On Wednesday, November 14th, Pacific Centre held their annual I am downtown shopping event. I hadn’t actually heard about it until this year but now that I know what I’ve been missing out on, I’ll be sure to continue attending in the future. I was at the food court in Pacific Centre a couple weeks ago with my mom, grabbing a bite to eat before going to the Vancouver Symphony, when I noticed a sign on the table advertising the shopping event. It intrigued me, but then I forgot about it. Fortunately, I happened to be at the food court again later that week, getting food before going to the Comedy Mix. This time, I picked up the sign and googled the event. I have class on Wednesday nights, but I hadn’t missed one yet, and this seemed like it might be a good enough reason to finally do so. I thought I would see if anyone was interested in going, and if they were, then I would do it.
I didn’t really know what to expect. But I knew I wanted to purchase a VIP ticket. The event was free for anyone, but for $20, you could purchase a VIP ticket that gave you a VIP swag bag filled with samples and coupons, as well as access to the VIP cupcake lounge. The $20 also went to their partner charity, Coast Mental Health. There was no reason not to get one. So I did.
The event ran from 5-9pm, but I arrived after 6pm since I was coming from work. The swag bag was so worth it. Best $20 I’ve ever spent. I got a free umbrella, which was convenient, since I had left mine on the bus just the day before. I also got a $20 gift card to GUESS, a $5 gift card to Take 5 Cafe, body lotion, a hair product sample, a shoe horn (I know, who even uses those things?), a coupon for a free smoothie at Orange Julius, a Fashion magazine, and an eco bag. Two eco bags, actually, because there was another bag inside the swag bag. I also got a $10 shop card for filling out a form that was in my swag bag and redeeming it at Guest Services.
Over by Sears, or should I say where Sears used to be, there was a wheel that you could spin to win prizes. The first time I spun it, I got an H&M coupon for $5. Yes, I spun it a couple more times after that, because I could. We had a few hours so we had time to come back and line up again throughout the night. I ended up also getting two $5 shop cards from the wheel as well. I love that wheel. I wish it was there all the time. But alas, it was just a one time thing.
My friend and I purchased VIP tickets, but two of my friends did not. So they couldn’t come into the VIP cupcake lounge with us. Which was basically an area outside Aritzia with little mini cupcakes from Cupcakes. So we went in and sampled a few. And then I took a couple and gave them to my friends after leaving the area. Apparently the people manning the “lounge” gave me dirty looks as I did so. But whatever. I paid for this. I can share my cupcakes if I want to. Because I’m a nice person.
Across from the cupcake lounge, there was music playing and a booth from David’s Tea. They’ll be opening up a location in Pacific Centre some time soon. They had tea samples for us to try, so I sampled the cocomint cream herbal tea, which was a nice blend of coconut and peppermint. It was very refreshing and went perfectly with the cupcakes. The guy there also gave us coupons for a free tea at a David’s Tea location. I’ll be sure to go redeem it at Oakridge, probably for the cocomint cream.
At 6:30, there was a fashion show just outside of H&M, displaying the men’s and women’s fall fashions of Holt Renfrew and other retailers. I thought back to when I went to Vancouver Fashion Week, and how skinny the models were. These ones were super skinny too, but not as extremely so. In watching this fashion show, I got to achieve one of my goals: Eating cupcakes in front of models. I don’t know why, but for some reason getting to do this made me really happy. The male models were kind of good looking and my friend was sorry she didn’t bring her camera. I think we got some pretty decent photos with our phones though.
After the fashion show, we headed downstairs where there was a seminar about how to wear different items of clothing. You know, in case we couldn’t figure that out on our own. It was nice because it gave us a chance to sit down.
And after that, they informed us of the photo shoot area, where we could get our picture taken in front of a Fashion Magazine backdrop. Two of my friends and I got our photo taken and they gave us each a copy to take home. We also did individual shoots, which will appear on their website. I totally felt like a model. Not necessarily a good model. But a model, nevertheless.
There was also a Sweet Court area just below the elevator with various samples. There were cookies, popcorn, and Orange Julius smoothies. We went through there several times and my dinner pretty much consisted of cupcakes, cookies, and smoothies. And a tiny piece of sesame chicken, since there were samples when I walked by the food court. There were different kinds of cookies and they were all very small, so my friend asked if we could take more than one. The cookie lady looked upset by this. The second time I went through, there were only two cookies on her plate, and the two people ahead of me took them. Instead of taking out more cookies from her box, she just stood there and sort of looked at me. After I left, she slowly began to put out more. We didn’t understand why she was rationing them like that. It was her job to give out samples in order to promote them. When I saw her put more out, I went back and took one. Because I deserved it.
There were a lot of sales and promotions going on at the various retailers as well that we were able to check out, but I didn’t actually buy anything that day. I wasn’t in the mood for shopping at the I am downtown shopping event. Go figure. But there was so much else going on that it was okay.
The event was amazing, but the best and most exciting part of the night was yet to come. Stay tuned to read my next post, I Am Downtown Shopping, Part 2: The Pretty Penny Contest.