my life is nothing without apple

so…the past few days at work have been quite interesting…….

first of all, let me rewind a little bit. back in june, the apple store had relocated into a bigger space in the mall where i work. their previous spot was significantly smaller. it was a narrow but deep space…and when i say “narrow” i mean “i’m never stepping foot in there because i will get claustrophobic.” i don’t frequently pop into an apple store like the regular apple customer (or really any customer) does. in fact, i can list every single time i have walked into an apple store: when i bought my first apple product, which was my macbook, when i bought an ex boyfriend an iPod for his birthday, when i asked, “what do i do if i might have put my iPad on top of my car and got on the freeway?” for a friend, and when i bought my iPad. i have been in an apple store 4 times in my life-and all at another location. i am an android, by the way-just to let y’all know…but i do love my iPad. oh, i love my iPad.

so, moving along…

this “apple is moving into a bigger space”- it was the talk of the town. the big news. the big deal. the big everything. it had been talked about since the beginning of the year. is it true? is it a lie? please be true. oh, how our lives were going to change forever because it was going to be right across from us, customers told us. our business was predicted to skyrocket and soar once apple’s squeaky clean and windexed sliding glass doors open. yada, yada, yada. how happy the apple-loving customers were. to be able to shop in a space about 4 times the previous store’s size (at least that’s what it looks like)! more room to breath, more walking space, more hired associates to help, more inventory available. boy, were those tech-loving customers stoked about apple moving into this big space across from us. we heard all about it-from those who actually believed the rumors.

my thoughts during the half-year process: “hm, i bet it’s going to look all sleek and cool…but i bet it’s not going to make a difference in our business…and i get to stare at cute, techy apple boys all day!”

come on, who doesn’t think nerdy apple boys are cute?

anyways.

so june happened.

and the new apple store was introduced.

and we were about to see what we were in for with our new neighbors.

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i loved the look of the store. it’s bright. it’s clean. it’s sleek. just like i had envisioned. cute apple boys in blue shirts, check. *insert high school giggle and hair twirl* oh, it was fun.

for about a good week. 

and then, over the course of a few months, it turned into this:

“hi, how are you tod-”

“I’M JUST LOOKING. i have to wait another freaking hour for my appointment at apple! *grOwls*”

*frustrated teenage customer*

“do you guys have cute iPhone cases? because apple doesn’t have any!

*our daily question of the day*

“do you know where the apple store is?”

“where is the damn apple store in this mall!?”

“how do i get to the apple store from here?”

“is the apple store on the first floor or the second floor?”

*on a weekend, the daily customer who glares at the busy apple store across the hall from our store*

“*disgusted*…look at all those people in apple…how pathetic they are…all crammed in that store as if their lives depended on a new phone…”

*customers in our store during a product launch day when there’s a 200-person line outside of apple*

“ugh! i can’t BELIEVE they would stand in line for a *insert latest product*!!!! i mean, don’t they HAVE A LIFE!?!?” *looking at me with angry eyes as if i know the answer to that question*

*in regards to iPhone cases that we sell in our store*

“what’s the difference between a 4/4s and a 5?”

*insert my blank stare*

“i’m an android. i wouldn’t know.”

*insert angry look directed towards me in return for my answer*

“it’s going to cost $15 to wrap this!?!?”

my thought in response: “yes, sir, it’s going to cost $15 to wrap the $2,000 laptop you just bought your daughter for her 10th birthday.”

anyways, you get the point.

*insert big sigh*

but that was nothing compared to what i got to experience these past few days.

*cue in horror movie soundtrack music in 50 million decibels*

as many of you don’t know, dallas underwent an ice storm. “icemageddon” is what i call it. it is the third ice storm that i can recall in the 11 years that i have lived here. dallas weather is very unpredictable-we don’t believe a word our weather man says. but he was right this time-dallas was going to ice over, and it did. now let me tell you about an ice storm in dallas. first of all, dallas drivers don’t even know how to drive in the rain. so when you throw in hail or snow, all hell breaks loose. and we had ice. texas doesn’t do ice. we don’t have salt trucks ready to salt the roads and we don’t have fancy winter tires like they do in alaska to drive on ice or snow. we just slide and scream and end up on the side of the road if we are not careful. we have 13 car pileups on a summer day. so an ice storm is a huge deal. a huge deal. we sure do have enough ambulance and fire trucks to accommodate it.

i woke up on friday morning, saw nothing but white outside. i usually wake up early enough to get ready for work and go, but i woke up much earlier because i was recovering from a cold and i wanted to make sure i was properly drugged up with medicine to be able to function at work, as i couldn’t miss another day. i decided to check on my car and it’s a good thing i did.

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i called security to see if the mall was open.

