Yesterday afternoon I had to go to the mall, and was so blessed when I found a parking spot in the front. This weekend was the launch of the holiday shopping. Everyone and their (or their friends) mother was there. Christmas trees were at each corner, Santa had a child sitting on his lap, with 50 children waiting patiently for their turn.
As I was walking around the mall, I wasn’t there because I was shopping; I was there because I was working. My partner, Barker, had sent me on a mission to simply look at toys. We are designing another therapeutic, comfort toy for children who need a hug, and my mission was to see what was out there, and create something different.
In and out of stores I roamed. Touching, and squeezing and watching to see which toys the children would go for. I loved my assignment. When my mission was complete I found myself on the opposite end of the mall, and had to work my way back to my car. As I was walking I noticed something that made me smile. I realized that each and every store I passed, that was filled with people, and shopping bags, all walked out with the dreams of others, and I’m not sure if I realized that until yesterday. I’m always busy looking for the sale that I neglect to look for the dreamer…
Here are some dreamers that I would like to share…
Macy’s was founded by Rowland Hussey Macy, who between 1843 and 1855 opened four retail dry good stores, including the original Macy’s store in downtown Haverhill, Massachusetts, established in 1851 to serve the mill industry employees of the area. They all failed, but he learned from his mistakes. Macy moved to New York City in 1858 and established a new store name “R.H. Macy Dry Goods’ on Sixth Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets, which was far north of where other dry goods stores were at the time. On the company’s first day of business on October 28, 1858 sales totaled US 11.08, equal to $279.82 today. From the very beginning, Macy’s logo has included a star in one form or another, which comes from a tattoo that Macy got as a teenager when he worked on a Nantucket whaling ship. Now, I had no idea about how many times he failed and the meaning of the star, but… now, I do!
Now, onto Hallmark… On January 10, 1910, a teenager from Nebraska stepped off a train in Kansas City, Mo., with little more than big dreams and two shoeboxes of picture postcards. From those inauspicious beginnings an iconic brand was born. One hundred years and billions of well-wishes later, Hallmark Cards, Inc. celebrated its own 100th birthday in 2010 with a nod to the past, a focus on the future, and the grandsons of that Nebraska teenager at the helm.
The history of Abercrombie & Fitch began in the nineteenth century and extends into the twenty-first century. Key figures who changed and influenced the course of Abercrombie & Fitch‘s history include David T. Abercrombie (the founder), Ezra Fitch (the co-founder), Limited Brands and Michael Jeffries (current Chairman and CEO).
David Abercrombie founded A&F in 1892 as an upscale sporting goods store. Forming a partnership with Ezra Fitch, the company continued to expand in the new 20th century. After Abercrombie left the company, Fitch became sole owner and ushered in the “Fitch Years” of continued success. After his retirement, the company continued under a succession of other leaders until its financial fall and closing in 1977. Limited Brands purchased the ailing brand in 1988 and brought in Mike Jeffries, who revolutionized the image of Abercrombie & Fitch to become an upscale youthful fashion retailer. Today, the company is a multi-billion dollar entity continuing to experience economic expansion through the business continuance of three off-shoot growing concepts and cautious international expansion into key luxury markets.
Prominent figures who patronized the company in its excursion goods days of the early 20th century include Teddy Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Greta Garbo, Katharine Hepburn, Clark Gable, John Steinbeck, John F. Kennedy, Ernest Shackleton, Cole Porter, and Dwight Eisenhower.
Kay Jewelers…For 90 years, Kay Jewelers has offered exceptional jewelry and great customer service. But long before becoming a nationally recognized jewelry retailer, Kay was the simple idea of two enterprising brothers from Reading, Pennsylvania. In 1916, Sol and Edmund Kaufmann opened the first Kay Jewelers in the corner of their father’s furniture store.
Initially, Kay offered far more than jewelry. Some of our original products included eyeglasses, musical jewelry boxes, and electric razors. We also offered to make a “home sweet home” with complete silverware sets and even kitchen appliances and radios. Although product offerings have changed through the years, shopping at Kay has remained a valued tradition.
And my favorite, Mrs. Fields Cookies, because I love cookies!
It was all about taking control of her life. So Debbi Fields, a young mother with no business experience, opened her first cookie store in Palo Alto, California in 1977. They told her she was crazy. No business could survive just selling cookies. Humble beginnings launched Mrs. Fields® into a worldwide celebrity and made her company the premier chain of cookie and baked goods stores.
So, when I finally made it out to my car I decided that this Christmas is going to be much different. Before I purchase a gift for someone I love, I’m going to take some time and research the dreamer of where the gift is purchased.
During the economic times in which we’re living, I might not purchase from those who saw their dreams come to pass, but find the dreamer who is waiting. The mom who sews blankets, or the woman who makes handmade soaps with love, and when I do purchase I want the story that goes behind the gift, because what I’m realizing is the gift isn’t what I’ve purchased— the gift is the story of the dreamer who dreams to give!
he said, “Listen to my words:
“When there is a prophet among you,
I, the LORD, reveal myself to them in visions,
I speak to them in dreams. Numbers 12:16
And this verse made me smile, because while business is a numbers game, it’s been within my visions where God reveals Himself to me, and within my dreams are where I get to see my dreams come to pass.
Praying everyone peaceful dreams!
ONWARD BY FAITH!