Although it sounded fancy to say that I was working in Beverly Hills, it actually took a grueling 2.5 hours to drive from my home to Neiman Marcus. Nevertheless, I arrived at the store at 7:15 am. Bright and early in the morning, the store was bustling with activities. Store clerks were busy unpacking boxes, getting ready for day. Dressed all in black, SurfaceWorld team worked in unison, maneuvering our way outside the paths and daily patterns of the regular employees.
As we began to adorn each window, we became invisible workers. Donning on special makeshift shoes, we made sure we didn’t leave any tracks behind. Store clerks and customers made transactions in astronomical figures. Pedestrians peeked into the window displays, curious to see what all the commotion was about.
Our team is forever indebted to Ben, who took us under his wings and showed us the ropes of the art of window display. There is an ancient saying that "in every profession, there is a genius." I believe that Ben is such a person in the world of visual display. To put up the wallpaper for the floral window, Ben introduced us to carpet tape: The best tape that I have ever encountered; it was even better than the Japanese double sided tape that everyone revered at the student store. At 1:30 pm, Ben popped his head in the floral window, looking very serious. I thought he was about to give us some much needed input.
"It's 1:30 pm," he announced. "Take a 30 min to an hour lunch break. Everything will move very quickly in the afternoon."
Ben was really thoughtful. He wanted to make sure we got enough rest. I headed over to the Lunchbox, which is the cafeteria at Neiman Marcus. I got the chef's recommendation, the Presidio Sandwich for $9. It was so delicious that for a minute, I imagined that I was working at Neiman Marcus, just taking a lunch break from my work.
Words can't describe how I felt when I saw the window displays fully realized. I saw them in the early stages, when they were mock-ups with Barbies standing in for the mannequins. To see these displays as professional work, admired by all, was quite emotional. Only the team understood how challenging it was from start to finish. No one knows how satisfying it is to see it completely done! I'm so grateful to be part of this project. It teaches me that life takes you to places unimaginable, if you are open to new directions and changes with an open heart.