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January 22, 2014 by vh1161

Michelle is about 38, a fact belied by a raging wildfire of red hair.  She is engrossed by her new smart phone on which she’s typing up a stream-of-consciousness to-do list.  She wears anxious enthusiasm like a badge of honor, ideas tumbling from beneath her curls faster than her thumbs can record them.

MichelleShe’s going to be an entrepreneur, you see.  She’s going to shake the dust of her dreary accounting office off her feet and strike out on her own as a purveyor of gourmet lollipops.  It’s the trademark food item DC never knew it needed.  She texts her to-do list to her brother Kyle every week and they discuss it over the phone as she walks from the L’Enfant Plaza station to her office.  This is how today will go:

“1. TRADEMARK FLAVOR…???”  Kyle will break it to her gently that the sriracha ship sailed in 2012, but will encourage her to keep her ears to the ground for The Flavor of 2014.

“2. Develop logo, packaging.”  Michelle will explain that, “It needs to not be too hipster, but not too Reagan-era either, you know?? Like, a serif font is ok as long is it doesn’t just look like a 1970s car ad.  There are, like, so many hipsters slash foodies in DC who will totally get the point of gourmet lollipops.  But there are also, like, the upper crust people who don’t get the point but they want something distinctive and something that stands out in the DC food market to give to friends or clients.  So, like, I feel like I truly have something to offer everyone.”  On the other end of the line Kyle will take in a sharp breath and quietly count to ten, glad she can’t see that he checked out of this conversation five minutes ago.

“3.  Decide: Mobile shop vs. storefront vs. market stall vs. online shop.  Pros, cons?”  He won’t have the heart to tell her that he can’t imagine this concept ever being successful long enough for a storefront to be a worthwhile investment, so he’ll take the social media angle.  He’ll remind her how much fun those pop-up food trucks are, how people eagerly wait for the next location announcement, how it makes them feel special and exclusive…Definitely keep it simple — “but good simple, alluringly simple” — go with a mobile shop.

“5.  Name…?  Lolli Lobby, Capital Pops, LolPop…Help.”  Kyle will flounder.  “Huh…Let’s, um, let’s put a bookmark here for now, Michelle, and I’ll be thinking of some names for next week, ok?”

Kyle will hang up and walk into his counselor’s office, where he’ll spend the next hour describing his co-dependent sister and how hard it is to tell her the truth that will hurt.  Michelle will hang up, sit triumphantly in the squeaky swivel chair at her desk and survey her sad grey coworkers in their sad grey cubicles, and she’ll gloat over the secret knowledge that this is the year she’ll escape from their ranks for good.


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