“why, yes, of course! the mall is opening at normal hours.”

while i spent 2 1/2 hours getting half the ice scraped off my car, one of my friends was texting me about how she had been out of power since the middle of the night. omg. no power in 30 degree weather. and then everyone started texting me:

“i don’t have to go to work today!”

“are you off today?”

“how are you feeling?”

“don’t go to work today! it’s not safe!”

oh, i wish i could just say, “hey, the roads don’t look good, boss. i think i’ll stay in.” some of us don’t work that way. i did what i could with my car and headed to work.

holy batman, i can’t believe i drove 11 miles on ice!

pure ice. sliding all over the place. from my driveway to the mall entrance, it was like car skating around dallas. how is the mall open in this weather!? and during my commute to work, a HUGE chunk of ice fell off of one of the highway signs and landed right in front of a cluster of cars driving in front of me. OMG!!!!!!!! what!?!? it could have possibly been a scene out of a final destination movie if it wasn’t easily (nothing was “easy” about driving on a highway of ice, really) dodged!

but i made it to work.

and guess who didn’t have to go to show up that day:

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pitch black and deserted: apple.

open mall + closed apple store = this blog post

i had heard from my apple friends that they were closed for the day, so i knew it before i got to work. but seeing it was a whole different thing. it was like seeing what your day was going to look like-i mean, who would these apple customers yell at if there is not a single apple associate around?

*blink………….blink*

you see that gift wrap station in front of apple? that’s mine.

so i was the primary target. why go to concierge down the hall when there is a human working in the hallway 15 feet away from the apple store? and the customers didn’t waste any time. and i tried answering to the best of my knowledge.

“why is the apple store closed?” it must be because of the inclement weather outside. which, by the way, was a totally unacceptable answer to them.
“can you call and figure out which apple location is open right now?” according to the 800 number, it says that all apple stores are closed for the day.
“can you see when the knox location is open?” the 800 number says the knox location will be closed for the next 4 days (it really did, as much as i didn’t believe that an apple store would be closed for 4 straight days…).
“why is the apple store closed?” i don’t know ma’am, i don’t work there.
“how am i supposed to pick up my order?” i don’t know, sir. call their 800 number, they might help you.
“what makes them think they can close when the mall is open!?” sir, a store’s closing or opening is at their discretion during inclement weather.
“i just need something to open their doors…” a hammer to the glass might be able to open their doors, but i wouldn’t suggest it, ma’am.
“why is the apple store closed?” i’m not sure, sir. maybe concierge knows the answer. 

i really could go on with all the apple customers i had to deal with while i was working at MY store. it was quite stressful. in fact, it was quite irritating, to be honest. first of all, i didn’t need to help them. but i did, because that’s what i do. second of all, i didn’t deserve the hostile attitudes and never-ending questions. i don’t work for apple, and i am not affiliated with the company. third of all, i had to deal with them throughout the whole day while i was slowly having a bad day at work myself. it was just a hot mess. so i vented about it on Facebook.

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i am not a negative person, but i really did have a bad day. that was probably the most negative post i have shared on my Facebook, but i just had to vent. and for those of you who don’t know, town east mall is what a lot of people call a “ghetto mall” so the last line was meant to be a funny joke.

throughout the day, i was texting my apple friends while they were home taking a day off from work, venting to them about their customers. they felt bad. but it wasn’t their fault. kudos to a company who values the safety of their associates and WILL prove that closing a few times a year will not hurt their business. i mean, it’s apple. does anything ever hurt their business? come on, now.

so i thought that friday was going to be the only day that apple was closed….until my friends told me that they were closed when i woke up on saturday morning.

“nooooo! please don’t do this to me!” i texted them. they felt bad, once again. it’s not their fault. kudos, once again, to a company who values the safety of their associates because the roads weren’t any better. in fact, on friday evening, the temperature dropped to 22 degrees. nothing had melted.

so here we go with ROUND 2 of Apple iClosed. 

i already knew it was going to be an equally bad or worse day in regards to dealing with apple customers because this time, the apple was lit up in the front of the store and the graphics in the store were also turned on…which gave me the impression that the store would open later on in the day even though i knew it was closed for the next 24 hours.

the very first customer i had at work was a gentleman who snapped at me because apple was closed.

“who do they think they are!? what are they thinking being closed for 2 days!”
well, sir, to my understanding, quite a bit of associates live a distance away. and to my understanding, i think it would take over 100 associates rounded up to open the store. and to my understanding, the weather is a very serious situation for a company that huge to shut down for 2 days…
*GROWLS AT ME WITH MENACING EYES* “well, they need to get their S### together!” *cusses his way out*

*blink……..blink*

please make that the only customer i have to deal with today. please make that the only customer i have to deal with today. please make that the only customer i have to deal with today.

