In the spring of 2012 I was looking online for various job opportunities for a friend of mine who was relocating to the area. I had come across an AOL article about companies that were hiring people at the time and decided to check out the ones that had local offices. One of them was Macy’s. I found some postings suitable for my friend, but also noticed that they had several openings for their cosmetics department. At the time I wasn’t actively looking for a part-time job. I had worked at Borders until it closed in 2011 and had promised friends and family that I wouldn’t seek another part-time job for at least a year. There was also a lot going on in my life at the time. My then roommate and were in the middle of a nasty falling out where she had decided to make sudden, drastic changes to our living arrangement. I was mid-recovery from a spinal problem that ended up opening the door to still-ongoing issues with my back. I was in need of a new place to live and the hunt was on. A new part-time job wasn’t in my plans.
I was intrigued, though. Cosmetics? I loved makeup. I really loved fragrance. Just for hoots I decided to apply. I filled out the form for a Macy’s location across town from me and submitted it. I honestly don’t know what I thought of working in a cosmetics department. There was some nebulous idea in my head of just selling fragrance. The idea of working for a specific brand never crossed my mind.
A few days after submitting my application I received an email from Macy’s indicating that they were interested in interviewing me. I called and set things up. Four interviews, a major move, and a death in the family later I was offered and accepted a position with Clinique at Macy’s. I walked in for my first day of training one year to the day my Borders had closed. I put on the white lab coat for the first time shortly thereafter. I was a Clinique girl. It changed my life.
Tonight, two and a half years later, I will put on that white lab coat for the last time. Tonight is my final shift at Macy’s and with Clinique. Tomorrow I will go into Nordstrom to begin my training to work for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and enter another new world where I will come out the other side changed. The whole process is a bittersweet for me. I am glad to be leaving Macy’s due to an assortment of scheduling challenges, but I am sad at leaving Clinique. I’ve been using Clinique most of my life. I love all the people I’ve worked with. Most of all, I love the things I’ve learned about myself working for Clinique. I had no idea that I had artistic talent or that I really do have the ability to be confident and strong in a way that makes other people feel better about themselves. The white lab coat wasn’t just a uniform; it was a cloak of bravery and dignity that I got to wrap myself in every shift I worked.
I don’t know what happens after I take it off and hang it up tonight. I’m not entirely certain what to expect at Nordstrom, at Bobbi. I’m nervous and I’m excited. It’s going to be a new adventure. New adventures are always welcome. What I do know for certain is that even though I’ll be clad all in black as I step through those new doors there will be an invisible white lab coat wrapping me in hope.
Here’s to a new beginning.