Hey, I’ll ask it so you polite friends don’t have to.
Of course there is a story, there always is, but the story belongs to the three people who, until recently, comprised TPC, and it’s far more boring than some of the wild speculation I’ve read so far. I’m not going to go into any kind of detail or even generality except to say the decision to go our separate ways was made about three weeks ago after complete agreement by all three of us. It became effective April 1, 2012. We had differing visions, and going in two different directions was the best decision for all of us. Diane is at TPC and will continue running that website and business as her own – the domain is registered under her name and belongs solely to her. Lisa and I have formed Surrender to Chance, which is furiously undergoing construction and should be open any day (psst, maybe Saturday????).
I almost never address speculation, it usually just makes me giggle because it’s so far off the mark, but reading some of the speculation was alarming. If people start taking some of the speculation based on zero information as fact, it could be potentially harmful to any of the three parties who just want to go on their way and be left to pursue their dreams in peace. There was no coup or mutiny on anyone’s part – all parties had full access to everything before and after we made the decision, there was no financial difficulty that brought it about. Just to address the one thing that is getting speculatively painted as the most potentially Machiavellian – The TPC Facebook page that I set up for TPC and we had been using during our business partnership was to go dormant and only have news of the split and a link to our new pages, which it has, though that darn timeline thing refuses to bend to my will so I can make sure both of those are in the big boxes on the left. i know that looks bad, but Mark Zuckerberg has thwarted my every effort. When some short period of time passes, the page will be deleted so no one is confused or misled, and that seemed the most fair thing to do for all of us since we all built the business together over five years.
I wish all three of us only the best as this chapter closes and we embark upon our next steps. I hope all of you will too.
I swear, I had no idea that anyone would pay much attention to our logo or think overly long or have much reaction about the choice of name. I mean, we beta tested that name over several bottles of wine in a tent in the Sahara, what could go wrong? The name was originally intended for something else, which isn’t dead, just delayed for the time being, and when this change happened, we pressed it into service. Not saying that we have any comparison to Apple, but if I had been around when Jobs decided Apple was a good name for a computer company, along with a half-eaten apple as a logo, I would have felt really silly today (clutching iPhone, IPad, MacBook Air to chest). But then I think, well, Edsel. Could go either way, but I think a teeny perfume sample company can probably survive a poor choice of logo or name. We, of course, reserve the right to tweak the logo in all sorts of bizarre ways – one of which will be a contest in our grand opening. You’ll see, stay tuned.
Why the name? Surrender to Chance is not just a name for us – it is deeply personal and reflects our life view and view of perfume.
Life is a careening adventure that, despite all of our most fervent wishes, we have zero control over. Realizing you have no control isn’t easy, and most people will refuse to accept they don’t except for the tiny moment in life – usually a death or accident or other loss- when they get banged over the head with it, but go right back to fighting it as soon as the crisis is over. Life becomes just one long series of battles that, even when you win, you lose.
I’ve posted about my trip to India before, but my experience there was life-changing. I lived among people who shop daily or even meal by meal, if they have money, for food, who plan not too far in the future, who see time as some endless continuum where everything that really needs to get done will be done, which is unsettling and not just a little infuriating when you are trying to get a straight answer on when you can expect the taxi.They flow through their life, surrendering to all the things they can’t control and spending no time in worry about those uncontrollable things. Surrender has no negative connotations for me, I will always fight for the things that matter and that I can have some impact on, but I try to not spend more than a second on worry and stress and trying to control the outcome of life.
On my right wrist is the word “Surrender” tattooed in Berber, to remind me that surrender is not a negative – it is not giving up or giving in, it is the strength to know I only control my reaction and action, I control nothing of what happens beyond my personal borders.
Our trip to Morocco was amazing, but almost from the moment we stepped foot in Casablanca, everything that happened to us was complete Chance. All four of us, upon the first random offer of doing something completely different than we had planned, just looked at each other, laughed, and said, let’s go with it. We let Chance take us where it would, and where it took us was far better than our original plans. The morning we sat on the sand dune in the Sahara, after our camel ride in the morning dark with the sun peeping over the horizon, we talked about it and what it meant and how much we would have missed if we had tried to “stay with the plan.” It wasn’t just Chance that took us, it was all of us Surrendering to it, not fighting the direction life had offered us.
Surrender to Chance is not about waving the white flag – it is about slipping into the ocean of life and floating with a big smile on your face until you see the big whale come by who beckons you to take a Chance and crawl on its back for the Unknown Adventure. It is not about giving up or careless choosing.
I have “Chance” tattooed on my left wrist in Berber to remind me that a life lived in safety is no life at all.
All of you that have read here for any time know how we feel about perfume – it is fun!!! It’s an adventure, it’s sniffing the stuff called “Humanity” that leaks through seven plastic bags and two padded mailers in horrid fascination that makes us laugh and run to our computer to share it with you. There is a world out there beyond our little perfumista community that thinks perfume in the department stores comprises the extent of perfumery. We all know that’s not right, but most of the world doesn’t know that. We want to pull that world into ours, encourage them to try something new, to expand their view of what is “perfume” to those “once-odd now-normal” scents known as Sables and MKK.
There was a question or comment about our tagline, which we haven’t completely decided on and are still re-working – Just Perfume. No Pressure – and how there isn’t any pressure in perfumista-ville. Again, I agree. I cannot imagine Franco at Luckyscent spritzing anyone without their consent and over their howling protests. But I have experienced that approach in what most of the world uses as a perfume counter – department stores – along with the assurances that whatever scent you got sprayed with is perfect and smells divine on you and everyone is wearing it. I still remember that gauntlet at Bendel’s March and me ran through about six times during our first and only Sniffa We love the perfumista community, but that’s not the only customer we want. We want the people who are driving perfume sales because they buy the thing on the billboard and the big ad campaign. We want them to try our world, explore it, find the classics, the fun, the romance, the adventure of finding something they love, and then maybe mainstream perfumes will get more interesting, more random, more adventurous.
Or maybe not. But it will be fun to try. We’ll be up and running in a day or three – come by and see us, let us know what you think. It’s a work in progress and we’d love to get your opinions! Well, okay, I really do mean that!! Right now I’m a little stressed with all the things that still have to be done so sometimes hearing opinions and speculation that kinda trash what we’ve done so far adds a wee bit more stress and some prickliness, but so many of you have sent nice comments about the logo and the name, and I thank you for that. I’m guessing some hate it, some love it, some just wish we’d get open. I’m with the third group.
And yes!! if you have a cute, clever tag line that summarizes what we do – using the words, perfume, decant, sample – we are all ears. So far we are coming up empty on the cute and resorting to the straightforward. Anyone that can come up with the perfect thing would be my personal hero and might find themselves the recipient of a very generous first-ever-issued StoC gift certificate.
So let’s chat about …whatever! We are really excited about this, and I hope you will be too!