“nordstrom doesn’t have power.”
“customers in nordstrom are shopping with flashlights.”
“is nordstrom closed? because their doors are open….”

yes, nordstrom’s power went out (overnight, i’m assuming) and yes, customers were shopping WITH FLASHLIGHTS. hold up, wait a minute. what!? how is that POSSIBLE?

but it was so nice to have a change of topic.

until i met the lady who inspired me to type up this blog.

i was in my gift wrap station when this frantic lady comes running up to me. OUT OF BREATH.

“CAN-YOU-DO-ME-A-FAVOR-AND-FIND-OUT-WHEN-THIS-APPLE-STORE-IS-GOING-TO-OPEN-TODAY-BECAUSE-I-NEED-IT-TO-OPEN-AND-IT-CAN’T-CLOSE-TODAY-BECAUSE-I-NEED-IT-TO-OPEN-SO-PLEASE-HELP-ME-CAN-YOU-CALL-CONCIERGE-OR-APPLE!?!”

whoooooooooooooooooooa, lady! SLOW YOUR HORSES THERE FOR A SECOND!

it was so serious that i had to use hand gestures.

halt.

stop.

slow down.

breath in.

breath out.

woo sah, lady. woo sah.

“hi, ma’am. i’m pretty sure the store will be closed today.”

“NO. NO. THAT’S NOT TRUE. IT HAS TO OPEN. I HAVE TO KNOW WHEN IT OPENS TODAY. MAYBE 11? WHAT TIME IS IT RIGHT NOW? WHAT. IS. THE. EXACT. TIME. RIGHT. NOW?” *huffing and puffing*

“it’s 11 right now.”

“OKAY. SO MAYBE NOON. I JUST REALLY NEED THE STORE TO OPEN. I REALLY, REALLY NEED THE STORE TO OPEN. I WENT TO THE KNOX LOCATION AND THEY HAD A SIGN UP SAYING THAT THEY WERE GOING TO BE CLOSED ALL DAY TODAY AND I JUST REALLY NEED TO FIND A STORE THAT’S OPEN RIGHT NOW AND I REALLY NEED THIS ONE TO OPEN *shakes her head and looks at me like i don’t understand* YOU DON’T KNOW HOW ROUGH MY PAST FEW DAYS HAVE BEEN.”

*THIS IS WHERE I RAISE MY EYEBROW AS A SIGN THAT I BET I COULD PROVE HER WRONG*

“oh, really?………………………………” *leans forward in her direction even though i did not need to give her any gesture to start talking because i already knew she was going to, whether i wanted to hear it or not*

“OH MY GOD, SO I HAVE BEEN OUT OF POWER SINCE LAST NIGHT. SINCE LAST NIGHT! CAN YOU BELIEVE!? UGH! AND I COULDN’T SHOWER WHEN I WOKE UP! UGH! AND I COULDN’T EVEN CHARGE MY PHONE! *shows me her dead iPhone even though it’s been in her flailing hands the entire time* SO MY HUSBAND AND I GOT A HOTEL ROOM AND NOW HE’S AT WORK AND I’M BY MYSELF-WITHOUT A PHONE! AND I’M LIKE, ‘I CAN’T GO WITHOUT A PHONE! I JUST CAN’T!’ SO I GO TAKE A SHOWER IN THE HOTEL ROOM AND I SET MY PHONE ON THE COUNTER-”

“……oh, God.”

“-AND, YEAH, I KNOW! AND THEN…I TURN ON THE WATER IN THE SHOWER…*slows her story down to make action motions of her turning on the shower*….”

“…..uh huh…”

“AND THEN WATER. WATER JUST SPLASHES EVERYWHERE FROM THE SHOWERHEAD!!!! AND RIGHT ONTO MY PHONE! SO NOW I NEED A NEW PHONE! I JUST-I JUST CAN’T GO ANOTHER MINUTE WITHOUT A PHONE! I MEAN, I CAME HERE, I LOOK LIKE A HOT MESS (by the way, she was in full makeup and in a black full-length fur coat), I NEED A PHONE, I LOOK TERRIBLE, AND I REALLY CAN’T SURVIVE WITHOUT A PHONE TODAY. I MEAN, WHAT IF I GET IN A CAR ACCIDENT TODAY WHILE I’M DRIVING? OH MY GOD, I LOOK LIKE A HOT MESS AND I’M IN THE MALL. HOW AM I GOING TO CALL ANYONE!? SO I REALLY NEED YOU TO BE 100% SURE ON WHAT TIME APPLE IS OPENING TODAY! PLEASE!”

“ma’am, let me show you my phone and show you what my friend from apple texted me about them being closed today because that is the only proof i have.”

*facial expression of DEVASTATION as i show her my phone*

it looked as if her life was over. and she vented and vented and vented more and more and more about how she canNOT go a DAY without HER iPHONE and that she was not going to make it through the day but finally snapped back into reality, saw and realized that I WAS NOT AN APPLE EMPLOYEE and that i was not obligated to talk to her or give her answers, apologized and thanked me for my help, and RAN to AT&T in her black full-length fur coat.

and then it hit me.

