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Adversity in Business

Updated: May 27

How do you deal and what would you do?


Have you encountered and how have you overcome adversity in your business?

Let's go further. How about blatant disrespect, racism, bigotry, sexism or __________ (fill in the blank).

How did you deal?

I'm trying to take the dignified route. But it isn't working.

Sponsorships, Partnerships and plain B2B dealings can be precarious or fabulous.

We've had a bout of both recently, and the former is burning my biscuit.

We have put out a call for Sponsorships and B2B collaborations for our 3rd Annual Hats N Heels Tea Party.

Remaining unnamed, *sigh*, because i'm petty, but have integrity, I submit photos of what was given as in-kind sponsorship by an antique store. Can we scream WTF???

The shop owner requested that their donated items be returned back on multiple occasions, and when explained that in-kind sponsorship doesn't receive donated items back.... THIS IS WHAT WE RECEIVED (not the sofa though!!!😐)


(YES! I think that's blood) 🧐🧐🧐

Do you consider this a proper donation from an antique store, to adequately represent their brand at a glamorous vintage tea party??

This screams SLAVE CLOTHING to me.


We have also been offered a dilapidated jewelry box. There is SO much tulle stuffed to it to hide its raggedy-ness. On attempting to inspect it, it collapsed shut, almost clipping my fingers. I was unable to see its actual contents for the amount of tulle and its unsturdiness. What an insurance liability. There is no possible way to utilize this box part of their donation with the public either, unless the risk of injury.

Do they REALLY think all of this is appropriate, or are they trying to just give us something they can't sell, since they can't get it back.

We requested vintage hats, wraps, tea cups and sets. But that is not what we received.


I still have this foolishness.

Do I:

1. Toss it, send a nasty professional message

2. Give it back with a nasty professional message

What do you think?

Here is the One Star ⭐ review given, to give more context:

It is with dismay, and after much internal debate, that offer this unflattering account of interaction with the shop's owners.

For months, What's Poppin' USA has been in direct communication, face-to-face and written correspondence, with antique Traditions, particularly its owner, Lorraine.

Our company is holding its annual, signature event, and this year have included the local historic Norcross area Merchants as friends and sponsors of the Tea.

While we received honest and candid yays and nays from various merchants, Lorraine has been consistently vague.

On several occasions, Lorraine asked if we could RETURN the donated merchandise after the event.This is not what sponsorship is. Sponsorship is a form of advertising. You are sponsoring or paying to advertise at an event to help its hosts cover costs and such.

After reviewing your donations, we do not feel that they are appropriate for the Hats N Heels Tea Party event.

Though a pop-up vendor event, this is a WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT event. It's full of glam, sophistication and girliness. We have thousands of dollars in antiques and sweat equity into the Tea event.

The tattered and blood-stained items donated, do not represent glamour. The items are indicative of tattered slavery wear, which is NOT a safe space as a Black woman in the Deep South.

Your shop is stuffed with gorgeous vintage items, but you have chosen to donate sub-par, raggedy items to our event.

As a personal donation from a grandmother's closet, maybe. But as a business to business donation, what you've provided is completely unacceptable and quite disrespectful. If we were to display the tattered items that you gave us, and put a sign saying that Antique Traditions donated these items, it would shed an unsavory light on your shop and make you look pretty dismal. Items in that condition might belong in a historical museum, but are not a respectable donation for business purposes. Donated items should be a stellar reflection of your Shop, not castaways that you are unable to sell.

We have seen the Historic Norcross raffle basket. We wonder if you've offered a set blood-stained knickers to the recipients as well? Our initial request was a collective effort from the HN Merchant's Association. We were sidelined, put-off and disregarded... on various occasions.

Highly disappointed.


Lena S.

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Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us regarding this unsettling situation.

We know this is a touchy subject and may trigger some strong emotions.

As a business, we choose to disengage with customers and/or any businesses that do not meet our standards of integrity, quality, respectability and overall etiquette.

We strive, in all of our transactions and interactions, to amplify and enhance SMALL businesses, especially those that are female-owned. Our goal is to uplift and showcase those exemplary grassroots business owners, and assist them along their path of business competency.

That being said, we are saddened to not have been properly supported in OUR efforts, but it will not dampen OUR goal to support others.



Mary Dowdy
Mary Dowdy

This is Mary, one of the shop owners. I own reminisce vintage style inside antique traditions. This was my donation and has nothing to do with Lorraine & Antique Traditions. Last time you were in the shop I mentioned I had some authentic Victorian pieces and specifically mentioned bloomers. I told you they were not perfect because of age. But they are original clothing from the era of tea parties. They are not blood-stained. It is discoloration which is very common in white items of that era. The music box was included because you spoke about how the kids enjoyed it. My request is that you remove all references to Antique Traditions and let people know the unacceptable donations came…

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