Day 92: Thank you's to Pistachio

by Sarah Devika Sumnauth

I feel like the last 3 years of my life have been dedicated to green beauty.  In that time my world has grown and changed in ways I never would have guessed possible, and, almost totally inadvertently too.

My history pretty much began with a job at Pistachio, an environmental offshoot of Indigo, the book giant.  I was handing out 10 resumes at Yorkdale mall with my boyfriend one random week day. With only one resume left in my hand he encouraged me to walk into Pistachio and to be honest I had no clue what the store was or even what they sold. Talk about not doing your research first.

But what happened when I walked in there with my confidence on was pretty miraculous and would set the tone of the next 3 years. I got an interview on the spot and thankfully my old manager, Sher, who’s an incredible makeup artist, was there with Jen, the woman who would eventually become the most fabulous buyer for the store.  They asked me the basic questions and it wasn’t until they asked me one question in particular that I saw their eyes light up.  Sher asked me, how would I describe a product and so I grabbed a jar of honey off the nearest table which I noticed had a sign for local harvest and also had “The 100 Mile Diet” on it. So I said that I would most likely say that it was sustainably made and local, both things that were actually true about the jar of honey which I later found out came from a local farmer in Caledon.  Both of them lit up at what to my ears sounded kind of lame and on the spot, and they gave each other a knowing look and said they would get back to me.

I waited to hear back but couldn’t hold out and had to take another job at La Senza.  That job could have been the end for me but something told me to follow up.  When I called Sher back she said she had to figure out some budget and payroll stuff before she could move forward which I interpreted as a no.  So when I got the call back two weeks later I was astounded.  I had pretty much given up all but the smallest hope.  But I knew I couldn’t stay where I was and so I quit and accepted the offer and never looked back.

Working at Pistachio was a wonderful experience because it gave me an invaluable introduction to the Green industry. I was constantly learning about new brands in all categories, like paper products, kids and baby clothes and toys, Eco-homewares, gift product and books and my favorite, Green Beauty. It was fun to unpack shipments and this is where I got all of my ability to merchandise and make things look good too.  Product trainings were always novel experiences for me because they always reflected the ideas and theories I was learning in school, in reality.  I felt my mind and spirit grow as my time with Pistachio grew and I learned more about the business too.

So today all I can say is thank you.  I feel like that experience, with all of it’s knowledge, up and downs and crazy busy moments taught me so much about how I wanted to view the world and gave me many ideal models for success. I learned how to navigate a totally new world and began to hone the skills that would lead me to start up Urban Minerals.  So thank you Pistachio. Thank you for being so incredible and for teaching me so much and for being so GREEN.  Without you, I would absolutely not be where I am today.
And here’s the lesson in all of this.  Never give up!  If you really want to work somewhere, follow up, follow up, follow up!  You never know what the outcome may be.  That could be the experience of your career, the game changer.  And by following up, at least you know that you tried, right?  Go forth, and follow up all!