A SIGN.

“…i went to the knox location and they had a sign up saying that they were going to be closed all day…..”

bingo. because i knew that she saw the sign and didn’t run to the next store to throw a fit-she just simply left. and i figured that if i made a sign, they would hopefully stop bugging me.

but then i got a little paranoid. am i even allowed to make a sign for a company that i don’t work for? well, it’s their fault for not putting it up themselves. what should the sign say? will i get in trouble? i don’t care, i really can’t take any more angry apple customers getting in my face when i’m trying to work. but will i get in trouble? 

so i consulted a few people who knew about what i had to go through the previous day. and after an hour or so of discussion, we had come to a conclusion. i was going to make a sign for apple.

“due to inclement weather, we will be closed today and will open tomorrow, december 8th. thank you for your understanding.”

simple and sweet. done and done.

on my way to my gift wrap station in the hall, i saw 4 dallas cops walk by and looked down the hall to see a cluster of mall security guys standing around. and i got paranoid again. what if i get in trouble? and then a young, completely thudded out kid walked up to me, angry-faced.

“hey! so the apple store is closed!?”

“yeah, their lights are off so you’d assume they are, right?” i gave up on being nice at that moment. he gave me the.worst.glare.ever, muttered what i’m sure were cuss words under his breath as he was staring at me, and walked away.

so i grabbed strips of double stick tape, posted the 2 signs up, and went on a break.

when i came back, one of my gift wrappers flagged me down.

“hey, sierra, one of the guys from mall security-”

uh oh. i’m in trouble now. i shouldn’t have put a sign up! i can’t take it down, i don’t want to answer to more people today!

“-he likes the sign but was asking if you could put on it that all the apple stores are closed today, so they don’t have to drive around.” phew. 

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i really wanted to windex those fingerprints that are in the photo, but after putting up that revised sign, i was hoping i’d never have to deal with the store for the rest of the day.

and i didn’t have to. 

AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MY SIGNS WORKED!

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my day was peaceful and quiet after that. no more dealing with angry customers (just the occasional, “WHAT THE F###! APPLE IS CLOSED!?” as they walked by)-at least from that store. one father/son team did discuss the store while my assistants were wrapping gifts for them:

*all-knowing dad*
“oh, they’re probably closed because they sold out of product,” he told his son. hey, i’ll take that-it was the first thing said about apple from a customer that made me laugh.

my day got busier-too busy to take photos of customers reading my awesome sign. i thought to myself, “man. i really wish i could take photos of the angry customers that i saw yesterday. and i wish i took photos of all the customers waiting outside the store this morning.”

and then my second idea hit me.

take photos of my sister acting like different types of apple customers. 

so we waited until we closed (early because 90% of the mall had shut down by 6 p.m.) to work on PROJECT iCUSTOMER IN iDESPAIR THAT APPLE IS iCLOSED.

my other associates were so excited and wanted to partake in my photography adventure and this is what i came up with: a few photos depicting the reactions and exaggerated reactions of customers when they found out that their beloved store was closed on a non-holiday.

so this is what i came up with:

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the angry, cussing apple customers………

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the apple customers in despair…

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the apple customer in MAJOR despair…

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the apple customer whose life is over…

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more apple customers whose lives are over…

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the apple customer who refuses to believe that the store is closed and WAITS for hours until she gives up…

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the apple customer who stands, frozen, in front of the store, looking at everything she can’t buy because the store is closed…

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more customers in despair and desperation…

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the customer determined to open the store…

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and the customer who wanted to break the glass to get in…

so there you have it. the multiple types of apple customers and their reactions to apple’s closing in the past 2 days.

now, this is definitely not a blog bashing apple. not at all. i didn’t post this blog to get anyone in trouble or start anything. it was just very entertaining to know the effects that the company had on their customers. and it was VERY entertaining to know how IMPORTANT our technology is to us. last month, it had been a year since i left saipan to come back to texas after 3 months of being gone, and i came without a cell phone, because my contract had expired by then. getting a cell phone was not the first thing on my list. or the tenth thing. in fact, i didn’t get a phone until 3 months later. because it wasn’t a big deal. i had a watch to tell time and i had my macbook and my iPad. yes, my friends were very frustrated because they couldn’t text me to get a hold of me, but other than that, i was enjoying the peace and quiet of not being available to everyone 24/7.

first world problems, folks. we suffer from first world problems every day. my friend who didn’t have power for over a day has a baby. those are the problems that worry me. while she was sitting at home, wondering if her power was going to come back on, i was dealing with customers who thought their phone being dead was a world disaster. first world problems. the newspapers showed one of the highways filled with cars that were stuck for almost an entire day. try sitting in your car for 18 hours in the middle of nowhere with what gas you had before you realized that you were going to end up stuck and freezing and THEN listen to someone talk about how they were having a bad day because their phone died.

