(2014-05-01) Flowers Needed For Event
Flowers Needed For Event
Summary: Karen Starr stops by Sherwood Florist in hopes of securing help with the flowers for a charity event to be held at the Gotham Convention Center, and meets proprietress Dinah Lance.
Date: 2014-05-01
Related: None
Scene Runner: NA
Social/Plot: Plot

An hour or so before noon on a simple Thursday morning, the bells above the shop door of Sherwood Florist jingle, indicating the admittance of someone from the street. The young woman in question is tall and blonde, with a striking figure modestly downplayed but certainly not hidden by pretty casual streetwear: jeans that aren't painted-on, nor ripped up - artfully or not, a loose-fitting but tucked-in Metropolis University t-shirt, and matching purple-laced cross-trainers. A very small backpack rests on her shoulders. She wears glasses, but they look more like crystal clear sport goggles, like Oakleys or the like, with a curious flicker of light within. Her fingers are twitching for a few moments as she steps inside, and then still, the light flickering in the glasses going dim to better reveal those crystal blue eyes behind them.

The young woman glances around the shop a bit, sniffing various flowers and displays, stepping back to examine one and then the other critically, before she approaches the counter. "Morning. Do you folks deliver, by any chance?"

Dinah has just brought an armload of flowers from the back and is standing at one of the refrigerators to place them with her hip propping the door open. Her head turns automatically then the bell jingles, and the petite blonde offers a small smile. "Hi there! Just a sec, please." She's careful with the delicate blooms, and only when everything's put away does she turn to give the tall… REALLY tall… striking woman her full attention.

"I'm Dinah, and yes we certainly deliver. Depending on the location, of course. The range is really somewhere between Gotham and Georgia, but your mileage may vary. What's the occasion?"

Cheerful and relaxed, the taller blonde offers her hand to the smaller. "Hi, Dinah. I'm Karen. The occasion is actually a charity event I'm putting together, here in Gotham. I've done research, and apparently nice flowers are a big 'selling point' to getting people to loosen those purse strings and give a little more. And your shop came recommended." By whom? She does not say. But isn't it nice to be recommended?

Dinah brightens a bit more when the event is in Gotham, perhaps a bit relieved since the delivery van is really in need of a tune-up. And a transmission. She chuckles softly at the 'selling point' aspect of flowers and she nods. "I have to agree! Something about bright, fragrant blooms puts people 'in the mood', I suppose. Which is probably why we do a really good business around Valentine's Day." Hooking thumbs into the back pockets of her jeans, Dinah rocks a little on her heels before asking. "So how big is the event space, so we can plan arrangements?"

"Well, I was going to use the Gotham City Convention Center." Karen answers, smiling, as she relaxes a bit more with Dinah. Her fingers flicker a bit more, that sparkling light in her glasses picking up now. "Looks like the main hall is one-hundred twenty feet long, approximately forty-six feet wide, with twenty foot ceilings. And I'm seeing an overlook space on the river, twenty-five feet deep and forty feet long." The sparkling lights dim after a few more flicks of her fingers. "Sorry about that. I just find it easier to look it up." Truth is, Karen has the memory to pull it all without running another search. But her public persona shouldn't be /that/ damned perfect, and she has a lifetime of playing things down just enough. "I was thinking of a slightly wilder, almost tropical theme for the overlook, and a more tame, but bright and cheerful, very 'green' look in the main hall. If you had something that would look good in water settings, that could be really nice."

Dinah whistles low, nodding. She picks up a notebook and a pencil to start scratching notes. "Convention Center, hmm? That's a big place, alright." Does she notice the sparkling light in the glasses? Likely not, at least not at first. Then at the apology she does look up and squints, leaning in a bit. "Look it up…?" No, Dinah's definitely NOT up on the latest tech. "So how about some ferns, perhaps? Or some nice, lush broad-leaf plants. Very big."

"That would be great." Karen offers, smiling. She notices Dinah looking at her glasses and grins. "Here. I'll show you." she offers, reaching up to pull the glasses off, turning them around and offering them to Dinah to slip on. They adjust reasonably easily down to Dinah's smaller face, wrapping completely around her vision.

