LA River School

Love and business — two separate entities


On a windy Valentine’s Day in El Sereno, I worked in my family’s small business named American Wholesale. We sell flower arrangements, balloons, candy, and almost anything to ensure that you have a lovely Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is an unusual day because even though we are open five days a week, it’s the time we receive the most sales. Valentine’s Day is a day of business and competition; between our store, merchants selling off the side of freeway exits, and other business establishments. The vendors off the street corners or freeways are illegally practicing the use of sale.IMG_0280[1]

When you’re in competition with other business, you can’t lay back. You have to give it all you got. If adding more roses to a flower arrangement or tying off more heart shape balloons to the outside of your store makes more money, then so be it. What really agitates business establishments this time of year is off-road flower sales people. They don’t pay taxes to sell for such cheap teddy bears and ugly wilting flowers.

“Dispatch calling to Adam twelve. Two illegal merchants on Valley and Boca.” Here comes the police. It’s Valentine’s Day and my dad begins to drive around locally near the store, but he is not driving to pick up lunch. He keeps an eye out for street vendors selling illegally. When he finds some vendors, my dad calls the police. By allowing proper authorities to take care of the matter, we are able to continue business with more income. We know that when a customer is in the El Sereno area, the chances that they will buy our merchandise is greater.IMG_0286[1]

In the business world, there will always be competition. Competition can be unfair, but that’s why we have the law to balance out the playing field. I do feel the illegal vendors have a say in this topic because they themselves are probably going through hard times. At the same time, you have really think about their actions.

In a state like California, with so many opportunities to get the simplest job and still manage to have a roof over your head, there is almost no excuse to sell illegally just to earn sloppy money and sacrifice community business. With my family barely making the bills, every dollar counts and it is my job to ensure that by doing my duties, such as assist in making flower arrangements, cashier, security, stock merchandise, loading, and assist in deliveries.

Since the day my parents and I opened American Wholesale, I have received a whole different view on Valentine’s Day, including selling in general.