Laura Daly believes that retailers should work together, support one another and talk when a problem or concern arises. Bullying at distance through social media is not a solution, she says…
Question: What made you decide to enter the world of bridal retailing?
Was it because you thought you could do it better than the existing stores? Did you have a lifelong dream to own a bridal shop? Were you born into it, taking over from a relative? Was it the idea of being your own boss that tempted you? Did you just fall into it, perhaps, and now love it so much you never want to get out?
However you arrived in this industry, I’d wager that, if you’re re-opening your doors in 2019, you are doing so because you still have a passion for what you do.
It’s something that connects us all; that common thread fashioned from our very own blood, sweat and tears.
Only another independent bridal retailer can truly understand how we take every aspect of our businesses to heart. Our own little bridal bubbles that we have created and carefully nurtured with our very souls out there for all to see on those rails. The labels and gowns that we’ve lovingly chosen to reflect our aspirations and those of our customers are not simply stock, but part of who we are.
We take to heart the love, the lives and the losses of our customers, and lie in bed at night stressing over a late delivery or a faulty dress. We do this because we understand how important it is to our customers that we get every detail right. We probably all have a little touch of OCD about us; we’re most likely control freaks, and we’re most definitely passionate about our businesses.
So, given that we all understand how hard we all work, and accepting that we are all pretty amazing to make any kind of a success of running a bridal shop, what on earth leads someone to comment on another shop’s social media stream in a derogatory manner?
Why call out a retailer on a forum, closed or otherwise, just because you don’t like something they may (or may not) have said? Why bad-mouth another shop to a customer, regardless of whether or not you personally agree with what you are being told this shop might (or might not) have done?
Why corner another retailer, face-to-face at a social occasion, to spout your insulting views about them and their business, especially when you have no understanding of their ethos and don’t know them personally?
I’m well aware that all these things happen. It truly saddens me to say that I have been on the receiving end of some of it myself.
Channelled incorrectly, passion’s dark side can lead us to become blinkered and undervalue anyone’s feelings or efforts apart from our own. When it results in a public ‘flogging’ of another retailer, not only can the recipient of such criticism be crushed and confused, but the lack of support for a fellow retailer can often be taken by customers as a negative thing.
With one misinformed public rant, it’s easy to appear bitter and jealous. When the rants become personal, it’s tantamount to bullying. And no-one likes a bully.
How about picking up the phone to have a chat first? Failing that, an email or a message? If you don’t like or agree with something that another retailer has posted or written, why the need to publicly criticise them before having had a word privately? If you don’t like the answer you receive, well at least then you’ll know the facts before you pass judgment.
Can we all join together in just one resolution for 2019 that would make our collective lives a little bit easier? Can we resolve to respect each other a bit more? I’m not suggesting for a moment that we all become best chums and go on holiday together, but we are working for the common cause here, and what does it cost to be nice to each other?
To be kinder and less judgemental of people and situations we know little or nothing about, and a private message instead of a public rant when we don’t agree with what we read online. To have a positive mental attitude and a bit more love to start the year because, as they say, love conquers all; these things make up my New Year’s resolutions… Who’s joining me?