*sigh*

but that’s how the world works. if it was a perfect world, it would be pretty boring, right?

i’m back.

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at 6:30 a.m. on november 13, 2012 i left saipan and came back to texas. 

i haven’t blogged in 2 months and i wish i had because SO MANY things have happened…like packing back up and moving halfway around the world all over again.

i had planned on being back home for about a year or two, but plans change and things change, so i was brought back to texas. that is pretty much it in a nutshell for anyone who is wondering. if i were to explain, in detail, everything that happened while i was back home, that would be a long blog on it’s own…but i have 2 months worth of stories to cover, so i’d rather move forward.

i miss saipan, but i have missed texas during the 3 months that i had been gone. it felt like going from 200 mph to 30 mph while i was back home, and then when i got back to dallas, it felt like everything went right up to 500 mph because i had arrived during the holiday season and right before thanksgiving. i slid right back into my job of 6 years at papyrus, which i was thankful for. it always feels great to know that you are welcome back. i was moved to northpark center in dallas and it was such a fun-filled holiday season at that mall. the gingerbread competition was held in the hallway right outside our store and i had actually documented the entire thing (duh!). the gingerbread community competition is an annual event at northpark center. about 20 architects and designers and companies get their teams together to form their assigned piece (coffee house, hospital, stadium, etc…) for the gingerbread community. they have a time frame in which they must complete their pieces (like FOOD NETWORK CHALLENGE!) and place them on the display table. the gingerbread community is then up for display for about a week before each piece is auctioned off by the end of the week. here are a few pics i took:

 

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i could have made gingertown dallas 2012 pictures an entire blog on its own since i took so many pics but there are a handful that y’all will enjoy. 

during the holidays, another great sight to see was vitruvian park. 

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that place is truly magical during the holidays. every single tree is lit in one solid color. i just love visually popping sceneries. 

 

the highlight of the holiday season was the launch of my gift wrap station at northpark center. located in the corner of the luxury hallway near nordstrom and taking over the gingertown dallas 2012 spot, my gift wrap station was constructed…

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the wrap station was incredibly busy that we didn’t get to take pictures of it. i was working up to 12 hours a day, gift wrapping. it was complete madness, i tell ya. but it was loads of fun. it really was. and it started me fondness for foot products as well! hahahaha! i would come home with the most painful aches in my feet…i started soaking in eucalyptus epsom salts and i loved it. i recently hit up the body shop’s flash sale a few days ago. they had 50% off all their skincare and i bought a few of their foot products. they’ve been wonderful and they will come in handy when my gift wrap station gets set back up for valentine’s! it will be up from february 1-14. i am super stoked. and i will take more pictures. =)

 

there are tons of other pictures i would like to share, but i’m sure i will take equally great ones moving forward into the year. 

my birthday is exactly a week from now and it’s going to be a fun-filled weekend. i will be starting my search for a birthday dress this week. i’ve already bought the shoes from bakers because they have a liquidation sale going on. 

 

did any of y’all make a new year’s resolution for 2013?

 

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this was my NYE face. 

hope you all have a great evening!

november at a glance

november 2: we have fun at work. this here is samantha sporting one of our 2011 holiday ornaments…

NOVEMBER 8: these are the fashion glam earrings i want from NIQUEA.D PAPYRUS NORTHPARK.

NOVEMBER 9: this is what boys do in pool halls in between games. they arm wrestle to prove…um…who’s stronger?

NOVEMBER 12: i helped decorate and attended a quinceanera. 

NOVEMBER 16: i did a radio interview with 103.7 LITE FM for a segment called “READY, SET…CHRISTMAS!” which was released on november 27. it was a fun radio interview, but the funny thing is that the interview got released on paige’s “NOT SO PERFECT PARENT” website, and it was completely shortened and…..not really anything i had said. haha. but CLICK HERE to read the 8-10 minute interview that turned into a 1 question, 1 answer article.  here are some pictures from the interview. what happened was that i brought a wrapped display and one of the deejays was suppose to copy it as we were doing the interview. it was hilarious. the last picture is just of a display i did for our northpark location.

NOVEMBER 17: over 5 years later, i am still in love with my nephew. i came home one night to capture this. 

NOVEMBER 18: my buddy, tony, and i went to the JEAN PAUL GAULTIER exhibit at the dallas museum of art. of course, we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the exhibit, as it was exclusive to dallas and there was security ALL OVER THE PLACE, but that’s what the entry way was for.

NOVEMBER 19: my lovely friend, mishi, invited me to a party and i got to dress up! this was such an amazing weekend!

NOVEMBER 20: chromeo was in town (*tear*) but after work, 2 of my girlfriends and i went to visit a friend of ours that got out of surgery the week before. his mom made lemon bars, pecan pie, and starbucks coffee for us……so yummy!!!!!! we all just lounged around the living room, watching tv, and gossiping. fun times!

