Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I Need Your Opinion.

I have a problem. About three months ago I found out via my PR firm that a competitor had contacted them. Now when I say competitor, I mean.. belts and headbands.. I also mean a national reach.. AND she lives in my town. I know what are the chances of this.. but that is the story.

So she contacted them about three months ago and they told her NO. Ok thanks PR firm.. I appreciate that.

Sooo yesterday she contacted one of my REPS. She said a bunch of "stuff" and my REP told her no. She then proceeded to tell her that she was the "oringinal" and that "everyone" including this chic (me) copied her line. (She has an obvious high opinion of herself AND her line)....my word.. "the original". What does that mean anyway? ... Oh .. right... she must have invented the belt... oh that kind of original. WOW.

My husband thinks I should contact her. One of my friends said if I do contact her I should call her.. (not do the whole sly email routine). One of my friends said NO.. b/c what is the reason to contact her.. will it change her ways? Take the high road. My REP said if I do not contact her.. SHE will call her back and tell her off.

Ultimately, I will pray about it (yes I pray). And if you know anything about me.. the life I lead.. you know I take the high road on many things.. but every now and again.. I want a fight. (that sounded very tough, huh?)

So does this type of situation, in your opinion, warrant a response?

8 comments:

sarah said...

It's me Sarah - the one that is having a trunk show in February! I am absolutely shocked! First of all, if she is the "original" and you stole "her idea" she should have contacted you a long time ago, like as soon as you opened your business. Since I am sure it is the other way around, I think you have nothing to worry about. You seem to be a very sweet and trustworthy person. I believe you have nothing to worry about with this women because your clients and REPS will back you up 100%. I will only buy Preppy Potato belts - promise! :) I am not a confrontational person, so I would be scared to death to contact her. However, if I was worried about my business and my name (because Lord knows what else she is saying) I might have to contact her. How big is your hometown? That is so strange that she is in your town - that would definitely make me doubt her. Whatever you decide - good luck! I know I am not really any help, but know that this will work out to favor you!

Mrs. P said...

Hmm. Well first off I think it says a lot about you and your business that the PR Firm and your REP said no. At least there was something nice to come out of this. My first reaction is to take the high road, but do you think she will impact your business? Then I might give her a call. I am sorry you are having to deal with this. Best of luck!

Libby said...

It's great that your reps and your pr guys are firmly in your corner. If you decide to contact her, might I suggest using these words: tortious interference with contractual and business relations.

the preppy princess said...

This happens to my mother ALL the time. She does all the packaging for a major fashion label in NYC. They told her a vendor of hers had approached them to compete against her. She was pissed because this was really unethical (some people don't have any). This wasn't the first time either. My mother did call him and in the end she is the one doing the packaging for the customer because they like her better, she will go into the city on a moments notice, etc. She has been in business for almost 20 years and is always the small guy. The other guy can't be bothered and tried telling the customer that since my mother is a small company she can't do it.

If you do decide to confront her, definitely DON'T do the e-mail thing. She will have time to think about and respond with an attitude like she invented the belt. It's better to catch her off guard and call her on it.

Good luck! Let us know what happens.

jennifer m. said...

thanks ladies. knew there would be an opinion or two out there..

after my REP hung up the phone she put in no less than 5 calls to my cell .. until i pickd up the line.

she was.."what?..who are you?".."what makes you think i would not be loyal to jennifer".. she said her blood was set to boil.

and the funny thing is.. is this REP of mine.. we adore each other. she "found me" by walking into on of her accounts.. picking up my belt in the only shop i was in in the whole state.. read my tag on the back.. and that day called me. that was three years ago.. and we have NEVER met. infact.. she finally sent me a picture of herself like 6 mos ago for the first time. infact.. when i got her photo.. i called her and said.. "what do you mean you are not blonde.. i always thought you were blonde."

:-)..

good people.. surround yourself with them!!! life is toooo tooo short to be cunning and deceptive.

.. good terms libby.. wrote them down..:-)

.. total scardy cat too sarah... i talk a big talk.. haha..

Jessica Nell said...

You might want to try writing a letter to the editor in your local newspaper if this is more a local issue than a business-wide one. Of course, the final draft goes through your PR people.

Jessica Nell said...

oh and ps - youve been tagged :)

jilly said...

I actually would go the email or the letter route actually. Just in case this ever does become a legal matter at least that way you have a paper trail and something to back it up with. I would also make sure to note the dates and times of the calls to the PR rep.

Some people. I so wish this world could do without the petty little people who feel the need to make themselves feel bigger by puffing out their chests. I am not sure what these people are trying to prove, but I am glad that there are people smart enough to recognize it. No matter what good luck, I take the high road too, sometimes it does not get me as far, but at least I can go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning and look at myself in the mirror!