A nice email from David Blumenthal

I received what I believe is a very nice email today from David Blumenthal, CEO of Lion Brand, in response to my blog post of my experience at the show.  I asked his permission to post it.

Dear Ms. Garmendia,

We are very sorry you had an unpleasant experience at the Vogue Knitting fashion show event in our studio.

It means a lot to Lion Brand and especially to me personally that every contact whether it is in the industry or in the general public domain be a positive one for Lion Brand.
The comment that our studio Manager made is certainly not in keeping with our regard for our customers’ feelings and we apologize for this unfortunate experience.
I trust you will understand that people make mistakes and in the spirit of friendship and understanding you accept this apology.
Sincerely yours,
David Blumenthal

This email shows a lot about Mr. Blumenthal.  It shows me that he has time to listen to his customers.  He took the time out to send a personal note to me regarding the incident.  It also shows me that he’s probably very down to earth to include such words as “spirit of friendship and understanding” in his apology.

In my reply, I said, amongst other things, “I feel that maybe Ms. Lyons just needs to pay a bit more attention to the terminology she uses when dealing with the general public because, as I’m sure you saw by the comments on my blog, people interpret things in many different ways.”

I hope that Mr. Blumenthal’s email to me eases the thoughts of those of you that were bothered by Ms. Lyons’s comment last week as it did mine.  But I also hope that she is asked to take a course in management and interaction with the public for the sake of her future with Lion Brand and any other ventures.

17 thoughts on “A nice email from David Blumenthal”

  1. I certainly hope that she rethinks the things she lets fly out of her mouth. Hopefully she’s taken the time to reflect on this so that she doesn’t make another such careless comment. Oh, and she could take a tip from Mr. Blumenthal on how to deliver an apology.

  2. Sorry but would you mind explaining why the word fat upset you so much, would you have felt better if she had said obese?
    I’m not trolling I promise I have been quite surprised by the upset that the word has caused and not wanting to make the same error myself as I often refer to myself as fat and don’t give it a second thought.

  3. Margie, why couldn’t she have said “and other sizes” or “etc.” – It would have been a more PC way of getting her point across.

    “Fat” and “obese” are not positive words at all. I believe that the more people think of themselves this way, the less weight they are prone to lose. But that’s just my humble opinion…

  4. Margie – Seriously?! Do you not see why using the word “fat” to describe a clothing size is offensive? It’s quite one thing for you to refer to yourself as fat and not give it another thought. It’s quite another to have a representative of a major yarn brand use it to describe every size larger than a “large” in knitting patterns as “fat”. It’s irresponsible and ignorant of the feelings of the customer base.

  5. It’s particularly insulting because what some patterns call a “large” is an 8-10. When I was in high school and VERY thin, that would have been too small for me, because I’m freaking 5’9″ – and I’m hardly the tallest woman out there. Size is NOT all about weight. And regardless of what one calls oneself, applying a label of ANY sort to other people is not cool.

  6. I am glad you received an apology, and I certainly hope that the representative was reprimended for the tasteless comment. MOF isn’t that a form of discrimination? Yes, I think it is.

    It shows a total of lack of respect to the customer, AND also puts on exhibit one’s lack of couth.


  7. Fat is insulting. I refer to myself as voluptuous. haha. It was nice of him to take the time to respond to your concerns and the concerns of other customers.

  8. That was a decent apology. You could have really rallied the torches and pitchforks around this incident….LB should be thanking their lucky stars!

  9. The thing about people who aren’t fat getting super offended by being referred to as fat is that it reinforces (to those of us who are fat) that fat=bad. You know? People rarely get this offended if they are called something nice that isn’t accurate.

  10. That is a really nice e-mail from him. I would have hoped that the apology came from her though but it’s good that you got an apology from someone from the company. 🙂

  11. But if you wear a X large size you are fat, obese, overweight however you want to put it these aren’t insults these are facts, now saying something like ‘for the fatties’ is insulting.
    I am overweight for my height therefore I am fat and still classed as obese although thankfully due to changing my life style I am no longer classed as morbidly obese, being told I was classed as this by my doctor really upset me I didn’t like the term at all and is probably the biggest reason why I have so drastically changed my life style, but the term is a factual one not one to cause hurt or upset, if you do take offence to it then that is down to your own insecurities.
    The words to factually describe being overweight are not going to go away that is ridiculous if these terms upset you then do something about your insecurities and stop blaming your hurt on other people for simply being factual.

  12. Margie, I think the problem with the word “Fat” is that it does not have a good connotation. Some words just bring up a negative image, fat being one of them. It’s not about lack of self of esteem or insecurities. It’s about the generally accepted meaning of the word, and the rudeness of using it to describe a group of people. And it’s not about being politically correct either. Using the word “larger”, is not softening the blow, but I think people should be aware for the words they use. Rudeness is not appropriate, especially in a public forum. More power to you for liking the word fat in referring to yourself. Don’t fault or analyze others if they don’t.

  13. Bah!! that “apology” looks more like a form letter to me. There was nothing personal nor detailed except for your name in the salutation. I’m more interested in knowing if you got a response the 2nd time you emailed him, and whether it had personal references in it. All the big companies have books of form letters for certain circumstances and are used all the time.


  14. Rosi: Finally I read forward and I’m relieved, somewhat, by Mr. Blumenthal’s response. But as you know, I, myself, have had my own little dealings, albeit in email form, in regards to the manager in question, which were not well-received on my end. It’s doubtful she is tending to how she is perceived by the public.

    Margie: It’s about context and having a bit of consideration for those that may have negative attachment to the word fat. When the manager made the comment about “small, medium, large… and fat” the word fat has nothing to do with sizing. It was said as a judgment. Not to speak on behalf of RosiG, but the idea of how or why “fat” as used within that context is offensive has been extrapolated in the comments section of the original post. Bravo to you to be a fat person and not have a negative attachment to the word.

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