NOVEMBER 24: thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year. we spent this holiday at my brother’s girlfriend’s house. my nephew was obsessed with the trampoline, so he was on it all day. we opted for lunch instead of dinner, so we got to take naps in the evening. the weather was nice. it was fun. =) 

NOVEMBER 27: select papyrus stores came out with a signature wrap for the holidays. the toppers were handmade by yours truly. i spent the next few days wrapping displays for our 4 dallas locations and training them on how to do each topper.  these are 4 of the 6 wrapped displays: 

NOVEMBER 30: some co workers and i got together for dinner at chuy’s in dallas to wind down from our hectic past few weeks. these are some of the amazing people that fulfill your custom printing/gift wrapping/jewelry/gifting needs in the dallas (northpark, dallas galleria, southlake, and the shops of willowbend) market: 

i apologize for not blogging lately in the past few weeks. as you can tell, the holiday season has kept me quite busy. i have been at our northpark location for the past 3 weeks, so it has been quite an adventure in that store. i still haven’t completed half of my christmas shopping, so i really need to get on that. other than that, i hope y’all had a wonderful thanksgiving and will have a fabulous christmas!

xoxo

how to gift wrap

hello, my name is sierra lei, and i am here today to teach you how to gift wrap. how to make a bow will be later. =) that seems to be the one everyone wants to know more.

i don’t quite remember how talented of a gift wrapper i was earlier than 5 years ago. i must have been decent because a few people would have me wrap gifts for them. but then again, i might not have been decent-they might have just REALLY not wanted to wrap their own gifts. who knows. but i did enjoy wrapping.

when i got hired onto papyrus, i was told we were going to be doing “a lot of gift wrapping and a lot of custom printing.” awesome and awesome.

and then i got trained to gift wrap and………………….they used double sided tape?

double sided tape is your best friend.

for every roll of regular tape we use, we probably use 4-5 rolls of double sided tape.

it’s my #1 supply at work in between the months of october to january. when october rolls around, must start stocking up on double sided tape. must order two times more double sided tape. must never run out of double sided tape during the holidays. never. it will ruin my holidays at work.

ruin.

“oh my gosh, that gift is sooo pretty!”

“you have to teach me how to wrap like that one day!”

“look at that bow!”

“how long did it take you to learn how to wrap like that?”

five minutes.

five and a half years ago, while i was being trained at our northpark location, a customer walked in with about 5 gifts (what is up with the common number here?) on a busy day.

“i’d like to have these wrapped.” all i remember was that they all came in tumi boxes. nice.

the manager looked at me and said, “alright, i can now train you to wrap.”

i watched her measure out her paper, put one sided tape here, lots of double sided tape here and there, fold, fold, fold, crease the corners…

she grabbed some ribbon, tied some around the box, rolled the rest up, snipped both ends, tied it to the ribbon on the box, fluffed it out, snipped excess off…

…then handed me the scissors and said, “okay, there you go. do the other 4.”

and there you have it. the only commentary i got while learning was, “then you do this…then this…then tape this…then do this…then crease this…then you’re done.”

last year i wrapped about 250-300 gifts in between thanksgiving and christmas at work. just at work. that’s not including wrapping OUT of work. i have 2 big clients that i wrap for-they are both sweet ladies. i have been wrapping for one of them for over 4 years now. there are 14 people in her family (from her parents/in-laws to her grand children) and i wrap for all their birthdays, graduations, and other holidays (easter, valentines, etc.) throughout the year. i feel as if i know every member of her family just through wrapping their gifts! every single gift for this client is detailed to the tissue paper in the box matching the wrapping paper which matches the ribbon, which is always a double bow, not a fluffy bow. if she brings a neiman marcus gift box in with neiman marcus tissue paper and a silver neiman marcus sticker on it, that tissue gets thrown in the trash and replaced with a new pack of tissue to match whatever roll wrap she chooses. little details matter to certain people. oh, and she never wraps more than 3 gifts with the same roll of wrapping paper. heavens, no. my second client, on the other hand, doesn’t mind how many gifts are wrapped in the same paper. but she wants her gifts to look like money. they have to look grand. that “little” $500 gift card needs to be put in a pen box with a BIG, FLUFFY BOW. her choice of wrapping paper leans more towards our sheets of handmade paper. they used to be priced anywhere from $3.95 a sheet (which is about 20 inches by 30 inches-enough to just wrap one gift, really) to $12.95 a sheet. whereas my first client would buy out our entire district’s stock of holiday spooled ribbon (i’m not kidding, she’ll buy out all 4 stores), this client would buy out all the sheets of wrapping paper. these ladies mean business, y’all. and when they want their gifts wrap, they want it done right. and if you don’t do it right, they’ll make you redo it. and…if you don’t do it right that second time…..they’ll make you wrap it again. =) it has happened! (not to me, haha) i will refer to my clients as MRS. D (client 1 who i have wrapped for in the past 4 years) and MRS. T (client 2 that i have wrapped for in the past 2-3 years) because i already know that i will be blogging about them this holiday season. they always make it on my facebook, so they will eventually make it on my blog. =) they are just very giving ladies. i wonder if mrs. d’s son is still single…….hmm…..

