2013!! Finally! Lot’s of wonderful things happened at Alexis Gopal Jewelry in 2012…Our participation in the GBK Golden Globe’s, Academy Awards and MTV Movie Awards luxury gift lounges. The Elle 360 Accessory Lounge at NYC Fashion Week. Participating in a guest panel at a lecture for the American Academy of Art, and I was the celebrity designer panelist!! Our line being picked up by an exclusive Madison Avenue boutique, Anik NY, which was noted to be in the top 25 boutiques in New York City (ranked #2). We went through an intensive rebranding process, but it came out beautifully.
That’s not to say I’m not happy 2012 is over. There was family illness, overwhelming stress, and being stretched thin. To the point where my health was affected. So, I’m excited for the clean slate that is 2013. A blank canvas on which I will paint my masterpiece. However, 2013 started out with an interesting experience that I want to share. After just having been discharged from the hospital, and still feeling pretty poorly, there was an opportunity to meet with a buyer for a major retailer that I could not pass up. I was not well enough to drive to NYC, so I drove to a commuter train, and took Metro North in. I was so excited!! The possibilities just circled in my head, the anticipation was surreal. I prepared carefully, brought my best work, my best marketing material, my line sheets. I rehearsed in my mind my presentation. The values and beliefs behind my company, an explanation of my style, my work, a little background on who I am, and how my work would be an asset to their fine organization.
I had an appointment at 10:00am, but had to wait a while, which was fine with me. This was an opportunity of a lifetime, I was lucky to be here. Finally, I was summoned to meet the buyer. Mind you, this is not the first time I’ve met with buyers, I’ve done this many times.
I entered the sparsely decorated room, which looked like a conference room. There were several buyers there, sitting at different tables and I was directed to my buyer. I couldn’t wait to introduce myself, and start my presentation.
I was standing at the table, looking down at this pretty 30 something year old woman, who perfunctorily introduced herself, without making eye contact. In my periphery, I could see other buyers smiling and interacting with designers. “Ok, so what’s your story?”, she asked dismissively, still not making eye contact, and I was taken aback. But I went right into my presentation, as if my life depended on it.
She barely looked at my pieces. I had mentioned that many of my pieces have some sort of spiritual imagery, and she snidely remarked “Really, Doctors are spiritual, huh?”. I knew my interaction was over at that moment, and when she commented, “Your work may be ok for boutiques, but it’s not good enough for us.”
A wave of disappointment washed over me. Not really because of the rejection, because I’ve dealt with rejection in the jewelry world, and it only lights my fire to succeed even more. The disappointment stemmed from watching one human being treat another in such a cold, demeaning manner. She looked at her watch and said, “Time’s up.” I quietly packed my things and said “Thank you for your time” and walked away.
I was so flabbergasted, I just started walking the 28 blocks to the train. Normally, my New York would have come out, and I would have made a sarcastic remark prior to leaving. But, I couldn’t. I couldn’t be like her. I felt sad, not for me, but that a young, physically attractive woman, with such an exciting position could comport herself this way. I could never address a stranger on the street this way, never mind someone in a professional setting. How sad for her. The kind of energy she put out probably made her feel superior and important. I feel sad for her because that same energy is going to repel many wonderful opportunities and people that can enrich her life. Each of us, no matter how rich or poor, sick or healthy, no matter our life circumstances, has the power and obligation to touch the lives of others in a positive way, even if it's just with a smile...
Do unto others as you would have them do to you…there but for the grace of God go I.
I still have big plans for 2013!! I pray that I never make another human being feel the way that woman made me feel that day.
Peace and love for 2013, lovelies!!!