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Race And Retail: The Only Color That Matters Is GREEN! (Epilogue)

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 8.19.38 AMRace And Retail:
The Only Color That
Matters Is GREEN! (Epilogue)

 

Before I launch into this story, I need to make you aware of my basic life philosophy. It is not rose-tinted glasses nonsense either; this is what I believe at my core.

I believe most people are good. I believe in the kindness of strangers. I believe that when you give good, you get good.

But sometimes you give good and you get shat upon. Luckily that happens a lot less than the good stuff.

For those of you who have been following this story, you know Casey and I and a couple of friends are just back from Kiawah Island, South Carolina where we own a home.

During our time there, we had an unfortunate incident with Casey being racially profiled at a shop called Carolina Girls. You can read the entire incident, along with Carolina Girls attempts to cover their tracks here.

The story made it to the local news where it was covered, albeit, incompletely. You can read that here.

All in all, it was a shitty way to end vacation.

Well, it would have been were it not for a couple of SUPER bright spots.

First, when all this was happening with Carolina Girls, I was tweeting about it to them and their brands. Why? Because they need to know how customers are being treated in stores that carry their merchandise. A little over 24 hours after I began sharing this story, I received an email from Deborah Sullivan, director of communications at Vera Bradley.

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Ms. Sullivan, on a weekend, emailed me to apologize for the experience Casey had while shopping at Carolina Girls.

Now let that sink in for a moment.

Vera Bradley on a corporate level, apologized for Casey’s shopping experience at a store that carried VB merchandise.

A few days later, a hand written note.

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In the note, an apology again. She also had taken to time to find out where Casey was going to school and wish her well.

There’s a word for that.

What is it again?

Class.

Yes. That’s it.

A day later, I received word that Senior VP of Marketing and Creative Communications for Lilly Pulitzer, Jane Paradis wanted to talk. We had a lovely conversation, again with Paradis expressing her dismay over Casey’s experience at Carolina Girls.
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Again and again, she asked the same question, “How’s Casey doing?”

Ms. Paradis wasn’t there either but she knew a young woman, a customer had been treated poorly in a place that carried Lilly Pulitzer. She knew to reach out to someone who could be a lifelong fan. She knows what her brand stands for and wanted to make sure we did too.

Class.

A few merchants at Freshfields Village have reached out, asking Casey to come and  experience the hospitality that all shoppers deserve.

Around the same time, a friend of mine, who had been watching events unfold, reached out to a friend of hers, Shelley Thornton. Ms. Thornton is the manager of Tres Carmen Boutique a few doors down from Carolina Girls and she invited Casey and Sabrina to come to the store.

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Casey and Shelley Thornton, Tres Carmen Boutique
(photo credit: Sabrina Polkowski)

For you those of you who are skeptics, you could be saying, “Oh what did she get out of it?” Because of course, there has to be an angle; I mean one other than wanting my daughter to be treated like a shopper not a criminal.

What did we get out of it?

A wonderful shopping experience.

That’s what we got.

Nothing free. No discount.

Just respect and dignity, something we would gladly pay full price for.

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(photo credit: Sabrina Polkowski)

You know what happens from here?

Every single time we visit Kiawah, we will save our money to spend, where?

Tres Camen Boutique.

You know where we will encourage our friends to visit?

Tres Camen Boutique.

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(photo credit: Sabrina Polkowski)

As I stated in my post a few days ago, this is a learning experience for those who will accept it as such.

For Casey, she learned the power of her buying dollar when she put down the wallet she wanted and walked out of Carolina Girls, with her money in her back pocket.

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(photo credit: Sabrina Polkowski)

She learned the power of a tribe. That’s where you come in.

I need to thank you, my village who rallied around Casey and me.

I am convinced that this would not have had the same turnout without your support.

But more than bringing the story to the public, Casey learned how much she is loved and how her actions are respected.

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(photo credit: Sabrina Polkowski)

So can I ask a small favor?  With the same fervency you rallied around us, would you please share the love with the brands who know and practice good customer service? Would you please let Vera Bradley, Lilly Pulitzer and Tres Carmen Boutique know what their kindness means? Let them know why treating customers of any age or race with respect, just, plain matters.

Thank you. For everything.

On Facebook: 

Vera Bradley

Lilly Pulitzer

Tres Carmen Boutique

 

On Twitter: 

Vera Bradley

Lilly Pulitzer

Tres Carmen Boutique

 

On Instagram: 

Vera Bradley

Lilly Pulitzer

Tres Carmen Boutique

Oh and I see some of you talking about buying their merchandise this week. If you do, would you snap a picture of your purchase or you with it and send it to me?  Or you can upload to Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #IStandWithCasey!

Much love always!

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(photo credit: Sabrina Polkowski)

Casey with Shelley Thornton of Tres Carmen Boutique.
Casey learned to spend her money where she is treated with dignity and respect.

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Pam Margolis

    August 3, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Thanks for treating our daughter with dignity and respect. I’ll be shopping at all of these stores!

  2. Buster Spiller

    August 3, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    What a GREAT wrap up!!! I applaud Casey for the courage and GRACE she has displayed during this sordid ordeal AND Rene, I applaud you for doing what any mother would do for their child. You provided Casey with a model that she will use with her own children. KUDOS!!!

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