that was a joke.

gift wrapping isn’t everyone’s cup o’ tea. it might not even be a big deal to others as far as doing the task, whether they like doing it or not. and to some, it is what makes the entire gift, regardless of what is in it.

if you’re going into a shop and having someone wrap your gift, you’re either:

A. not wanting to wrap it yourself because you’re terrible at it

B. wanting it to look REAL GOOD

C. lazy

and there is a price tag that comes with all of the above. having a bottle of perfume wrapped could range from $10 to $30, depending on what you would like to have your gift wrapped with. there’s lots of different ways to have your gift wrapped: just with the wrapping paper and nothing else, with tissue and in a gift box, with a few yards of ribbon, with a shoestring tie bow, with a fluffy bow, with more that one style of ribbon, with a topper, or with an enclosure card. some people don’t care. some people really care. it completely varies. but we do have promotions in which we can gift wrap for 99 cents, so you get to save some money every now and then.

i know i have taken y’all on a long journey through the history of sierra’s gift wrapping experiences when all you wanted to read (and see) was how to gift wrap.

so without further ado, let’s do this.

DO YOU WANT TO LEARN HOW I GIFT WRAP?

this is how i do it.

first, we have our supplies (paper, box, scissors, double stick tape, regular tape):

measure at least 2/3 of paper on the sides of your box:

if the under side of your paper does not have a grid or pattern that can assist you in cutting a straight line, fold the paper across and just cut on the crease:

place your gift upside down and bring the edge of one side (the side closer to you) to the corner of the box:

carefully release that side of the paper and bring the other side to tape down to the box:

place double stick tape along the edge of the side closer to you (you can barely see my double stick tape):

bring it over to the edge of the box and tape it down:

doing that creates a seamless look:

next, take the top flap of one side and tape it down:

fold in a side flap, double stick tape the edge, and tape it to the paper (repeat on the other side, duh):

fold a little bit of the bottom flap in (to get a straight edge), double stick tape the 3 sides, and tape to the box:

take note that we are wrapping the gift upside down, so that flap will end up facing downwards in the final product. repeat the last few steps on the other side of the box and you are done wrapping.

although the paper gets wrapped tightly around the box, it still causes a round edge around the corners:

simply run your fingers to crease the edges of the box:

and this is what your corner will look like:

and there you have it. your “no tape showing” gift wrap tutorial.

that was actually a gift i wrapped for a display at work, so i had no choice but to use that or a silver wrap, and the silver one would have been more difficult to see. in the next few days, i will post some pictures of my store display because one of the rolls i used is SOOOOOOO GORGEOUS, we’re all going nutty over it this season.

more pictures, tutorials, and blogs to come from the past week. i must hurry, as this weekend is going to be FILLED with fun and over 300 more pictures!

have a good day, y’all!

xoxo

sugary sweets and gift wrapping

this morning (as i mentioned on facebook), i was throwing out some trash at work and the fed ex guy gave me 3 bags of peanut M&Ms. yesssss!!! he’s so sweet, that fed ex guy. he doesn’t even deliver to my store, but he brings me all the free candy that he gets from the other stores-especially GODIVA! ❤ every day that he sees me, he pops in to greet me and make me smile because he says it makes his day-my smile. what a sweetie. he’s always following up on what is going on with my life. he’s just so nice and pleasant every day. i wonder what he’s like on one of his BAD DAYS. i can’t even imagine, being that he’s always in such a chipper mood. he sometimes comes in to buy a little something for his girlfriend or his son. he’s so thoughtful.

notice how i use that adjective a lot when describing my friends. thoughtful. and i’m blessed to have those thoughtful friends in my life. because i could have a lot worse. haha.

but that fed ex guy. he’s so cool.

and then jonathan walks in to work a few hours later and hands me…………………

CUPCAKES!!!!!!

sugar queen cupcakes.

they are a whole lotta YUM. i’ve been munching on their cupcakes since the week they opened. and i don’t even remember when they opened, to be honest-it doesn’t feel as if it’s been a year yet. i just remember being on a mission to try every single one of their flavors at least once.

