Sunday, November 02, 2014

Retreating

Last weekend I was 
getting my stitch on with my pals,
 Lori, Becca & Shelly.
I left the weekend with a few more 
new stitchy friends!

They're the best...those stitchy kind of friends!

 Three late, late, nights.
And three late mornings!


There was laughter
and lots of stitches!
I worked between the Kathy Barrick Adam & Eve,
and the Blackbird Designs free sampler, Her Sampler 1796.
 

 I ended up focusing on the smaller
Adam & Eve!

Kathy Barrick Adam & Eve, Mystery Lakeside Linen 36 ct with my own DMC conversion, 2 over 2
 I came home with a finish!


 This was my second time attending this retreat.
It's always so nice to be among fellow stitchers!
My friend, Lori, is involved in organizing this with the shop that puts on the retreat.
She graciously invited me to attend again this fall,
and I ponied the money right up!
Signed up, paid for my spot,
and off I went!
This is an open stitch retreat.
No set projects.
The shop is situated about 70 miles from me,
so not one that I have ever visited.
And with the stash factor,
not one I NEED to visit!  haha!

While I met many lovely stitchers and enjoyed seeing their projects
and chatting,
the weekend was dampered a bit by a comment made to me
right away by the sister of the shop owner.
She came up to me early Friday morning,
 and flatly asked if I have ever even BEEN to the shop.
She then made it clear that the retreat was for "customers" of the shop,
and that I should (ahem) make an EFFORT
to go to the shop and support the shop.
I was definitely caught off guard by the tone!
I mean, 
I was invited!  I signed up a while ago!  I paid to attend!
I nicely tried to explain that if I lived closer,
and had the need,
I would happily darken the door of the shop.
But she wasn't listening.
I'm thinking the pursed lips, or perhaps the angle of her head 
must have been blocking her cochlea!
LOL
Now I'm kidding of course,
but I was definitely taken aback by the comment,
as were those at the table who overheard this woman.
Needless to say I was a bit embarrassed,
and felt like a big ol' party crasher!

 After this incident,
the stubborn stitcher in me, who had planned to shop the pop up shop that
was set up at the retreat, for things I most certainly didn't even NEED,
decided not to dole out any more of my hard earned money over the weekend.
I know, I know...that's stubborn of me. 
But darnit, I felt like I was really being TOLD to shop, 
and I don't like being told what to do!
It's a symptom of perimenopause,
I'm quite sure!

Lucky for me most of the stitchers there were
lovely, kind, friendly people who 
made it clear to me that I was, indeed, welcome there,
and they were also a bit stunned by the whole scene,
and embarrassed for their LNS.

Regardless,
I stitched, and laughed, and made new friends,
and enjoyed the time spent
doing all of those things!

So it was a win anyway!

I did receive a note earlier this week from this woman,
apologizing and saying she did not 'mean' to offend.
But the message was clear to all of those who heard it.
 
I realize LNS success depends on customers!
I get it!
I just felt completely singled out as the 'new girl'
by this woman, and,
well,
that's an uncomfortable position to be in!

I may be retreating from this particular retreat for a while,
and instead planning a very long, pressure-free
stitching retreat weekend with stitchy friends!
I honestly don't see me having the need or urge to make the trip
to this shop 70 miles away,
so don't want to feel like I'm taking up a spot
that one of their "regulars" might want to fill.
 
Luckily, most of these lovely new stitcher friends
also are members of local guilds, 
so our paths will cross at places other than this particular retreat.

Have you attended stitching retreats?
How did you find out about them?
What was your experience?
Is it just a rule that some sort of snarky drama occurs when there is
a large gathering of women?
I'm hoping this is just an isolated incident
and you will all sing the praises of other stitching retreats!

I'm holding out hope!

*Peace!




11 comments:

Quilter Kathy said...

Lovely stitching time :) I love retreats! There are sometimes snarky comments, but only said to tease and never to hurt or manipulate someone. Hope you find another place/group to retreat with!

Lori said...

You know how I feel about this sad situation...it's their loss not yours! Unfortunately, it only takes one old biddy to rain on everyone's parade. You, Becca and I will find another retreat to attend - one where everybody is made to feel welcome!!

Jackie said...

Oh Kim! I'm sure the shop owner had to be mortified. Obviously this lady didn't know anything about the big $ stitchers throw down any time they have access to a LNS. In today's world of convenient shopping from home, customer service is a *must*.

Cari said...

Well I Never !! I have attended many stitching retreats and have NEVER been treated that way. In fact I just returned from a retreat in Myrtle Beach, S.C. No classes…just stitchy goodness and great people. There were vendors there, including Amy from Down Sunshine Lane who organized the event. I was delightful fun from morning to night! Over 120 wonderful, kind women.

In my humble opinion…I would drive 200 miles to buy a skein of DMC before I would spend one nickel in that lady's shop!! She was simply an OLD ASS.

Well…you got my heart started Monday morning !! LOL I'm sure you and your friends can find a lovely retreat somewhere else….maybe Mrytle Beach in October 2015 !! Hugs dear friend.

Robin said...

Aww, Kim! There is one in every group; they have to be snarky about something (i.e., attendees, food, stitching projects). I love attending "no frills" (no class) retreats.

Robin in Virginia

PS There is one in Williamsburg in the fall that you would be welcome to attend.

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Oh. My. Goodness. Or, what I really mean is W.T.F. I wouldn't have spent one cent in the "store" either. Too bad - The store might have gotten your on-line business, even if you didn't want to travel there in person, had she been polite. Her loss.....

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

WOW! My hubs says "there is one in every crowd." So sorry you had this experience--the shop is the looser!

Thankful there was a supportive group there and I hope the offender feels like the jerk she is!

Margaret said...

Geez Louise! That's ridiculous to say the least. I mean talk about finding a good way to alienate not only you but probably a good number of their usual customers! I don't blame you for not wanting to spend money at their shop and not wanting to go back to their retreat either. I would feel the same. I've never had such an experience in the few retreats I've been to. I will say that my LNS owner is quite disenchanted with the industry right now though. I have the feeling that it's hard times for the cross stitch industry, which is sad. Perhaps this person was feeling the same way as my LNS owner. That's no excuse though! Geeez! Glad you had a great time anyway -- and I love your finish -- I finished that one too!

carol fun said...

Oh my goodness - totally rude- totally uncalled for. I also dig in my heels and refuse to spend money with this shop. I recently went to a talk given by Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt company and she stated that the main reason shops go out of business is they aren't nice to their customers. I know I've been in shops where I was made to feel unwelcome and that it was inconvenient to wait on me -- I never go back and I tell my friends. No customer should be treated that way. And I have to wonder what was this woman thinking - who in their right mind would want to spend money after they had been "told" that they are obligated. I can't imagine anyone would comply with this. Keep you head high - you did nothing wrong... and spend your money elsewhere - climbing down off my soapbox now - LOL!

Melody said...

How rude of that woman! I don't blame you a bit for now spending money at the shop, or feeling like you want to attend again. Who would after being made feel embarrassed and unwelcome??!! I'm sorry it happened to you. Find another retreat next time. I had a great time at the one I attended at The Silver Needle a couple of years ago.

Becca said...

There is usually one in every group...this one was certainly a doozy. Can't wait til we create our own tradition next year! Vera and Jeffie are pushing for the new house...slumber party long weekend, stitching with cats! xox