Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ladybugs for Alicia

I have a feeling that a majority of my friends have worked in a retail job at some point in their life. They bagged groceries or sold leather gloves at the mall. Picking up a retail job to make Christmas special is an easy and temporary effort.

Other people I know have made work in a retail store their career. As the Education Coordinator for a retail chain, I have met many great folks in the past 3 years at JoAnns in Westminster, Colorado. Today I want to tell you about Alicia and her mom. They shopped at JoAnns yesterday and remind me of why I get a kick out of being in the retail world.

Alicia is 7 years old. She is a sweet freckled-face girl who is so easy to be around. And she loves making things. I met her when she celebrated her 7th birthday in my classroom, painting bobble-head animals with her 8 BFFs. She comes with her mom to visit me now about once a month. She received a toy sewing machine for her birthday and has the goal of learning to sew her own clothes! Yesterday, I helped Alicia and her mom select supplies to sew bean bag ladybugs. We selected black flannel, red cotton with white polka dots, and after much debate, a package of medium wiggle eyes. Alicia carefully considered each choice by feeling the fabric and deciding whether or not it was ladybug-worthy.

You should know that Alicia's mom has never learned to sew. She doesn't have the language to talk about the items on a project supply list. When Alicia read that her project requires iron-on stabilizer, Mom stared blankly at me and pulled on her sweater. What Mom lacks in vocabulary, Alicia makes up for in enthusiasm.

So the 3 of us slowly walked the aisles of JoAnns with a mission. You probably guessed we were collecting red, black, and cute for the ladybug project. But we also need to shop for a little confidence. Mom really wants Alicia to excel at sewing. She wants the excitement in her daughter's eyes to grow and continue so that this lack of sewing as a life skill can end; and end in a fun way!

When this little family left the store with a bag of goodies and a date to come back to the classroom to be taught how to sew ladybug bean bags, all seemed right with the world. Retail jobs can, to quote Shakespeare, truly sucketh. Today, my retail job warmed my heart.

Here's to your creativity today!

P.S. My classroom at JoAnns is changing. Watch my blog for more information about where and how my workshops and classes will be offered!

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