Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Check Yourself B4 You Wreck Yourself!

All the attention that I've been receiving as a result of my appearance on 24 Hour Catwalk has been validating.  Mind-blowing, in fact.  First, when the commercials began to air before my episode did and people were reaching out to me on Twitter and Facebook, it was very flattering.  I grinned excitedly.  Once the previews began to pop up on movie screens in multiplexes everywhere and everybody from my LinkedIN connections to people I know through the plantation started to hit me up, it became so surreal.

Since I taped the show almost 6 months ago, I hoped that my "fans" would not be disappointed with my showing.  But what was done was done.  There just was no use tripping on it now. So I watched, just like everybody else, to see how the editors would make me look and what the episode's final outcome was.  There has still been an outpouring of compliments and congrats.  And I am so appreciative.  But I have also received an email that made the devil rise up inside of me.  It might have been easier to ignore it, but I felt the sender deserved a tailor-made response. Below is the original email followed by my response.  What do you think?

You can't be serious. I saw you on Lifetime and came to your site to see your line. It looks like the stuff you see at Torrid and Lane Bryant. I am so disappointed. I am a tall, athletic (yes I work out) plus size woman.  Size 18. And, I can't find a grown up, sexy dress for a 42 year old. I want to wear dresses like the real housewives of Atlanta. Is there a real "plus" size designer anywhere? Plus size doesn't mean bigger ugly. The clothes still need to be fashion forward and pretty.

Greetings ------,

My business partners and I are in receipt of your email and have carefully reviewed it. While I can certainly understand your frustration with finding "grown up, sexy dresses" for your "athletic" PLUS size frame, I take issue with your approach. Perhaps you were having a bad day when you sent the email, as I've had a few of my own a time or two. But there really is no excuse for your bad manners and poor email etiquette. If there is nothing to your liking on the company site, the more polite, dare I say, adult, thing to do would have been to dismiss us as another plus size design company who just cannot get it right. But your slam against my designs was really unnecessary. Since I am 44, it is clear we are from the same generation, but my parents taught me not to comment at all if I didn't have anything constructive or nice to say. In light of my mother's advice, I am going to end this response now. I hope you are able to find a designer who does PLUS size clothing suited for you that looks like something from "The Housewives of Atlanta".

Peace & Fashion!

Wilbur E Pack, Jr.
SK WiLBUR/Sorta Kinda Enterprises, LLC

We need to think about what we say and what we write to people because we just don't know the kind of effect it's going to have on them.  As my friend Deborah G. told me many years ago, "Words have power."   If I was teetering on the brink of a psychotic break, this email might have pushed me over the edge.  I might have even gone postal on the sender.  Please try to remember, nasty and rude behavior is uncalled for and never in style.
Peace & Fashion!


  1. Hello Wilbur...

    How are you doing? Congrats 10x over on being on the show!

    You know with fame and the spotlight comes those who want nothing better than to knock what you are doing... Know this.

    As someone who puts their concerns, thoughts, excitements out there someone will always judge, disregard, disrespect, or challenge... and that is okay... not everyone will like what you make, not everyone will see eye to eye with you, not everyone will get it.

    It is interesting when you break down their concerns- which seem to be a lot deeper than what she was complaining about... I find, that as a blogger there are still so many plus size women who are not familiar with the brands and styles that they are looking for and swear up and down the lack of options...

    BUT in this situation, you can take this one of three ways, you can get mad each time or you can turn this into a business opportunity to show her your diversity or custom options and charge your premium- or you can just shake it off and not even let this situation shake you! you know?

    Get ready baby...

    1. The High Priestess of Curvy Bloggers :-)

      Greetings, Marie DL. Thank you for your very thoughtful and thought-provoking response. I agree with you 100%. There were a number of ways I could have handled this. And, in fact, I have handled others who have disliked my aesthetic very differently. I just think this woman, in particular, was insensitive and rude and that's not cool. Her behavior needed to be checked. There is a way to do things and she was ALL wrong. I also don't believe she would have spent "Real Housewives of Atlanta" money to buy any of my pieces. I could be wrong, but it's a decision I am willing to live with.