At first, they are crystal clear. But when Karen's fingers start flickering, suddenly in the upper left corner of Dinah's gaze would appear a search box - with the little magnifying-glass icon - and the words 'gotham convention center'. Then a swirling progress icon, and then search results appear. They're pretty unobtrusive, scaled down. A tap and a click, and the Convention Center website opens. Another brings up the maps, and another makes the map of the Center's main hall take over Dinah's vision, a soft grey haze falling over her sight so that the lines of the image being displayed are more visible than what is beyond the glasses. "They're StarGaze smart glasses, connected to my StarkPhone."

After Dinah is done with the tech, Karen will gladly take them back, slipping them on as she resets them. "Full introductions: I'm Karen Starr." It's a moderately famous name, though admittedly more known to science and tech folks than, say, florists. But still, a lot of 'everyday folks' know her name.

Dinah blinks as Karen pulls the glasses off, not expecting this at all. Then they're slipped on, and she's still adjusting them when Karen starts fiddling with the interface. "Oh! Now -this- is different. I don't even -own- a computer, much less one I can wear like glasses." She just stands there, mesmerized by all the information that's flickering and then scrolling past. "StarGaze….? Whatzit-phone?" Yeah, might as well be speaking Chinese. Except Dinah -understands- that.

Then the glasses come off and are -gingerly- handed back. Never can be too careful, after all! "Karen… Starr? As in THE Karen Starr? Wow, -really- nice to meet you." Yeah, at least Dinah watches the news. Or she reads the paper.

Karen grins as Dinah clicks to her name. "Not everyone is quite ready for wearable computing like the glasses. But I think they're part of where technology is headed, for the betterment of everyone. So I'm trying to help." She holds up her phone. "This is the 'computer'. My cellphone. The glasses become a screen, so I don't look down and away from people or where I'm going. And I'm also wearing the watch, which measures my finger movements when I cue it, as if I'm on a keyboard, as imput to the phone's apps." Hence the finger flickering.

"I won't even ask how you keep the books for this place without a computer. I know it can be done by hand, but I can't imgagine working that hard at it." Karen admits, with a grin. She's still supportive, though. Everyone has their ways, and she isn't going to criticize. "I like the idea of the ferns and fronds, especially for the overlook. Do you think we can find a flower and fern combo that could work in open bowls of water, as the centerpieces to the tables?"

Dinah chuckles and looks at the glasses, shaking her head. "I think I'd walk right into somebody if I wore those around all the time. I've tried to get around on computers before, and I've gotten lost on the Internet. Every try hitchhiking on the Information Super-Highway?" Tilting her head, she nods as the device is explained but it's pretty clear that most of it passes into the right ear and back out the left.

"Oh, and I keep books the old-fashioned way. I've got a ledger with orders and addresses, and don't be shocked when I give you a paper receipt. Although we -did- go carbonless a few months ago." she offers proudly. Folding arms over her chest, she rests a hip against the counter and adds. "I know I'm technologically-impaired, but I've got a system that works for me." Looking thoughtful as the conversation turns back to plants, she considers for a moment. "How about something like water lillies? It's a spring plant so I'll have to order some in from down south, but I should be able to get some."

Karen smiles brightly at Dinah and nods. "It's OK. Just don't be offended if I scan in your paper receipt, and we'll be fine. I don't demand everyone work the way I do. That would be silly. I just want those that can benefit to get the opportunity. What they do with that opportunity is their choice." She tries to be kind to hitchhikers on the Information Super-Highway. Like the little old grandma from Pasadena.

"Oooh. Water lilies with small ferns to add some color would be perfect. And I'll gladly pay an uptick so you can order them from down south to get here in plenty of time. Don't worry about that." Karen trusts Dinah to know where to order the best flowers, and what to order. Since that knowledge isn't something she has, she'll pay the premium for it gladly. It's a sign of respect to a fellow professional. "Do you need to see the space in person, in advance, to plan this out? Or will maps be enough until the day of the event?"

