Okay. So this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. It stems not only from my days as a bride, but my
childhood. I had a mom who boycotted businesses. Not in a loud annoying way, but in a “we will never go
back to that store/restaurant/business again” way. She knew the value of her dollar and her voice.
Long before I was an event planner, I was a bride. And several, yes several, potential vendors ruined many of
my days. Let me start this off by saying that each of these encounters (whether it be my
personal experience or that of someone who has shared their story with me) happened before I partnered up
with Clarissa and we became professional event planners. Also, these vendors actions helped shape our
customer service practices today, they taught us never to let a personal bad day effect the business or even
how we say hello to someone.
I simply don't understand poor customer service. I don't understand employees who don't care or employers
that don't fire them. I don't understand store owners who make it clear that they don't care if they get
business. In an age where there are 50 options to choose from where everyone has a GPS/Internet enabled
phone to research, find an address, and navigate directly to the competition (and then blog about their
experience or write an online review) businesses should be bending over backwards to
provide exceptional customer service.
We at Taffeta & Tattoos are a small business and we do our best to support other small businesses. But we
also work our butts off to make sure that every client gets more than they expect, so we expect that same
dedication to business from other vendors and are surprised when we encounter (or hear stories) of vendors
who chastise, judge, reprimand, or flat out deny client requests.
Every so often, especially after a first meeting with a (potential) client (especially those who tell us how
'refreshing' our attitude or meetings was), flashes from my wedding planning nightmares come back to me.
And I get sad for all these brides who are being bullied by their vendors. So this series is for those who need to vent, those who stood up for themselves and told vendors that they were not ruining their event.
By the time I went dress shopping I had already found my perfect wedding dress online, all I needed was to
find a dress shop where I could purchase it. I gathered a list of retailers that carried the designer and line,
printed out a photo of the dress, and went on my way. I started at a local shop that had been around for years
and years, a place that I thought I would feel good about supporting. I showed the woman who was working
there that day the picture and gave her all the designer info, and she looks at the paper then looks me up and
down and goes, "Just so you know, that isn't going to look good on you." I was shocked. SHOCKED. Who
says that to a customer? I muttered a disbelieving "Excuse me?" before she went on to tell me that I was too
short for it, trying to convince me that it was made for girls like the model in the photo. (Really? It is made
for that tiny portion of the population that is 6' and taller?) I protested for a bit, trying to reason that I would
be wearing a smaller size and there for it would be more proportional, but she insisted that the smallest size
they make was a 2 and that the bodice would be measure for someone like the model (someone 6') and that it
would look atrocious on me. Needless to say that I didn't buy my dress there and I got a morbid sense of
satisfaction when she bent over and I saw her Spanx sticking out.
I walked out of the store. I will never return. I also made it a point to share my story with several locals, from
family and friends, to brides, and bridesmaids, basically anyone I knew who would be looking for a specialty
dress. I am from, and this store is located in a small enough town where word of mouth can travel, but not so
small that people don’t have other choices.