Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta store. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta store. Mostrar todas las entradas

martes, 2 de agosto de 2016

Pet party

   As Mary got out of the bank, she realized there was only one more chance to get her dreams to come true. If she couldn’t work it out this time, she would be done for good, as she had nothing to fall back on. She had quite her job in a prestigious company and now she had withdrawed every single penny she had saved. Once she got him, she started making plans for every single cent, knowing how she would spend her money in order to make her dreams come true.

 Since she was a little girl, Mary had a tendency never to get what she wanted. It was always some other kid, more likely her sister, who got all the attention, all the love, all the gifts and presents and everything from everyone whereas she had to settle with whatever landed on her lap, basically. The times she complained, her parents argued that she was jealous of her sister and that she shouldn’t be such a nasty little girl. That kind of response was the main reason why she hadn’t spoken to any of them in such a long time.

 She wrote on a small yellow notebook every single plan she had in order to make it all a success: she had to invest some money buying stuff and then there would be a time of a few months in which she would have to reduce the amount of money she spent drastically in order to survive and have enough time to be successful. She had read several books and informed herself of what she had to do, so it wasn’t like she had rushed herself anywhere.

 As per usual, no one would help her achieve what she wanted. Mary had broken up with her boyfriend a few weeks ago and they didn’t spoke at all after that. It had been a very healthy break up, when she had accepted her mistakes and he had been very surprised she hadn’t attacked him or tried to make him stay. The truth was that Mary had changed quite a lot and simply had no time for such behavior now.

 After she quit her job and decided t be independent, she also realized there would be hours and hours of free time as her business began to from so she decided to exercise at home and also try some kind of diet. It would help a lot to spend less money and it would make her a little more agile and awake, what she needed urgently because of her new lease on life.

 Even if people hadn’t seen it, she had always been a very careful young woman, with her money and what she chose to say and not to say. Mary had never been distracted but rather very focused and driven. She knew most men didn’t like that and her family thought she was just jealous of everyone so her achievements had always been clouded by the shadow of someone she really wasn’t.

 The idea was pretty simple. Since she had been very young, her ambition had always been to have a pet. She had tried to make her parents buy her a dog but that didn’t happen until she was fifteen and her sister got one but she was twelve and wouldn’t really take care of the animal so Mary ended up having to feed him, and groom him and do everything for him in order to be healthy.

 She noticed back then that the food pets got could really use some work. They didn’t seem to be really delicious and she even tried one to check out the flavor. Her sister saw her doing that and immediately told her parents who told her she was disgusting and that they wouldn’t let the dog near her if she did it again. And yet, she kept looking at his toys, the ones that they sold at the stores and how the dogs interacted in the park and, even back then, she had the idea.

 Only now she was making it a reality. She had many designs and recipes kept on that yellow book, thousands of small idea she could bring to life if she only had the money and the energy to do it. She had not tried it before because she was certain the idea would fail but now it was different. Maybe it was that she had heard about her sister recently and was jealous of her, as they had always claimed. Or maybe it was because of that man that tried to have his way with her at work. Whatever reason it was, she was thankful for it.

 She bought ingredients, fabric, even clay to do small versions of the toys she would like to produce. She tried the food with the pets in her building or at the park wearing a vest and a hat she had sewed herself with the potential name of her company: Pet Party. Some people were interested and happily gave their dogs some of the treats and it was surprising to see how they all wanted more. Of course, there was no sugar or nothing like that in them, only vegetables and various proteins.

She submitted her toy ideas to several factories and many of them rejected her ideas because she thought she was joking or because they didn’t think her designs were good. But she finally found one specialized in pets and they were thrilled to work with her ideas.

 Everything was slowly falling in to place. She was making some dog’s clothes by herself, she had many ideas for smaller animals like rabbits and hedgehogs and also for larger ones like horses. She really had thought her idea through and was hoping to be able to achieve the dream of her life. She wanted to prove herself that what people had always told her was just a lie and that she was a good person and a smart one too.

 Right then though, her parents made an appearance. Of course, they criticized every single thing she was doing, they hated the fact that she was doing a diet and that she had gotten slimmer, saying she just wanted to be like her sister. They talked about her all the time, telling her how successful she was as an actress and the fact that she had paid for their trip, including the hotel and business class in flights and all those things they had never enjoyed because of having two kids.

 Mary did not say anything, trying not to let them get to her. However, her father found her yellow book and started reading it. He mocked her for her ideas and told her that she had to realize those perfect businesses where everything goes perfect doesn’t exist and that they are only achieved, if they exist, by people that have talent and that special thing that she clearly didn’t have.

