It was a hot Sunday at the Farmers Market. I was putting ice cubes around the balms and oils like they were oysters when a woman came into the booth with a man behind her. She picked up the tester of our neck cream. “Will this help me?” She tugged at her neck. I lowered my sunglasses to get a good look. “How old are you?” I always start there. “Seventy-six.” She replied. “You look amazing. I know sixty-year-olds who’d kill for your neck.”
“I keep telling her that,” the man said. She whirled on him. “You should talk, Carl, you never take care of yourself.” She pulled him over to the table and thrust his arm at my face. His skin was flakey, irritated, red, splotchy. Everything you don’t want in an arm. “You play a lot of golf, Carl?” I asked. “Every day. I’ve had all these bits and pieces removed. Got to wear a long-sleeved shirt. I’m beginning to ask myself if it’s even worth it.” That was just too sad.
I grabbed my personal bottle of Restore+Repair Oil with one hand and his arm with the other. I put a few pumps on him. “Looks like baby poop,” he said. As I rubbed the oil into his tortured skin, I told him about the shamans in the Rainforest and how they’d used Acai oil and Andiroba oil for centuries to cure everything from shingles to leprosy, not that I was making Carl any claims or promises. He wasn’t sold on the idea and sniffed his arm suspiciously.
“Okay, Carl. Here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to give you this bottle of Restore+Repair. You’re going to take it and put some on your arms every day. Twice a day even. Then you’re going to report back next week.”
Carl squinted at me like I was the worst businesswoman ever. “I was in sales for fifty years,” he said, “and I never heard it recommended that you give your product away.” “Take it,” I said. He put the bottle in his pocket and shambled away muttering to his wife that she should mind her own business.The following Sunday, Carl appeared alone. “You know that stuff you gave me?” he said, “It works”. He pushed his arm at me like a slow motion punch. “I’m going to need two more. And I’ll take one of those neck creams for my wife.” I handed him the bag with his products. He handed me two hundreds. I laid the bills in the cash envelope and made his change. “Keep it,” he said. “Wow, Carl, thanks. So I’m not a terrible businesswoman?” “Not bad at all,” Carl said. P.S. When JustUs Skincare added our subscription app, guess who was our first subscriber? Carl.