I can’t easily write a simple good bye because the reason for the good bye is not simple.
And so I will share a stream of consciousness.
I would like to explain why there will be no more Amé Amé in NYC, but it’s kind of like trying to explain to somebody who’s never been to the East Village or the West Village, or has never created something after visiting the Garment District and Flower District, or has never enjoyed the friendly interactions with the people who work in a grimy deli that opened its doors long before there was Stumptown Coffee from Portland, Oregon why it’s heart breaking what’s happening to NYC.
Change is inevitable but there are good reasons for change, bad reasons for change, and sad reason for change.
And we need to not be afraid to stand up (and maybe march or start a candle light vigil) for our feelings and beliefs that there are bad changes and sad changes happening in NYC.
I’ve been staying out of the Trump fights about building a wall with Mexico. I see where everybody is coming from.
And honestly I kind of would like to build a wall around NYC that wouldn’t allow businesses like Nordstrom, Filson, REI, and other brands that never began in NYC to not be allowed in NYC. And I’m saying this as a woman who grew up as a girl in the State of Washington and who appreciates these brands very much – back home in Washington. Now it’s not that I don’t actually want to allow competition in NYC from outsiders. Healthy, fair competition is good.
My big beef with the outsiders is that we don’t have a lot of fairness going on in NYC right now and we need to deal with the unfairness that’s not supporting the kind of NYC that most New Yorkers want, which includes small, local, home grown businesses. (I started Ame Ame in NYC after already going to college in New Jersey for four years and fully started Ame Ame after living in NYC for nearly 5 years).
Now back to Trump, his Mexico wall, and feelings and how it all related to why there will be no more Ame Ame in NYC. (And please note that I’m quite upset with all parties right now, and sometimes dream of starting my own party that would be a hybrid of the republicans, democrats, libertarians, and green party )
Donald Trump is either crazy (which is possible because I would argue that much of this country has started to go crazy due to greed, power and or a lack of quality love and quality relationships and human connections in their life) or he’s got a lot of pent up feelings and emotions that he just never knew how to express because he was so busy running the reality show the apprentice that millions and millions of non-Trump voters watched and subscribed to, tolerating that there could only be winners and losers.
Non-stop competition is what we’ve been feeding our minds with for nearly two decades, when the first Survivor aired on TV followed by countless other competitive shows like the Bachelor and Bachelorette.
Survivor aired in 2000, so what was different between partying in 1999 and entering 2000?
Well first let’s remember the rampant fear that ran through this country about Y2K. Then of course there was 9/11.
So after much of this country canned every vegetable they had and stocked up their basement with batteries and flashlights from fear of Y2K we started to fear for our lives being triggered every time we went to the airport and had to take our shoes off.
And we started to get a ton of TV telling us we’ve got to survive and compete and beat somebody.
There was also “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” which started in Britain in 1998, and started to make us all believe that we can become Millionaires with just a few simple questions. And let’s not forget about The Karadashians and Paris Hilton and every other person we allowed to flaunt wealth on TV without showing any hard work done to earn that welath.
And of course we eventually got a few years later starting around 2005 an explosion of young boys and some women being paid millions of dollars by VCs and other investors who generally only have two feelings “Greed and Fear” (as one VC who wasn’t quite like most other VCs said in a conversation I was privy too).
These boys, men, and women have been paid to build up companies that either create apps that really don’t create value add to society or else compete against and destroy other companies that are already trying to take care of a problem.
Competition, Greed, Fear, and bad quality television and other sources of media or entertainment are eating up this country, paralyzing it, and perhaps destroying it.
And we’re all some how accountable, if at the very least by not getting particularly involved to stop what we don’t like see happening.
Two plus years ago, trusting in Good Faith and Fair Dealings,I invested into a brand I had already been dealing with faithfully for 6 months.
That brand then opened a flagship store in NYC without warning me.
And this company greedily then forced me to keep all the inventory I had invested my entire buying budget into and bit and bit drown my business through a number of other not so fair behavior.
Only those who have been small retail owners without any partners and very little cash (which is most of the small mainstreet boutiques) could understand how devastating and unexpected such an event would be for Ame Ame and it’s a miracle that I treaded water and survived as long as I did.
I have been warned by lawyers that I must be very careful so as to not be sued for defamation, but I know that what I said above is completely true.
And I’m not going to accuse the company of sexism or racism.
But I think I can say that does it not seem impossible that the new head NYC sales guy who was suddenly managing the NYC Flagship store (hmmm, conflict of interest don’t you think) maybe feared that some 16 year old looking woman was actually going to outdo their flagship because she had chosen a smarter location by being across from the Ace Hotel and even had a store bigger than the flagship.
And is it not ok to believe that the company feared that I was going to go against the grain of their marketing and branding when one of the very heads of the company wrote to me in their final email to me”we are re-evaluating our retailers to identify those that best merchandise and represent XXXXXX in a way that we see as consistent with our brand image.”
Well if you look at their instagram you will see that their photos almost exclusively show off the classic white person you’d expect to find in Montana on ranch or in the Woods of Alaska.
And if you look at Ame Ame and me, we are right next door to as Mosque and I have helped some of the guys who came to pray be able to afford the high quality bags from this brand by allowing them to purchase using layaway (a practice that almost no retailer does these days). You’ll also notice in my instagram feed that i have a very diverse following of customers.
As I stated at the begining of this it’s ok to have feelings. And if somebody wants to sue me for having feelings – well then bring it on and the entire world will realize the men of this company acted as pirates who tried to kill and drown a mermaid.
Yes a mermaid I am because as Anis Nin once write “I must be a mermaid as I have no fear of depths and only a great fear of shallow living.”
And what this one particular company did to Amé Amé was shallow behavior to say the least.
And need you be reminded of the definition of shallow, then shallow as defined by Vocabulary.com (which I guess is some new company that thought they should compete with Dictionary.com instead of trying to solve a more important problem) is….
an adjective that can describe things that aren’t very deep, like a shallow puddle, or people who don’t have much emotional or intellectual depth, like shallow people who judge others on their looks and how much money they have.
In the vein of Evita, please don’t cry for me.
I have no fear of the future and will prove that this challenge and setback was simply an opportunity in disguise.
Please Adventure & Celebrate everyday and keep creating and enjoying the charm and romance of life.
xxoo, with lots of love, hugs, and appreciation for ever so much,
ps: thank you anybody who did manage to read my stream of conscious good bye.
And while there will be no Ame Ame with lots of cool rain gear and travel gear I intend to find investors who can help me not just add back into NYC the charm that Ame Ame had created, but also help me change the world to be something more positive, fair, and hopefully less shallow.
And whatever I do next – I hope to still continue to offer the world fantastic umbrellas and delicious sweets, like chocolate covered gummy beras.
RIP New York’s Rain Gear and Candy shop.