 She didn’t love them but in that moment she understood how devastating it truly was to have always been a disappointment and a mistake for her parents. She let them know how much she had tried to be a good daughter and how awful and despicable they were. Mary told them about every single time in her life in which she only needed her parents to love her and she had to do everything by herself because no one got her back, no one was there to support her at all.

 They tried to argue but she just told them she was done with them for good and not to talk to her ever again. She pushed her out the door and asked her building’s security guy to come and fetch them and never let them in again. Same went to her sister, who she never heard about anyway, unless it was trough his parents. She just quit to having a family and it was surprisingly a very easy thing to do for her.

 Six months after quitting her job, her business had begun taking off. She received a lot of orders for her pet food and also for the dog clothes she had designed. The toys were a bit cheap in their build but people bough them anyway. She kept an online store for a while until she was able to pay the rent of a small store not far from her house. In a single year, she had won much more than in the rest of her life. She hired an assistant and Pet Party was an example of good planning and success.


 Mary loved the fact that she made people happy. She wanted to make everyone feel that their pets deserved better, as she had deserved better all her life and had needed a push to just do whatever it was that she needed to do. And she was grateful for it. She had never been happier, even if she had to give up her blood relatives in the process.

sábado, 28 de noviembre de 2015

Sock Empire

   The place only sold socks. They were everywhere and in every single color you could imagine. It was very nice to see rows and rows of different tones and drawings on them. Special socks for Christmas, for Halloween, for Thanksgiving, for Valentine’s Day, for Easter and even for New Year’s Eve. Every employee knew where everything was and how socks were made and could help a costumer find anything they wanted in a matter of a few minutes. There was a reason why the store was called the Sock Empire.

 The Empire was also divided into types of socks, not only color, and between those made for men, for women and for children. Ruben Rostenkowski had been the creator of the Empire and many of his competitors admired him for his amazing take into the world of footwear. People had been focusing so much on the foot for so long, that it was refreshing that one store could focus its whole attention solely to socks and all the types that existed.

 No one knew how Ruben had come up with the idea but they were envious he had had it. Everyone in the city knew he made millions of dollars every year and only from the main store. He had stores in other states but they were not as extravagant and amazing as the one in his hometown of Cleveland. He had been born there over sixty years ago and, although he had lived and worked in other parts of the country when he was younger, he decided to go back to his home in order to make his dream come true.

 Back then, Ruben was just a young boy, not really a full adult. He was still shooting cans with his air rifle and drinking the content of those cans with his group of friends. He had gone to school to study medicine but the truth was that Ruben was the lousiest student ever. He attended only half of his classes and the rest of the time he just spend it with girls and drinking. For all that, he wasn’t apparently as childish. After all, he was twenty-five years old.

Many thought that a man that owned such a store dedicated only to the foot had to be some sort of fetishist. And they were right. Ruben found that out in college, as he met lots of beautiful and not so beautiful young women. The first thing he did every time, as a form of foreplay, was to massage the girl’s feet. He would do it in such a professional manner; the girls never really realized he was so into it. To be honest, he was obsessed with it as he detailed every foot he saw, the curves and the skin and the complexity of it all. He was very obsessed.

 In class, he would suffer sometimes when a fellow student decided to remove her shoes beneath the desk. He instantly wanted to touch the foot and have it for his own but then he remembered he was in class and he couldn’t risk shaming himself even more than he already did when getting drunk. So he learned to breath deeply and just think about something else, maybe even count backwards in order to relax his mind and get any ideas out of it.

 It worked, sometimes. Other times, he would just ask the girl out and massage her feet as soon as he was able. He decided, and that a very healthy choice from him, to visit a shrink. He was sure a person with enough experience in these things would be able to help him stop his obsession and live a healthy life.

 However, it was a surprise when the psychologist told him it was pretty normal to have a fetish. He told Ruben most people had one, whether they realized it or not. Maybe it was a hair fetish, or maybe a “tall” fetish or maybe even weirder stuff like liking sex in costumes or always in public spaces. The point was, and the doctor repeated it constantly, that it wasn’t a disease and it wasn’t something bad as long as he learned to control it and not the other way around. So he advised him to get a hobby with which he could control the thoughts he had.

 It was difficult to find the right hobby, though. Ruben had never been really good at sports. Actually he sex appeal didn’t come from his body at all but from the way he spoke to women and how they responded to his voice and careful and intriguing demeanor. Anyhow, he still tried to play softball, rugby and gold but he failed miserably at all of them and it was then when he noticed he had started looking at men’s feet and he hadn’t even realized.

