It was 1999 and I got a job at the Lancome counter in South Beach as a Beauty Advisor. Little did I know it would catapult me into the huge world of cosmetics and beauty and what an impact it would have later on in my life. Gift With Purchase was starting in one month and once again, the pressure was on to make Presell. We had to presell a certain amount of orders before the gift actually started. So I called my mom. She always showed up for me and presold her favorite item, Renergie Cream. From then on, my mother was the victim of my selling tactics, buying more than she bargained for, and I was the victim of her never ending questions.
Fast forward fifteen years, with two little ones, fifteen years older, I also use Renergie Cream although it’s not really in my age category. We tend to go for the “hard stuff” before we need it. Every time I apply it, the smell reminds me of my mother. I remember the twenty questions she would ask me when she bought it, as if she was purchasing it for the first time.
“Do I use this day or night? Can I put it around my eyes? Do I massage it up or down on my face? Does it have SPF in it? Should I put it on my neck? How much should I use?”
The questions still don’t stop and yet I haven’t worked in three years. Although the packaging has changed a thousand times, the smell never changes. I will be forever grateful for that smell since my mother lives far away. It instantly takes me to her. No plane ticket. No planning. I’m with her right at that moment.
So it shouldn’t of been a surprise when yesterday I was shopping in Nordstrom, “the store that takes back everything” and as I passed the Lancome counter, my three year old son called out to my mother.
“Nana! Hi Nana! Nana! Nana!”
I was a little confused as Nana hadn’t visited us since the birth of my last son three months ago. I laughed at him saying, “Nana’s not here Henri, she’s in Arizona!” And then I suddenly realized why he was calling out to her. Last time she visited we presold a gift with purchase and when we picked it up we chatted with the sales person at the counter who I had worked with in the past. My son remembered that experience. As busy as it was, she found time to oohh and ahhh at my newborn, Oliver. We laughed about how tired I was and went on our way, my mom and I excitedly picking at our Gift With Purchase.
I now realize that I had given Henri a priceless memory of his Nana. Whenever he passes the Lancome counter he thinks of her. My heart was heavy with gratitude and I realize the importance of these memories. Thank you Lancome for giving me those priceless memories, a true Gift With Purchase.