Close your eyes. No, really close your eyes
Close your eyes. No, really close your eyes.
I’m not sure what time it was, but it was already dark. I was standing outside my new boutique. In the obscurity and cold of winter, I tried to imagine how passers-by would feel looking at the window, so bright with its white bedding and dozens of boldly coloured soaps.
I must even confess I got a rush of warmth going through my heart.
As I was enjoying the moment, I turned my head at the sound of tapping around and saw a lady tentatively holding a white stick in her right hand and a harnessed black Labrador in her left. She dangerously seemed to be heading straight for a set of wooden containers next to my shop and, as I held my breath, ready to run to her help, I thought I’d double check with her dog. We looked at each other long enough for me to ask: “Are you in control of the situation?” and for him to reassure me: “- Yes, I got her”. The lab deviated the lady’s route, she safely walk passed my shop window, never seeing anything.
I stayed out there a while longer, feeling a little stupid, a little sad.
Imagine my surprise then, when yesterday, none else than the lady and her Labrador walked into my shop.
Bring it on!
She said she’d heard there was a new shop and wanted to know what I sold. Well, mes chéris, let me tell you that: This was the mother of all challenges I had been waiting for without knowing it!
I made her and Oscar sit, gave them both a chocolate and started what turned out to be a three-hour voyage in the subtle world of sensorial experiences.
We started with the bed linen. My new friend didn’t know why Egyptian cotton was considered better than regular cotton, she didn’t know the difference between percale or satin or anything about thread count, and certainly doesn’t care about famous brands. Clever ads and buzz-words don’t get through to her: You can’t lie to someone who has lost their eyesight.
Your hand knows best
I took her hand and slowly dragged it down one of the ultra smooth cotton satin pillows on display. Her face immediately lit up. She smiled. I giggled. This was going to be fun! We moved on to one of my new nightgowns. As I started describing the delicate embroidery details, she reminded me that no one, including herself, would see her wearing it. Again, I took her hand and left it to rest on the super thin Egyptian cotton percale. It felt as soft as the pillow but in a dryer way. We decided she deserved it to feel better.
Your nose knows a lot too
There are dozens of different sophisticated fragrances in the shop and I love talking about them, trying to find the right words, adjectives, comparisons to help people imagine what they smell like. This time, their quality was genuinely put to the test as I handed each soap one by one for Anne to let her highly developed olfactory sense decode their respective secret.
Time to feel
In this age of visual overload, it is easy to forget to close our eyes in silence, trusting all our senses to do what they do best: feel
Anne, you left the shop with some quality bed linen, a beautiful nightgown, a large perfumed soap and an exquisitely fragranced spray.
You left with a different look on your face, the look of someone who just got a rush of warmth going through my heart.
Thank you so much Anne for giving me this extraordinary experience this week. You helped me remember my company’s reason for being.