I own and run a thrift shop that is part of the local business community. There is an adjacent mall that, among others stores, has a fast food restaurant where people congregate from early morning to late evening. I always hope that these people spill over to my shop. Some do, and I have also made some new friends in this popular venue. I get my coffee every morning and a woman who is in nursing school sits with me for twenty minutes. I look forward to the beginning of my day.
I have been practicing this routine for some time and my friend is now graduating from nursing school. It is a real milestone for her career and I want to buy a nice gift to commemorate her achievement. I thought about a stethoscope of good quality, some compression socks (since nurses are always on their feet for long hours), a leather tote bag in which she can store her work items, and a magazine subscription to a popular medical journal. These would all be nice, but what would appeal the most? Some are rather impersonal so I may opt for a personal accessory like costume jewelry or a scarf. There is also the possibility of those cute nursing shoes that look like clogs. They are rubber soled so the wear never slips on water or other solutions that have leaked onto the hospital or clinic floor.
Boy, this was going to be a tough decision. I ended up with a daily planner in a leather case. I had her name engraved on the cover in gold. That was what made it personalized. When I presented the wrapped gift, she was so surprised and thankful. She loved it and said she had never had a planner but always wanted one to help her stay organized. She received a stethoscope from her mother and some socks from her brother so she was well taken care of on all fronts. She got out a pen from her purse and opened the planner to make her first entry. It was lunch together. This was her way of thanking me. Her words, of course, were enough; but she insisted and I accepted. I knew that she would start to become rather busy securing the best job available. She would note her interviews down in the datebook. I felt that I had bought something really useful. I am glad that I hit the nail on the head.
After a few weeks and my nurse friend started her new job, I noticed that she was no longer in the mall at the fast food place having coffee. I certain will miss my morning ritual. A few days later, I made a new friend, a local journalist who covered the neighborhood including retail business. How perfect! He was going to include my shop in an article on unique boutique shops. I looked forward to seeing my new coffee partner on a regular basis.