26 Feb Once “The Madame”, Always The Madame…
Curious minds have asked over the years how “The Madame” became the moniker I use when referring to myself in social media posts, and what has become my “title” at the shop. At the risk of sounding self important enough to refer to oneself in the 3rd person, this nom de plume actually was bestowed in quite an amusing fashion by an unsuspecting customer in the first incarnation of the shop back in 2015. And so the story goes…
It was a dark and stormy night… A lonely shop owner sat behind a desk, listening to Dead Can Dance and pondering her life choices when an unassuming gentleman approached. This gentleman greeted said shop owner with “Hello, Madame“. The shop owner found this quite formal of a greeting, but politely responded in kind, curious as to why the gentleman chose that particular greeting. Thrice the gentleman used this particular phrase, and thrice the shop owner squinted her brow at each mention. This shop owner did not possess a mysterious lack of facial expression (and obviously wasn’t quick on the uptake), and so, as the conversation carried on, the gentleman, recognizing the perplexed face of the shop owner, pointed upon the desk where a plaque sat, freshly purchased and awaiting its day on the shop floor. This plaque said “Madame“.
The gentleman explained that, as he approached the desk, he assumed the plaque was a name plate of sorts, referring to the person sitting behind the desk. The shop owner, a witch, cackled with delight! The gentleman deemed that she should be referred to as such henceforth and forthwith, to which she gladly agreed. The plaque was immediately hung on the wall, never to be sold. The gentleman walked into the night, never to be seen again. The Madame, however, well…she lived to tell this tale.
Over the years, this moniker has taken on a life of its own, being as much of a shield for an introverted business owner, as it is an expression of the humor, wit, and cheekiness of that business owner. The name works so well with the innuendo that is infused in so many of my social media posts (Crystal dicks? Penis candles?), with references to my staff as “my girls”, right down to the bordello red color of our walls, and is a respectful nod to the female business owners of bygone eras, regardless of the industry.
So if you meet me in person, please know that while I do answer to “The Madame” when called, using my given name is just fine.
~ Shawnee – The non-mysterious un-poker-faced introverted owner of Alchemy & Ashes, also known by fellow weirdos and witches as “The Madame“.