a woman arrived at the corner of 6th avenue south and south lander street on friday afternoon, and was soon joined by her daughter. the two women had seahawks chairs, a seahawks blanket, and a portable space heater. they were fully equipped, and were about to voluntarily spend the night on a sidewalk in seattle’s industrial district, in january.
the next morning, tracy morgan, glassybaby retail manager, arrived at the warehouse to see a line of people extending and curling all the way around the block. the sun still had not come up. more people had arrived in the middle of the cold midwinter night.
but spirits were high. a coffee cart served hot drinks and pastries. people in line met and got to know their neighbors. in the cold, dark morning, hearts were warm, and excited to see lights.
inside the warehouse, tracy joined a small meeting of the all-woman team who was working that saturday. each worker stated the number of seconds sales that she had worked before: the high was 34 (!) and the low, of course, was zero. those who said zero received stickers that said “first-timer,” the same sticker which would be passed out to first-time seconds sale shoppers. you can never forget your first time.
tracy took her position near the front door where, at 7:45 am, the winners of a “first-in-line” contest held on social media entered and got to browse all the colors for fifteen minutes before the sale opened to the public. tracy wasn’t worried. she had already taken her pick from the seconds a day early (perk of the job), and had chosen five. two short, chubby ones because she loves that shape of glassybaby, two whites, and a glorious red with a transparent, almost heart-shaped hole in the wall, pictured above. some seconds, tracy says, are actually better than the original glassybaby. they can be even more unique and charming.
at 8, the doors opened, and the line began slowly moving in. tracy handed people flashlights to simulate the way a glassybaby would look lit (no fires allowed) and 16-pack boxes to store them in. it was a little hectic, of course, helping so many people navigate in and out of a fairly small space with fragile glass votives. it was hectic replacing all the stock on tables as people bought color after color. but it was also fun. tracy met hundreds of people who were new to glassybaby. women brought their husbands. pregnant women came to choose colors for their nurseries.
“it was a great group,” tracy said. “friendly and nice. lots of people made friends. meeting people in line is good. better than meeting people online.”
by the end of the sale, at around 3, everyone who came and lined up to shop for glassybaby seconds had gotten to shop for glassybaby seconds. there was no mad rush. no collisions of shopping carts or handbag smackdowns.
there was a table by the door, where there sat representatives from fred hutchinson’s cancer care alliance, thanking everyone who came through, because 10% of all the day’s purchases went to support their wonderful organization.
thank you to all who came on saturday for making the seconds sale a memorable celebration of perfect imperfection.