Dinah considers for a moment, making mental notes as well as scratching furiously on, of all things, her steno pad. "I'd appreciate that, yes. And I'll pull together what I'd need for the initial order. I think you're in the phone book." Grin. "I can go over and take a look at the place, unless you've got some time this afternoon. Always helps with the visualization."

Putting the pad down and tucking the pencil behind her ear, she leans against the counter again and tilts her head to look up at the taller blonde. "So tell me a little about your charity, Karen. Now that my creative juices are flowing, it might spark other ideas as well."

"I am in the phone book. But I'll gladly give you my private number, since you're working to help me." Karen offers, extending her hand towards Dinah's ear to pilfer the pencil in question, then writing down her phone number on the steno pad. Her handwriting isn't crabbed and awful; in fact, it is elegant and clean, like architectural drawing, with precision. "There. See?" She even reaches up to tuck the pencil back in, though she surrenders it to Dinah of the other woman reaches up for it.

"Why don't I call us a cab, and we can head over and look at the space now? And we can talk about my charity on the way." Karen offers, and makes that phone call unless Dinah has another plan in mind.

"So, my charity is intended to help the less fortunate to ahve better access to opportunities." Karen explains. "I'm going to donate the tech, at least to get us started. The plan is to get businesses to buy in by telling us what technical skills they want from employees. Then they get first pick of folks who have been through the program and completed their coursework. When they hire someone from the program, they get a cost break on their taxes equal to half of the salary they pay in the first year, a quarter the second year, and an eighth in the third year. The program will also teach open courses to the public, and employ its own graduates to teach those courses." It's clear Karen is very passionate about this, and wants to help in the way she understands.

Dinah tilts her head just a bit as Karen plucks the pencil from behind her ear, responding with a grin. And she laughs at the woman's demonstrated proficiency with such crude devices, definitely appreciating the humor. "Sure thing! Lemme just flip the sign around and lock up. My assistant has the day off today." Striding casually over to the door, she checks to make sure she has her keys and fiddles with the lock. The front door has an old-fashioned 'Open' sign, which she flips over to 'Closed'.

Whistling low at the mentioned tax breaks, she shakes her head. "I'm not gonna ask how you managed to swing the tax breaks. Got friends in high places, I'm guessing? That's gotta be Congressional, at the very least." Flipping the light switch, she opens the door and gestures. "After you."

Karen grins, and follows Dinah out the door, watching as the woman locks up her shop. "Actually, that part was just me making use of laws that have already been passed. Those tax breaks were put in place just a few years ago to help combat the sharp rise in unemployment. The challenge for us is just making sure that our graduates qualify, and are attractive hires for the companies." So she's just really, really good at research. Not necessarily at strong-arming federal politicians.

"I wanted to get into diving tech to schools, especially to disadvantaged kids who didn't have the money for it. But people I respect told me that could be dangerous, as it could make my kids targets for others in their communities. Jealousy and greed. I don't want that. I'm not out to make them victims, but to give them the advantages and resources to climb up and better their own lives. So I'm starting with this program, while studying the right way to get this tech into the hands of the kids who need it." Short version: Karen is a smart woman, and clearly takes responsibility for even the unintended consequences of her actions.

Dinah leaves first, flipping the latch so it locks behind Karen. She's surprised to discover that there are existing laws on the books to cover everything, and her expression doesn't hide it well. "Huh? Really? It's all in place already? I would never have thought about it that way." Taking a few steps out to the curb, she nods in agreement. "I've seen the jealousy and intimidation before, especially from some of the rougher neighborhoods. What you're doing -does- seem to make the most sense."

"Thanks. It's good to hear positive feedback on the idea from someone who doesn't work for me, or in my industry." Karen offers, as she hails the cab she called, opening the door for Dinah and then sliding in herself, telling the cabbie to head for the convention center. "It's all just my best attempt at giving back. I've had a pretty darned good life, and my brain and my talents with tech have been a big part of that. I want others to have those same opportunities." It's far from the only thing that Karen Starr does with StarrWare, Inc. to help the world. But it's something more people can understand. "So. How did you get into plants and floral arranging?" she asks of Dinah. Sharing should be a two-way street, after all.

