Guest Post by Lisa Edgley Dirocco
If you are a loyal reader of Arrow It Forward, you KNOW I love a woman following her passion! I feel it is important to share the stories of women who have discovered what they love doing. It may be that the reader needs motivation when they feel they aren’t getting anywhere, it may be that concrete examples prove useful in their own journey, or it may be that it results in a lightbulb “a-ha” moment where they now feel ready to take the leap toward something they’ve wanted to try for a long time. Lisa Edgley Dirocco is the perfect example of how awesome it can be to love your job! I knew having her be a guest on the blog would be fun and that her words would reach someone at JUST the right time. If you know Lisa, you can’t help but smile when you’re around her, she is HAPPY at work….yes HAPPY! That makes so much difference in our day to day lives. If anything, I hope that message translates to my readers. Maybe you are still searching for your passion or maybe you used to have it but thought you had to let it go. In any case, I hope after reading this piece that you give some thought to what inspires you! Pay attention to this mall chick, she knows what’s up!
For those who are familiar with the 80s, the term “mall chick” may remind you of a simpler time. A time when you could pick up a magazine and literally recreate your favorite valley girl look by heading to the mall. There you would spend hours trying on clothes and stopping by the beauty counter to test out a “totally bitchin” pink lipstick.
It was a social sanctuary. I would be there the whole day, walking up and down the Fashion Avenue.
I remember the exact day I was inspired to work in the cosmetic world. It was while visiting the Estee Lauder counter at Simpsons. The sales woman looked like the late Princess Diana of Wales. As I chatted away to this lovely lady, she smiled and gently applied my make-up, not too much, just enough so my friends would notice and my parents wouldn’t be upset. It wasn’t the cosmetic products that captured my attention. It was this wonderful person that had helped me capture my image, and my confidence. Eureka! It may sound contrite, but as a shy young girl, who loved fashion, she ignited my flame. My life would change after that day, and my destiny was to one day be that person who knew exactly how to make someone of any age feel amazing.
Fast forward to the present day. I have followed my dream and am about to celebrate thirty years working at The Hudson’s Bay Company. Are you thinking to yourself, that’s crazy? Thirty years in the same job? Trust me, it is. How could I have spent all this time working for one company and doing one thing? I’ll admit it, at times it has been challenging. Hills and valleys as they say. However, for thirty years whenever I have had a valley, I end up meeting an incredible person who inspires me.
The landscape of beauty has changed so much. From forty brands to four hundred maybe more. It seems so complicated now, what brand to choose, are they environmentally friendly, how much will it cost, am I on trend? Yet, as I look and listen to the laughter around me, it’s very clear, the connection of human spirit is what gives you the confidence to make the right choice of product. Too much information can be exhausting. Find the right person who connects with you and it gets a lot clearer. It’s a concept that’s always fits.
I am grateful to have been a part of this beauty community at Hudson’s Bay Kingston. We offer our clients a sister figure, a mother figure, a secret keeper, a mentor, or just someone that made your day a little brighter. The beauty of having thoughtful people to help you find beauty items is that you not only walk away with something tangible, but you have an unforgettable experience.
One of most life changing connections I had was with a ninety year old woman. Patricia, “just Pat” was a character! I was introduced to her through a colleague. At first I was shocked by her lewd choice of words. We quickly learned of her trials and tribulations at the time, and we were astounded by her zest for life. Myself and couple of my colleagues were invited for tea to her apartment. I thought it strange, tea, even with only knowing Pat a short time, I would have thought beer at a pub would have been our option. As we settled in for tea at her apartment, I was astounded by her vast library. She told us about her life as a young woman growing up, being the daughter of the first Canadian Psychiatric Doctor in nineteen thirty nine. She had been a military wife who lost her first true love in the Second World War, then went on to remarry a man who was her first husband’s captain. And even though she was unable to have the freedom to fulfill her dream career as a doctor, she was determined to be true to herself regardless of her obstacles. She was an amazing woman who raised four boys, each having individual goals in life. Wow…who knew that we would have the chance to meet on several occasions the wife of the last Canadian Brigadier General of the Second World War, Mrs. Patricia Radley Walters.
I have learned so much from my clients young and old. Some have had more mountains to climb than others. It has been humbling at times, and always rewarding to make someone happy.
I guess you could say that it’s not just my journey, but our journey, the whole team of people I work with. I am not the only associate that has been in this cosmetic department long term. A fun fact is that if you include experience at the Hudson’s Bay Kingston cosmetic department, it would total over one hundred years!
We have had so much fun over the years. We are woman of all ages and yet there are no barriers. We bounce ideas off of each other, offer solutions in our work and home life, celebrate and comfort one another, and occasionally get into a bit of trouble together. The code word is “the eagle has landed”!
If I can offer advice to anyone regardless of age who wants to work in the beauty industry, if your passion is people, you will love every minute of your work…..and your success will follow!
Follow Lisa on her journey and congratulate her on 30 years staying true to her passion!
Shout outs to @redlemonap, @annafischerrr, @closettcandyy & @dolly_tl