chinese blackwood table and Francine should have sacked me, I was that dreadful. However, in order to survive the summer, I finally grasped that I needed to take an interest in our inventory.
I shall never forget my first sale. It was to a lovely girl who wandered in looking for a unique wedding present for $100.00. She was a “first-timer,” about my age, and extremely shy. My heart went out to her as she flitted about the shop avoiding eye contact with me. Everything she looked at was over $1000.00, and with Francine making a deposit at the bank, only I could save the situation.
I began to babble.
“Do let me show you our Chinese porcelain peaches. I believe they could be just the ticket.”
My heart pounding, I stumbled to the locked glass cabinet and selected the prettiest one.
“The peach is a symbol of longevity in the Chinese culture. By giving the couple this peach, which is over a hundred years old, you’d be giving them a blessing for a long marriage.”
She bought it on the spot.
I couldn’t manage to sell anything more expensive until a fellow asked me to deliver an $1800.00 eight panel antique Chinese coromandel lacquer screen. It wouldn’t fit in his car and he wanted to live with it on approval for a few days!
Unfortunately, I had to take the screen apart to get it in my hatchback and it took me a good 20 minutes to individually schlep the eight panels down his endless driveway in my tight skirt and heels. The fellow offered to help but I wouldn’t hear of it.
Sweating profusely in his airless room, I hefted the two pins of each heavy panel back into the two metal side hoops on the matching panel. The first two were the worst! They wobbled and refused to cooperate. All the while, I prattled away in that pseudo English accent I adopt in times of stress.
“Well this is capital, isn’t it? I’ll have this together in two ticks of a lamb’s tail!”
It took ages but after finally getting the screen assembled and regally stretched out, I was shocked by the gentleman’s demeanor. Eyes averted, flushed and incapable of speech, he thrust his credit card at me. What happened to living with it on approval?
After being given the bum’s rush, I was both elated and thoroughly confused. I’d managed to make a previously unthinkable $1800.00 sale to a man who suddenly couldn’t look at me. What the hell happened?
All was revealed when I got back to my car and …
For more on how it took a wardrobe failure to make that huge sale, you’ll have to wait for the completion of my book with the current working title of “It’s Ok, She’s My Mother.”
Enough about me, I’m curious about you. Have you ever suffered a wardrobe failure? Have you ever shut down a sale? Better yet, have you ever been to Scotland? If you’d care to share, I’d love to hear.
See you next Momday.