 Now he was really worried because in his mind he thought that his obsession had made him gay. But after calming down and watching a pornographic movie, he realized he was not interested in men, at all. Only their feet. So it was in that moment when the idea of the Empire first came to his mind: he thought that if his obsession was to be put to good use the best thing to do was something with feet.

 He looked everywhere and finally found a small workshop where people could go and learn how to make shoes. Of course, it was more about seeing the process than doing it because the materials were not all that easy to find and the idea was to attract people into the footwear business. There were just a few sessions but he became obsessed about shoes now and started reading all there was to now about the history of shoes and also about the making of shoes.

 As far as Ruben’s parents were concerned, they were happy to see him doing his last year of med school. He entered that time when he actually had to help patients and do shifts in a hospital and so on. But he was as lousy in that as he was in class. Besides, he was reading all he could about shoes and started thinking a business dedicated to shoes might be just what his life could be all about. Making them was not that easy but maybe selling would be a lot more interesting. He would see feet every day but he would have under control because it would be his job. Perfect.

 But after months of research, he realized the market was just filled with shoe stores selling the same types of shoes to every single idiot in the United States. He had to be unique and bold.

It was around that time that Ruben met Carly, a student of reflexology. She wasn’t from college but she had attended a rare conference about the subject there and Ruben had instantly fallen in love with her. She took some time to liking him however, but after some weeks they were dating and enjoying each other’s company. They rapidly found out about their mutual interest and engaged in long and detailed talks about the history of the foot and its pressure points.

It was the day Carly took him home for Christmas, when he realized his biggest idea yet. Her grandmother was there, a lovely lady, and she was knitting the socks that were left for Santa to put on the presents. And it was then when he had the idea to dedicate his business, not to shoes, but to socks. He told Carly this over dinner and even her parents thought it was a very funny and smart idea. They had never seen a store that only sold socks.

 The following year was the one. It was hard at first because Ruben had to drop out of college only months before finishing. His parents were devastated and told him not to come back home. He was destroyed by that but moved on thanks to Carly, who traveled with him to Cleveland, finding a nice flat for the both of them. There, Ruben created the logo of his company, the idea, the details of the first store and so on.

 He asked for a loan and with that he set up shop and asked for socks from all around the world. Then, he decided to wait a year and see how it went. If it failed, he had lost a lot of money. If not, it was just the beginning.

 That was the birth of the Sock Empire. The name was made fun of sometimes but he loved it and people loved what he did with the place. He would come into the shop sometimes with Carly in order to visit his workers and shake hands and tell everyone how much he thanked them and how much he loved his sock world.


 Even now, years after his invention, he still massages Carly’s feet before bedtime. And he still looks at all the feet he can on the beach and on his store. After all, he couldn’t stop doing something that gave him his livelihood and so much happiness.

domingo, 15 de noviembre de 2015

Sweet dream

   Anna was deeply devoted to her confectionery business. She did the most beautiful food that also happened to be delicious- Her store was small but people came from all over the city and nearby towns to eat some of her signature products such as the strawberry shortcake with extra flavor and the home-made candy bars that could have any flavor that people wanted. They could be personalized at the request of the client. The strangest flavor she had ever been asked was a mix between curry and lemon, which actually tasted pretty goof. Business was great and she handled everything by herself, having no need of a partner or someone else to take advantage of an idea she had while in high school. Back then, she already knew she wanted to cook the best desserts possible and she even tried new recipes with her family every Thursday night.

 Life was good to Anna. She was happy with her business and had recently moved to a small but nice apartment in order to be more independent from her family. She was also considering an offer that would make her candy bat available at a major supermarket chain, which would make her products even more well known and the amount of money she would make was going to be huge. But she wasn’t really sure if to accept the proposal or not. She was afraid of, with time, losing control of her business and finally selling to a large company that didn’t have any love for the art or respect for her creations. It was something she thought every single night before going to bed and it made her a bit crazy. She wanted an answer fast, to know what to do.

 She asked the advice of every member of her family and some of her friends and most of them agreed that of her small store could handle the amount of work, they should definitely sign the contract with the supermarket chain. After all, it wouldn’t be an industrial sized agreement and her products would only be sold there. It wasn’t like she was going to lose entire control of everything. So in her next meeting with the guy from the supermarket chain, she accepted and signed the contract. According to it, her store had to provide a thousand hand-made candy bars of several flavors. As they were normally personalized, they just asked her to make her top five flavors, whichever they were. She accepted and started hiring extra hands.

