Ok you guys, I’m really excited to do this post and kick off a new series. I kind of had this ah-ha moment this morning and realized I really want you all to know me better. I want to use this platform to share who I am and my experiences.
As I had this realization this morning, my mind started to go wild with all the possibilities—from my business and being an entrepreneur, to filming a reality TV show before it was actually a thing to do that, to meeting my husband and my first impression of him, being with a Greek, living in the city, being a mom, the list goes on and on.
The point is, we all have these stories and some of them are really great and fun, while others are sad with profound learning experiences. So I’m going to start a series to share these moments with you and take this blog one step deeper. I hope these posts spark a conversation among us and you guys feel free to really ask me anything. With all of that said, here’s the first story.
I was flipping through my closet this morning and came across a pair of pants that I’ve been holding onto for years. They hold more memories than really any other item in my closet, but I’ve never worn them and they don’t even belong to me. They actually belonged to one of my clients.
As many of you know, I own eDrop-Off, formally eDrop-Off Express back in 2004 when I founded it. Things were VERY different back then. Ecommerce was pretty much non-existent and trying to convince people to enter credit card info online was treacherous and no one knew what luxury consignment meant. I was just a 22-year-old with a dream and vision. But what I loved most was clothing is a material possession, and like jewelry, it can hold amazing memories.
So back to the pants I mentioned. They’re Levi’s and completely covered from top to bottom in sequins. They belonged to one of my absolute favorite clients who we’re going to call Birdie because I do want to protect her privacy. Plus, I just think that’s a very fitting imaginary name for her.
Birdie called my office one day and our relationship started out just like any other client relationship would. She needed a closet clean out and chose for us to come to her home to do it for her. We set up a time and I went and cleaned her closet. She had very eccentric style. Lots of Roberto Cavalli, items trimmed in fur, sequins, rimless sunglasses, loud prints and bold statement pieces. After the initial clean out, everything went on like normal. She called back a few months later and we went back a second time and then eventually a third.
On the third visit, she invited me into her guest room where she had a massive pile of clothing and accessories sitting in the middle of the room. She was sitting down next to it and I noticed she had lost quite a bit of weight. She then shared with me that she had stomach cancer and had made the decision not to treat it. It became clear that Birdie was someone who had been through a major life shift—she had been divorced, had a son who was deeply affected by all of it and just seemed very alone.
No one had ever shared this kind of information with me before. It was very hard to hear, but I told her to let me know what I could do to assist her. She decided she wanted to completely clear out her closet while she was still alive, so our monthly visits turned into weekly, with each one becoming more difficult because I could physically see her tumor growing almost as if she was carrying a baby.
As hard as it was, I loved going to Birdie’s because no matter how sick she was, because even when she became wheelchair-bound, she would always dress up and look fabulous with a sequin beret on. It was like every time we came to her home it was a celebration.
Shortly into knowing Birdie, I truly felt like I was helping her to re-live these amazing memories as we went through everything in her closet. It made me see the value of the service I had created and that I wasn’t just selling people’s possessions. I was really there for her and was privileged enough to hear her talk about her life as she prepared to come to the end of her journey.
I’ll never forget, it was my last trip to Birdie’s, and she was bedridden with a nurse by her side at all times. I was cleaning out her dresser drawers and I would hold things up and ask “yay or nay” because although the end was coming very soon, she still had things she wanted to hold onto.
It was while we were doing this that she said to me, “Can you get me a bong?” I immediately stopped what I was doing and looked over and said, “What?” And she looked at me and said again, “Can you get me a bong?” And then proceeded to pull out a quarter ounce of really rough looking ditch weed and continued, “I heard this helps with pain for cancer and I want to smoke.”
I had absolutely no idea what to do and didn’t have a clue where she got it. I didn’t know if this was illegal or crossed some kind of line because I had never experienced this sort of thing. Ultimately, I decided it wasn’t illegal to buy someone a bong, so after work I went down to a smoke shop and picked up the most glitter-filled-rainbow-swirl-looking bong I could find. I knew I needed it to be beautiful to make this experience SO good for her.
I brought the bong back to Birdie and then, of course, her response was, “Great! Can you show me how to use it?” Once again I was in shock, but knew I was in too deep and had to do it. I looked over at Birdie’s nurse who was thinking only God knows what and assured her I wasn’t some kind of drug dealer for cancer patients and she was like, “Girl, it’s fine!” So, what did I do? I showed Birdie how to smoke weed from her bedazzled bong.
As I was packing the bowl, I was in disbelief at everything that was going on, but then had this overwhelming feeling of gratitude. Birdie was trusting me enough to be there for her and help her with this. And if it provides her with any level of comfort it’s worth it. Being in that moment with my client, as the sun was setting and Sex and the City was playing in the background, during her final days in her sequin beret, really meant something to me. That was all it took and I’ll never forget her smile that came through. She passed away a couple days later.
When you’re able to share moments like this with people, especially through what you do, it turns love into passion. It’s a beautiful freaking thing. And now I have these amazing pants that look like they belonged to Madonna or Michael Jackson, but they were Birdie’s. So when I came across them today, I decided I’m going to frame them and hang them in my house because they spark such an incredible memory in honor of my very dear client, Birdie.
And there is get to know Corri story number one! I hope you guys enjoyed this and I can’t wait to keep being transparent and sharing more of my life with you all!