Dinah waits for the cab, nodding. One the way out she grabbed a leather motorcycle jacket that fits her comfortably well, and she slips it on. Flipping her long hair out, she shrugs at the question for her. "I sort of came by it honestly, I guess. My mom used to run the shop, and when she left town she signed it over to me." More or less. "You might say it's a family business." Yeah, like beating up criminals dressed in fishnets. Ahem.

"Cool. I came by my love of computers and tech pretty honestly, too. My dad is a programmer. Well, he was. Now he's the CEO of StarrWare." Karen may be the face and the name of the company, but she's not the CEO. Of course, the reason why comes next. "It was a deal we made, when I wanted to start the company. He agreed to it, and let me do it, but only if he was the CEO, at least until I graduate with my Engineering degree. It has been a good plan. Bankers and business types are a lot more comfortable with an older guy at the helm than a blonde coed." She grins at that, clearly amused. "Do you like the family business? You certainly seem to have a good aptitude for it."

Dinah chuckles at the mention of a blonde coed running a company, and she nods. "Oh, I certainly understand. Took my mom a while to take me seriously as well." Although not as a florist, to be sure. "But yeah, I sort of grew up in the back of the florist shop. So it was a real natural fit for me."

"My Dad really takes me seriously. He's proud of me. But he doesn't want me getting distracted by the business stuff when I'm still in school. His arrangement allows him to keep almost everything off my plate unless I ask for it." Like this charity, apparently, since she seems to be doing this largely on her own. Clearly, Karen could have delegated. Her father, certainly, would have been happy to take care of it. Maybe her mom would have helped, too? But Karen is doing it, herself. "So. Do you have a bike to go with that jacket?" she queries, with a good-natured smile.

Dinah grins at the bike question, nodding without hesitation. "I do, yeah. It's a Triumph custom that I built from scratch. I'll have to show ya' sometime. One of my uncles got me into motorcycles, I think with the idea that it'd keep me off the streets. So I do my own repairs, and I ride when I'm not driving a deliver van."

"Oh, we definitely have to keep a florist like you off the streets. Big trouble, there." Karen teases, grinning. "Still, that's really cool. I know how cars and stuff work. But to be honest, I almost never drive, and I don't own a single car. The company owns a few, but not many. Mostly, they rent then wherever they're needed. Definitely no motorcycles. But I always thought they looked awesome. Maybe I could get a ride sometime?"

Dinah chuckles and she nods, casting Karen a playful look. "First car was a limo, hmm?" then she quickly adds. "Sorry. Couldn't resist. And yeah, we florists are pretty dangerous when cornered. Beware. Some of us are even rumored to be rabid, but not those in urban environments."

-==[ Sherwood Florist — Coventry ]==-------
Sherwood Florist is arranged like most small flower shops, but with some definite homey touches. A small brass bell jingles when the door opens, drawing the eye to a counter across the room that doubles as checkout counter and work table. The cash register is electric, and probably the most advanced technical device in the place. Colorful displays are along either side, interspersed between catalogs showing arrangements for any occasion. The fragrance in the place is sweet, with occasional exotic surprises. Along the back wall to the left are several tall refrigerators with sliding glass doors for fragile flowers. A door leads to the back room and upstairs to an apartment.
Obvious Exits:

  • [O] - Coventry — Gotham
  • [UP] - Upstairs - Sherwood Florist —

Black Canary
Proof that good things -do- come in small packages, this stunning blonde would have to walk on tip-toes to reach five and a half feet tall. Having the fine bone structure of a classic beauty and the lustrously smooth skin of a model, she is guaranteed to turn heads and break hearts wherever she goes. Large, expressive blue eyes sparkle with humor, her red lips drawn back to flash an electric smile. A long tumble of yellow locks frames her face, spilling halfway down her back. Beneath the free-flowing hair, golden hoop earrings dangle.

The blue tanktop clings to her figure, cut just low enough to share a glimpse of cleavage while baring soft shoulders and sinewy arms. Straight leg jeans fit snugly, flattering her curves without looking painted on. She's wearing black boots with riding heels that add a couple inches to her height. And over the tanktop is the trademark high-waisted leather jacket, worn loose with the sleeves pushed up to her elbows.

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