 They had to work on weekends and the amount of ingredients that had to be bought was simply huge. Only her employees, the three that had been with her since the beginning, would be in charge of the store as such, cooking what people had learned to expect from it. Once a month there was a new product, proposed either by Anna or by some member of her staff. In the other hand, six people worked on weekends to produce candy bars for the supermarket. She had only two weeks before having to surrender her products so everything had to be very calculated and controlled.

 The flavors chosen were orange yogurt, spicy lemon, raspberries in dark chocolate, pineapple and mango and, finally, their classic passion fruit flavor. Those were the ones people had learned to love in her store since its opening only two years earlier and she was proud her clients proved to be such innovative people. They were always really open about the new sweets and were always very kind when submitting their opinions. Anna had created, with help from a friend, a web page where clients could see all of her products and also comment about every single one of them. She would normally use one night per week to read the new comment and use whatever she may find useful from them. Normally, she just laughed or felt proud but sometimes people had interesting ideas and she credited them for the ones that became successful products.

 However, things began to decline after the second months of her contract with the supermarket chain. It all started when her weekend workers started to demand a higher salary. They thought they were exploited by Anna at their current salary, working like mad from dusk till dawn every Saturday and Sunday and even some Mondays. They argued that her store made enough money to pay everyone fairly. Apparently, they resented the fact that her store staff made more money than them, which she had explained once as been simply because of seniority. The thing was they didn’t want to hear none of that. They just wanted more money or they would stop coming and that would be the perfect way to destroy Anna’s creation, and pride, for good.

 On the other hand, the supermarket chain had begun complaining about the quality of the candy bars that were sent to them the third week of contract. Apparently, they lacked the flavor and they accused Anna of sing less ingredients to make more bars which was ridiculous because her order was always the same. She didn’t even fake to be offended and stormed out of the office of one of the executives of the supermarket chain. Anna knew very well it hadn’t been her brightest moment but she couldn’t stand to be accused of doing something she would never do. Seeking a lawyer, she finally found a good one thanks to a friend. She had a meeting with him and asked about the possibilities of ending the contract with the supermarket chain.

 The lawyer, a very serious and older man, browsed through the contract and finally advised her not to end it as the repercussions to her would be simply too difficult to bare. She would have to pay a lot of money and her company would be bankrupt even before paying all of what she had to pay, if she decided to walk away from the contract. Again, Anna had trouble sleeping at night with so much to think about. She finally decided to raise the salary of her workers but not as much as they had hoped. It was clear to them by her words that no more raises would be granted before the end of the contract. Some workers left but she hired new ones and the quality of the chocolate began to improve.

 Anna also had a conversation with the supermarket chain, in which she announced her intentions of not renewing her contract with them but meeting their quotas and demands for the current contract. They really did not have anything to say because they couldn’t really pressure her into signing for one more year or even more time. The work relationship was tense there and they even threatened to sue if the quality of the candy bars was ever too low for their standards. But as she begun to closely watch the production of the candy for that damn contract, they had no base from which to keep annoying her. The candy bars where as tasty as always and her employees were finally happy or at least not aggressive. That was already an improvement.

 However, she never expected one of her trusted workers in the store to go away. Her name was Linda and she had been by Anna for many years, as they knew each other from high school. Linda announced her intentions to leave but not for any salary reasons or because she had grown to dislike the whole thing. It was more like the opposite: she had learned to love making sweets so much that she had decided to became a professional. She wanted to study a full four-year career in order to learn everything there was to know and become the best candy maker ever. Linda had always been pretty ambitious but Anna had failed to see that because of her own ambitions. When Linda announced her departure, she asked her for forgiveness and hugged her tight. Anna also told her she had a place in the store any time she wanted to come back, even if she became world renowned.

 Anna celebrated with everyone on her staff, both from the weekends and from the store, the end of the contract with the supermarket chain. There were rumors they had copied the recipes and now they were going to produce the candy themselves or that maybe rival stores would provide them with the candy that Anna had refused to give them ever more. One or the other, Anna was glad all of that ordeal had ended because she had realized that her dream was a place where she could do her own thing and experiment and be close to her clients. That contract had crushed the soul of her idea and now she needed it back in order to make it beautiful and bright again.


 The following month, she released a whole new set of products, all with exotic fruits and ingredients that would surprise everyone. She had been doing research for weeks and cooking at home to finally come up with some sort of prize to her devoted store clients who hadn’t left her in the year she had been busy doing candy bar for a corporation. The flavors and the candy were loved by everyone and she even had to ask three of her weekend workers to stay and help in the store. Her family grew that way and she realized that her life was better than ever because now she knew what she really wanted to do and what really made her happy. Her heart was always sweet and, now, more than ever.