Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Goodbye Club Libby Lu

Below is what I am contributing to a scrapbook that we are making for our fearless leader. CEO and Founder of Club Libby Lu. :)
This is very fitting, as my store closed today. We ran out of merchandise completely. The feelings going through me as I walked out of the store are indescribable. I know I will be back, we still have lots to do, but never again will I do a makeover on a little girl, or sprinkle her with fairy dust. I feel like I'm losing a great friend, and we will never run into each other again.



As I think about my life post college, many of my thoughts are of Club Libby Lu. It is full of many fond memories, amazing people, lots of dancing and tons of hilarious V.I.P.’s (Very Important Princesses).
Too many of my memories are “favorites” so choosing one isn’t a possibility for me. Instead I will tell you about a few memories that mean the most to me.

My first memory is of my interview. It was a group interview. Silly questions, secret club names and bright blonde hair are the things I remember most. The Club Libby Lu representative was “Tinkerbell” Jodie. She had her signature bright blonde hair with black flower accessory in it and I immediately liked her. She was warm, friendly and hilarious. I was in a group of about 6 high school girls. Although I probably looked like a high school student myself, I was fresh out of college with a degree in fashion and unemployed. I wasn’t sure what the heck I was doing, but I had heard about Club Libby Lu from one of my sorority sisters that was also a fashion major, so I thought I’d check it out. This is how my career started out with Club Libby Lu. Who would have thought that one of my first interviews after college would involve made up nicknames and sparkly fairy dust?
From there I ended up working as the Assistant Club Director underneath Sabrina. The next year was for sure a roller coaster of events, but one thing I was certain of was I, without a doubt, wanted to be a Club Director and I just had to be at the next Princess Ball! I wouldn’t have made it without Sabrina, she taught me the do’s and don’ts of management and of Club Libby Lu. Without her, I can honestly say I don’t think I would have survived! Below is one of my favorite pictures of us when we were a Club Director and Assistant Club Director team at 809 Oak Park.


Upon Sabrina’s departure from Oak Park onto a bigger (and newer) store I began my search for that perfect Assistant Club Director. After six months I finally found her, err, actually she found me. Senior Club Counselor, Jenny from 833 Independence was interested. I have to admit, at first I was unsure. I had just gotten out of an okay (not bad, just okay) relationship with an ACD that just didn’t make the cut. Was I up for another one? Jenny came over to work with me one day to see if we meshed well. We hit it off right away. Almost immediately I knew we would be a great team, I was ready for her to make the permanent move over to Oak Park straight away! Jenny stayed calm when I got that crazy gleam in my eyes. Jenny was my voice of reason when I had some crazy, far out there idea. There were many a Saturdays where I wondered if she could read my mind and if I could actually read hers. We could tell when the other just needed a break, or when we were sick of running the floor and just wanted to do a makeover! When I decided to hand over the club to her and move on, it was definitely bittersweet. Oak Park was my first store and will probably always be my favorite, but I couldn’t imagine passing the torch onto a better person. Today she’s one of my best friends, and one of the first people I call when I have big news, need a shoulder to cry on or just someone to laugh with.




After opening the Downtown Disney club I do not recall a single Club Libby Lu employee that did not desperately want to see it. Rumors were flying that they had a “pink carpet,” a stage and celebrities in and out of their doors.
Perhaps the celebrity sightings were true…
I was no different. I was determined to someday go to Disneyland and see this amazing store I had built up in my head. So, when the day came that I found out I had won a trip out to Downtown Disney for the Pink Twinkle Party, I think I was more excited about seeing the club then meeting one of the stars of High School Musical, Ashley Tisdale. Almost immediately after walking in the store I knew I loved the energy there, it was busy all the time and how could you not be happy in Disneyland?! There were so many kids there hoping for a glimpse of Ashley and perhaps her autograph, I have to be honest, it sort of overwhelmed me. I felt bad having that access to her, when all these other kids were so infatuated with her. So, I stayed near the front of the club and let the party with Ashley continue in the back of the club. This is when Mary walked up to me and asked if I had a chance to meet her yet. I remember sort of giggling and saying, “No, I would rather the kids get to meet her! They deserve it!” That’s when she grabbed my hand, and pulled me over to her. I shook Ashley’s hand and got my picture taken with her as well as autographs for my team and a few regular VIP’s at my club. I will never forget it!



Even after leaving Club Libby Lu after 2007, I still felt a part of the CLL family. When I spoke of the company, I always caught myself saying “We’re doing this…”, “We feel this way…” even though I wasn’t technically a part of the “we” anymore. When I decided to come back, I was welcomed back warmly and it was such a good feeling! To people outside the CLL family they will never understand why I am grateful to have returned to a company that has to close its doors. I don’t think anyone outside looking in can understand, but I feel blessed to have been a part of this process and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Club Libby Lu has done so much for me between 2004- now, this is the least I can do for them. After we close I will be taking away memories of the best job I have ever had (and probably the most fun I will ever have), amazing lifelong friends and skill sets that I could not have learned anywhere else.
Thank you so much, I will never forget.


4 comments:

Valley Girl said...

I am so sad to hear that Libby Lu is closing! I thought it was such a great idea and I wish it was around when I was a little girl! =(

Lesli said...

Amber, this was a great post-very poignant and bittersweet and so well written (I felt like I was there). Okay, I admit your post brought tears to my eyes because your love & passion for Club Libby Lu was so very clear. You had such amazing experiences there & made lifelong friends & learned wonderful skills --I know your next endeavor will be fabulous too. You are very lucky to have felt so passionate about a company and a career--that doesn't happen to everybody! Oh, and the next place you go to will be very lucky to have YOU!

Princess Extraordinaire said...

Thats so sad that it's closing...I hope you finds something you love after CLL - you were as good to them as they were to you!

Amber said...

Thank you so much for your sweet comments! This week is definitely hard, they are tearing down all the clubs and emptying them of all furniture.