I stared down at the print in my hands. I knew what I wanted, but now to do what I had to. I pulled my laptop from its case and got to work on my presentation for that afternoon.
I drove straight through to Seattle and my office downtown. I was ready for my presentation with Rockefeller Jewelers, but would it be enough? Bracing myself for the most important meeting of my career to date, I marched into the conference room where Mr. Peabody, Brad, Sarah, and a few other coworkers were preparing for the meeting. When they looked up and saw me I could see a distinct sense of relief fill their faces.
“Well, Miss Perkins, do you have a presentation ready for us?” Mr. Peabody asked briskly.
“Yes, I’m ready,” I said firmly, and an almost audible sigh of relief passed around the room.
Sarah slid over next to me as everyone finished getting the equipment and displays set up in the room.
“So, how was it?” she whispered, her eyes twinkling. “How was your trip? I didn’t hear anything from you, so either you had terrible cell service or you had a reeeally good time!”
I winked at Sarah and said, “What do you think?”
“Well, from the looks of your rosy cheeks and the smile on your face, I’d say that those island boys weren’t too disappointing.”
The door opened and a procession of five stern-faced executives from Rockefeller Jewelers entered the room. Here we go, I thought.
After several minutes of formalities the meeting got down to business. We were seated around a long conference table, the jewelry reps sitting shoulder to shoulder looking decidedly difficult to please. Mr. Peabody turned the floor over to me for my presentation.
I stood slowly, willing my heart to stop racing. This was my moment to shine.
I turned on the projector which was set up in the room, tapped a few keys on my laptop, and a series of images began to flash on the screen behind me. It was a time lapse series of images portraying a bustling city, a never-ending stream of people and vehicles moving from day into the night.
“We are all part of a busy, bustling world,” I said, indicating the scene flashing behind me. “In all our impersonal rushing around, there is something which gets lost along the way. As human beings we have a need to feel connected.”
A series of sappy romantic images flashed on the screen, looking like a Valentine’s Day advertisement with teddy bears and hearts.
“But when we find that person that is perfect for us, knows us inside and out, gives us the intense personal connection which we are craving, the sweet and subtle message of love that is portrayed in the majority of advertisements doesn’t feel like enough.”
A new series of time lapse images flash quickly on the screen, with bursts of bright and intense color. A green bud transitioning to a brilliant purple bloom. A beach with magnificent rolling waves crashing violently on the shore. A burst of magma erupting through the cracks of volcanic rocks.
“We want more than a simple expression, because what we feel is so much more than simple! What we want is passion!”
More series of images of blooming flowers and nature in intense motion flashed behind my back on the screen, moving faster and faster. The colors were vibrant and alive. Everyone’s eyes were glued onto the screen, and some of them even had their mouths slightly open. I noticed Sarah looking at me with a knowing smile and a raised eyebrow. Either this was a really great idea or it was a huge mistake! But there was no going back now!
“What we want is to feel. What we crave is to experience intensity. I propose that we start a new jewelry line that will help people discover their passion, whether it is something new and exciting, or igniting a flame that has been sizzling on low for thirty years. We can appeal to young and old alike, because passion speaks to everyone.”
Several heads started bobbing subtly. The execs from Rockefeller Jewelers exchanged sideways glances to gage the others’ reactions. I knew that I almost had them. At last the final slogan appeared on the screen against a dramatic backdrop of an exploding orange and gold sunset, with huge purple clouds billowing across the screen.
“FIND your passion. BE her rock. LIVE your dream. Rockefeller Jewelers.”
All was quiet for a moment, it felt like eternity. I could see the executives soaking in the idea, spinning it around in their heads, playing with the thought. They turned to each other murmuring quietly amongst themselves. None of my co-workers made a sound, waiting to hear their reaction.
Finally the head executive spoke, leaning forward in her chair.
“Miss Perkins, we like your idea. It has an edginess to it that appeals to Rockefeller Jewelers’ clients. Let’s meet again next week to review the campaign again and solidify our thoughts together, after we have had more time to marinate in this idea for a bit.”
My team stoically shook their heads in approval, not wanting to appear overly excited.
“Very well Natasha,” Mr. Peabody jumped in, rushing forward to shake her hand. “We will be contacting your office to set up the next conference.”
We waited until all five executives exited the room and finally let out a sudden “whoot!” Everyone grouped around me, issuing high fives and patting me on the back.
Sarah gave me a huge hug and cried, “You did it, girl!” Then she leaned in and whispered, “You have soooo much to tell me!”
Although Annie saved the day at work, check back tomorrow to see if she will have the same success with her personal life.