Wednesday, April 30, 2008

How Not to Close a Business

Lori's Bridal & Formal Wear in Cold Spring, Minnesota, was open for business last Friday. I read a news item about a young woman who had gone in on that to have her white shoes dyed ivory.

Loris' Bridal website says that the business has been around since 1991, and speaks of the service's "strong beliefs in personal attention, unique style of caring, and professionalism...."

Saturday, a sign on the door read, "This business has closed due to the economy." There was a phone number listed. The voice mail recording said, "Lori's Bridal & Formal Wear would like to thank you in advance for your patience while we are working to resolve the issues at hand," and had no room for more messages on Monday. The latest news is that the voice mail is taking messages again.

Police Force as Delivery Service: Not Good for Image

Also, the Cold Spring chief of police found the store's owner and got her permission to enter the store with a former employee of the store. They recovered 37 dresses.

Lori's Bridal's cell phone number doesn't work any more, and to date there have been 19 complaints filed with Minnesota and North Dakota Better Business Bureaus.

An area newspaper's article on the fiasco said, "consumers who have a complaint about Lori's Bridal should contact the attorney general's office by going to and clicking on the 'consumer complaint form' on the right-hand side of the screen.

"People can also call the attorney general's office at 800-657-3787 or mail a complaint to 1400 Bremer Tower 445, Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101."

A Lesson to be Learned: Don't Lock up Wedding Dresses

Running a business isn't easy, and sometimes a promising enterprise doesn't work out. As much as I sympathize with the difficulties of a small business owner, I don't think that the owner of Lori's made a wise choice when she bolted.

The good news is that 37 wedding dresses were recovered, and will be available for pickup "Cold Spring City Hall from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday," according to a St. Cloud Times article.

The bad news is that any hope that the owner had of getting back in business, at least in that area, is probably gone. I don't know why she closed the store and dropped out of sight so abruptly, but I doubt that the area will soon forget the dozens of people she left with upcoming weddings and special events - and no dresses.

That's not the sort of publicity anyone wants.

Information from

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"Banned in Boston" - Not the Worst Fate

Remember the days when screenwriters and playwrights hoped for a "Banned in Boston" review? There's a positive side to censorship, from a marketing point of view.

Sometimes, getting banned can draw attention to an otherwise mediocre movie, play: or blog.

Not that my "Starting a Small Business Without Losing my Mind" is mediocre, of course.

However, I may be in the process of getting banned on Technorati. Checking my status today, I noticed that this blog is titled "403 Forbidden"

I also notice that one of my posts, " 'The American Dream' Still Exists" is missing from the Technorati listing.

That may explain it. If you read the post, you'll find it a veritable screed of common sense, together with a set of observations intended as grim humor.

We'll see how this situation plays out.

("Following" list moved here, after Blogger changed formats)

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