Dear friends,
Airport friends - we all have them - people we talk to intimately and animately for a brief period in transit between flights.
We share our travel stories, our personal information and in this limbo land the oridnary rules of formal social interaction do not exist.
Sometimes - the story of sombody that I have sat beside on a plane or in an airport restaurant - or even a woman I might meet in the airport bathroom - will stay with me. The humor of it or the seriousness of it. The glimpse into another life.
Retail is like that too. When I go into our stores I just feel like I attract people's stories.
Last Saturday I was in the store in Vermont and a woman from Georgia was buying a blouse. It was a blouse that we call the artist's blouse - a great style- long and tunic like in white with highlights of glints of metal sequins. Very artiste!
I told her - oh we call that the artist's blouse - immediately she told me that she was an artist - and then she told me about her husband dying recently of heart disease, and how she hadn't painted since he died. And she was travelling with a female friend whose husband had also died - and they both had a rough year and now she would get back to painting again - and she talked about losing oneself in painting. And that her and her friend were so enjoying travelling the back roads together. And that was our 10 minute retail conversation - and I really liked her and she liked me too - and we said bye and I thought -I just love my customers - and I love meeting people in my stores - and in other people's stores too. In that suspended time - when you feel yourself in a place of trust - with people who will understand you. It is very cool.
See you soon,


Anonymous said...

dear april,
i am a former employee of one of your US Stores, in California. the other day, i had one of those amazing New Friend/Airport Friend experiences, whilst talking about clothes for a wedding, with my customer.
We talked about bags, and the dress, and most importantly...Hats.
We were able to up with a few options w/i my locations, and i discussed a local shop, the Mad Hatress, where she could find some things that were a little more unique and vintage.
She thanked me and went on her way.
Maybe ten minutes later, she came back, and asked about a store that she used to shop at, but having moved, she wasn't sure if it was still in the mall. After a sentence or two of descript, I knew she meant Our April Cornell location...
I filled her in, and reintroduced myself, as the former manager of that store..."I thought you seemed familiar." she replied.
She loves your dresses, and I reminded her that the website was up and running...hopefully, she gets the chance to check it out.
Thanks again, April, for such a wonderful experience. ~carla, santa clara, CA

April Cornell said...

Hi Carla – wow – so nice to hear from you – the airport chance encounters are so good.

With everybody so wary of everyone else – sometimes something as simple as somebody’s shoes or dress or hat will alert you to the fact that they are ‘safe’ to talk to and have something in common with you.

We give messages in our clothes and style – I used to say that I always wanted to be the lady in the flowered dress – that kids weren’t afraid to approach.

It doesn’t have to be flowers – but I think you get my meaning. Say hi to everyone I might know in beautiful California, and good luck to you.


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