I walked anxiously through the cold, wet and gloomy West 34th Street of New York City. I know I’m a city girl at heart, but cold December rain and the city and I do not go well together. My mom and I had taken a group bus trip to NYC before the Holidays, to do some shopping and experience the city. We were welcomed into the crowded concrete jungle by the grey clouds and booming thunder that hung above. I wore a red peacoat and black leggings, and I had chosen the absolute worst pair of boots to wear. I had gotten them in maybe 10th grade, they were cheaply made and worn out. My socks were soaking wet, making for a ridiculously uncomfortable walk through the city. We had already stopped at a Victoria’s Secret previously, where I bought a new pair of socks and instantly changed into them. I carried an off-white faux leather cross body purse (which a few months later was stolen out of my car in the parking lot of CCRI), with shiny cheetah print lining on the four corners and a gold buckle in the front. My mom had gotten it in the Las Vegas airport when she visited for work, and she gave it to me for my birthday that year.
It was mid-December, about a month after my 3 year relationship ended. I always like to lose myself in the city or get away whenever my heart is hurting. Even though it was just a day trip, I found it somehow settling to be away from my hometown where so many thoughts and memories flooded me. So I went to the busiest, and most crowded city in the Northeast where you can’t escape human contact at all whatsoever. Don’t ask me to explain the psychology behind that because I have no clue. And if we’re being serious, retail therapy is one of the BEST cures for a breakup, I’m sure every girl knows that. And if it’s one thing my mom and I know how to do best together, it’s how to spend money (result of an Aries and a Leo in NYC before Christmas).
The end of our day was getting closer and we had to meet the bus group back at a certain place and time fairly shortly. My mom and I were walking considerably fast and weren’t planning on doing much more shopping, if any. I had a collection of plastic and paper shopping bag handles lined all the way up on my left forearm, possibly cutting off my circulation, and in my right hand I gripped our bright turquoise blue umbrella. My mother walked on the left side of me. To my right, I suddenly saw a colorful window display of what looked like cakes and cookies. Then, I realized it was in fact, soap and bath bombs. “IT’S LUSH!! WAIT, MOM!!! IT’S LUSH!!” I almost slipped backwards, pissing off those who were walking behind me as my shopping bags and wet boots threw me off balance.
My mom didn’t quite know what she was in for. We had both heard of and breifly been into a LUSH before, but neither of us really knew what was about to happen. The only other time I had ever shopped at LUSH was at their location closest to me, Providence Place mall. I went with my boyfriend at the time, and he was actually the one who dragged me in. I don’t quite remember what happened that day except being enchanted by the salespeople and ended up spending almost half a paycheck between my boyfriend and I (which is a lot when you’re 15). I bought a Bubblegum lip scrub, Dirty Body spray, Pink mini bath bomb and Creamy Candy bubble bar (it was still the old one – for any LUSHies reading this). We got back home that day and I remember excitedly showing my mom and sister everything we got and told them how much they would love it there. I was absolutely amazed by their customer service, as I was already working in retail, so I understood and appreciated the great experience that the employees gave me.
This shop was nestled perfectly between a bland-looking American Eagle Outfitters and a huge Forever 21. And when I say “nestled”, I mean you literally couldn’t spot it unless you were looking for it. That’s why I almost fell backwards straight on my ass when I realized where I was. The building has a black overhang above the tall doors with white trim around the lining of the glass and windows. It has small white all-capital lettering above that tells you that it is in fact LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. We pulled open the massive doors by their chrome, metal handles. The smell from inside the store felt like it was punching us right in the noses as we entered. It wasn’t an overwhelming, perfume-y type of smell. Not like a Yankee Candle or Bath and BodyWorks where you can literally feel the overwhelming pulse of fake shit going through your respiratory system, giving you all types of diseases and headaches. The aromas were just as strong, don’t get me wrong (I’m a poet and I know it), but it was the kind of smell that was a refreshing change from what your typical bath and body store was like.
