You're So Vain

As a writer for [417 Magazine](http://www.417mag.com/) I’m used to businesses and individuals being excited when I call to set up an interview. Most are thrilled to be profiled in the magazine and gladly take time to chat with me. Last week, I called a local boutique called Ashby’s to set up an interview for my [Savvy Shopper](http://www.417mag.com/417-Magazine/July-2007/Fashion-Furniture-Fantastic/) section in the magazine. The owner, Roberta Wooldridge, was reluctant to talk to me. She wanted to know more about the article and admitted she wasn’t familiar with my section. No big deal, I thought, and explained how Savvy Shopper worked. After a few minutes she asked if she could think about it. Well, ok, but I was under a deadline and needed to hear from her in a few days. She agreed. I thought the whole conversation was a bit weird as I’ve never been turned down for an article, but I wasn’t too worried about it. Over the weekend, a friend told me a story about how rudely she had been treated while attempting to shop there, but I was still hopeful that all would work out.

Today I called her and had the most insulting conversation ever. She said she still wasn’t sure about it. That her boutique was special (yeah, aren’t they all) and most people compare it to others in the area. She asked again about my pieces and then said she never read the magazine. Ok, fine, I’ll explain it to you again. Then she asked what made me qualified to write about her place. Um, I’m a writer and a shopper. She asked where I shopped, so I named a couple of boutiques where I’ve bought things. She was quick to point out she was different. Yes Roberta, I know you’re SPECIAL. I told her I’d been in her store, then she made a snide comment about how her store isn’t geared toward people who shop at TJ Maxx. I politely told her that perhaps she wasn’t comfortable with us profiling her store and I should choose someone else for December. She agreed. I then called my editor and told him that it would be a cold day in hell before I wrote a single nice word about that store. I can tell you what makes them special: a snotty attitude and holier-than-thou fashion sense.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “You're So Vain

  1. Carrie

    She asked you if you were qualified??? She asked where you shopped???
    Are there people in Springfield that honestly do not understand that there are about two degrees of separation here? Alienate one person, much less the person that writes the Savvy Shopper column, and you run a pretty good risk of alienating about half of your potential clientele. If you can’t be gracious because it is the right thing to do, you should be gracious because it is the intelligent thing to do.
    Well, at least I know to spend my millions elsewhere.

  2. Anne

    This lady is obviously clueless about marketing and the impact of being featured in 417. Where is this place so I make sure I never make the mistake of wandering into it and buying something? But – she’d probably categorize me as someone who shops at TJ Maxx and would boot me out the door! With an attitude like that I’m guessing she won’t be in business long.

  3. Miriam

    Yep – that is pretty much the experience I’ve had at that store. Since it is close to my house, I have often gone in to browse. I purchase a necklace for my mom once – and thought that since I was a purchasing customer – not a “bottom of the heap browser” – that I’d be treated better – um no. Too bad you can’t write something nasty about them in 417. : )

  4. It amazes me how many people have a bad Ashby’s story! I can’t believe they stay in business! They must make a lot of money from the 2-3 people who actually shop there.

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