the close up pictures i took are of their confetti birthday cake, pumpkin spice, chocolate, and berry pecan. the berry pecan is named THE OFFICIAL CUPCAKE OF TEXAS (the story behind that is on their website). that was actually their first flavor i bought. it’s a strawberry/vanilla flavored cupcake with pecans and toasted coconut in it….don’t knock it ’til you try it! it’s…so…good…sugar queen cupcakes has 2 locations, one at the shops of willow bend and one at the stonebriar mall. they make their cupcakes fresh, and i love the density of the cake. i love their flavors, too. snickerdoodle is one of my favorites, and although i do NOT like key lime pie, their cream cheese lime is delish. the one flavor i really want to try is their root beer float!! i have yet to snag one of those root beer float cupcakes. i could eat these cupcakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. yes, i make cupcakes, but i don’t eat my own, so i need someone else’s to munch on. =) i love their manager, stephanie. she’s the sweetest. it’s always wonderful to have a good shop with good people. ❤

…and back to jonathan…

jonathan is my boss. he’s been my boss on and off for a few years. we’ve known each other longer than we have worked together. in fact, that’s how we ended up working together.

let’s take it WAAAAAAAAY back in the day…….

we met on christmas of the year 2004 (whaaaaaaaaat!?!? that’s insane!)…

i just started dating his brother at the time-it was our first christmas together. i went over to my (now ex) boyfriend’s place and jonathan was with one of his best friends, tamara….along with a bottle of a beverage and bomb pops. every time i hear “bomb pops” it INSTANTLY takes me to christmas of ’04 with jonathan and tamara. i’m not even sure if they remember that christmas, they seemed to be having a party of their own even with david and i in the room. they were fun. so jonathan started off as “my boyfriend’s brother.”

over the next year and a half, i saw jonathan a few times, here and there…whether it was going to a concert or going to dinner, but it was always connected with his brother.

and then in july of ’06, i had a job interview on my (now ex) boyfriend’s birthday for a store called PAPYRUS.

fabulous interview. best job interview i’ve ever had.

jonathan met up with us to celebrate his brother’s birthday and i said, “you gotta go in that store, i just had a job interview. i think you’ll like it! check if you can get interviewed!” or something along those lines…

and jonathan ends up with a job interview that lasted about 4 times longer than mine.

THAT is how we ended up working together. =) he got hired to work at the northpark location, i got hired to open up the shops of willow bend location, and here we are…FIVE AND A HALF YEARS LATER and still working together. 

we became closer and our brothers became closer. it would be awesome if we could do a “sibling trade off.” our brothers love their sports and college football and jonathan and i love our fashion and fun.

and more randomness and more about jonathan…

jonathan introduces me to new music, funny videos, and cool websites that i happen to always love.

jonathan loves carolina herrera. and vera wang.

jonathan is a fantastic gift giver. one christmas, he gave me a sephora perfume sampler, which i think is a fabulous gift to give. i love perfumes, and the set came with a bunch of perfume samples. i was to test them and rate them and pick my favorite sample to redeem for a full-size bottle. it took me a few months before i chose 2 perfumes (got one for free and paid for the other one): harajuku lovers G, which was 2009’s women’s fragrance of the year, and aquolina’s pink sugar. another christmas, he gave me a lola marc jacobs perfume ring. i love accessories AND lola marc jacobs was actually 2010’s women’s fragrance of the year! i’m not sure if he knew that…and another christmas, one of the gifts he got me was a porcelain coffee mug…because i love coffee…and the funny thing was that before he gave me the gift, i almost told him about how i saw “a porcelain coffee mug” in a store and wanted it. i laughed when i opened the gift. it was such the craziest coincidence because it was the exact mug i wanted. jonathan’s thoughtfulness (there’s that word again) and “attention to detail” is what makes him such a great friend.

he’s sassy and he’s sweet. 

someone needs to write a book of all the slangs and smart-alecky sayings that come out of jonathan’s mouth.

el. oh. el.

he’s too much fun.

and here are some random pictures of us:

i told him that he needs to start blogging. he’d be great at it.

another thing he is great at is being patient while wrapping a HUGE gift!!!!!!!!!!!!

behold, project I HOPE WE NEVER HAVE TO WRAP CAR SEATS AND STROLLERS AGAIN

now…before you ooh and aah about jonathan’s fierce “i can wrap anything larger than life” skills and want him to wrap the next dresser set you purchase as a wedding gift, ask yourself if you really want to spend over $60 to have someone wrap a large gift like that for you. i’m not going to lie, i was super happy with the fact that i actually had the CHOICE as to whether i wanted to wrap those honkin’ huge boxes or not. it felt like a vacation watching jonathan wrap those boxes. but i felt sorry for him at the same time. that was a lot of double stick tape, slowly-flipping-the-boxes-numerous-times-without-creasing-the-paper, and “i want to kill myself” for me to handle. those 2 boxes required a total of 5 rolls of wrapping paper, 9 spools of ribbon, and a lot of sanity.

thank you, jonathan, for the cupcakes today…and thank you for not letting me wrap those gifts. =)

you’re the best boss, ever!

xoxo