Sunday, January 08, 2006

Delightfully Small World

Today the world was normal and then it suddenly became delightfully small. Jae and I were filing away 2005 sales receipts and making new folders for 2006. There had been some foot traffic but mostly what I call shop tourists, folks who are out and about happily browsing with no intention of spending money on anything except brunch and the Sunday Times. It was a normal, low-key, get-things-done kind of Sunday.

At one point two women walked in and I looked up from my paper shuffling to greet them. "I know you!" the cute freckled one exclaimed, and I was suddenly shocked out of my quiet everyday hum. I studied her face and she seemed to look familiar too, but I didn't recognize her name, which is Jamie Rivers. We played a quick round of name-game and within a few minutes discovered that we are both alumna of The George Washington University where we were both in the honors program studying International Relations during roughly the same years. We obviously must have had some classes together, maybe were even in a study group together. I asked her if she ever used to go to the Olives and Wax poetry reading coffeehouses which I ran, and she said she did, so maybe we knew each other from there, too.

Anyway, we were so excited to realize these connections, and found it quite something that now we're both running independent shops! Jamie owns Sugar Boutique in Pittsburgh, a sweet spot filled with great jewelry, apparel, handbags, and the like by up-and-coming indy designers from all over. She was in town on a buying trip, and had come to the South Slope to visit Rena Tom who owns the indy design store Rare Device down the block. As it turns out, Sugar Boutique has been carrying Rena's jewelry for almost three years. What a small world!

Being the constant business women that we are, we soon started trading names of interesting jewelers and various craft fairs. Jamie was admiring Chelle Kraus' jewelry here and so I emailed Chelle today to put them in contact. It would be lovely if our chance re-meeting could result in more exposure for Chelle, who certainly deserves it. And I’m sure Jamie and I will keep in touch – it’s great to meet new colleagues!

It is lovely when your run-of-the-mill day gets taken in a whole new direction by a chance meeting. That is a big part of why I like being in contact with the public every day, rather than being holed up in a library doing research or at a desk in some office. I feel more in contact with the flow of life here than any other place I've worked. This is yet another reason why I think Greenjeans is the right course for me now. And why I feel so happy here. But wow I haven't thought about ol' G-Dub in ages -- taking a flashback to my campus days has been kind of a crazy trip!

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