Once my mom and I got inside, it’s almost as if we were swept off of our feet by the girls who helped us. I’m pretty sure we blacked out, because one minute we were together and the next we were lost in space and had wicker baskets the size of a small horse hanging from our arms filled with specially wrapped Christmas gift sets and tiny recycled paper bags filled with bath goodies and rainbows and magic and unicorns. The only thing that was able to stop us was our wallets. We got to the register and said good bye to our souls. And money. My mom was raving about how many samples the girls made her, and how thrilled and impressed she was and how she couldn’t wait to try her new skin care products. I left with only a few Christmas gifts for family members and maybe a few bath products for myself. All I knew was that we just had one of the most spectacular shopping experiences of our lives.
We left the city that day with a bundle of stories. We saw so many faces, heard so many sounds, and couldn’t possibly forget all of the smells. From gasoline and garbage to roasted nuts and Abercrombie & Fitch, the streets of New York offered it all to us. But, not a single sensory experience that day compared to the time that we had spent at the LUSH Cosmetics Herald Square on West 34th St.
After my trip to NYC I went about my way for the next few weeks, until it was the very last weekend before Christmas. My dad and I went to the Providence Place mall to do some last minute gift shopping. I told him about my amazing experience at LUSH prior to us visiting the Providence location that day. After stopping at the Godiva store and getting the most delicious chocolate shakes, we made our way on up to the 3rd floor where LUSH awaited. We were greeted excitedly, but through all of the craziness and crowded people, it was hard to even communicate with one another. We headed towards the back of the store and we were greeted again by a tall man with an excited voice and long curly hair. A few moments later, he was yelling to the store, “DOES ANYONE WANNA SEE A BATH BOMB DEMO?!” and all of the other employees followed with a cheer and “Wooohoo!!”. This was the moment when I knew I wanted to be a part of that team.
I was blown away by how consistent each and every LUSH employee’s energy was. No matter where you were, no matter what the circumstance. I was in awe. I asked one of the employees if they were hiring. Long story short, I started working for LUSH Cosmetics officially on March 12th 2015. I instantly became accustomed to the LUSH life. I loved the people I met, the interactions I had and the sales I landed. I knew I was really good at my job. A few short months later, I got my first promotion to a Senior Sales ambassador. This was when I started really learning the methods to our madness, and the drivers that drove our business. I did my best to grasp as quickly as possible. One day during my development, my manager surprised me with yet another offer for a promotion to Floor Leader. I was immensely excited for this opportunity and of course, accepted. As a Leo, I like the feeling of being a leader. I try to refrain from using the word “boss” because that’s not what I am, nor any of our other Floor Leaders. It’s a team effort to keep us all together, efficient and happy.
Being a part of the team that I’m on is the most overwhelming feeling of pride, strength and growth. LUSH is both the hardest yet most rewarding job I could ever imagine to have. I go to work every day and I’m surrounded by amazing people, who inspire me to be a better version of myself no matter what. Not to mention the business behind this company is the coolest thing. In my opinion, Lush is probably one of, if not the smartest companies for this modern day wave of marketing and networking. We are a company built entirely off of word of mouth, and take pride in the fact that we have made BILLIONS of dollars without spending a penny of it on advertising. That’s right; not a single commercial, magazine feature, or pesky youtube ad. We make our customers so amazed that they can’t help but want to turn their whole family and all of their friends on to the magic that is LUSH. I’ve been with this company for almost a year and a half now, and I still learn new things every day. The feeling of constant self growth is indescribable.
So, I know I want to be with LUSH for a long time. Something about LUSH and I just go so well together, and nothing will ever quite feel as right as LUSH feels to me. I aspire to do such big things within this company, my dreams can never really end. I will forever hold such a special place in my soul for the time of mine that belongs to LUSH, hence why I tattooed part of our mission statement on my skin.
So whether you’re a LUSHIE, employee, fan, or not a fan at all, I think we can all appreciate a story about growth. There’s nothing that compares to finding something that you love, and running with it. Never be afraid to do what it is that you love, and let it absorb you.