"You’re going to go bankrupt one day because you don’t know how to treat your customers"
“You’re never going to be successful!” the woman screamed, her fists clenched. She was standing at the cash register of D-RAMA with two crumpled dresses tumbled on the desk in front of her. She’d bought the dresses three months before, on final sale, and now wanted to return them.
“I’m so sorry,” I told her and pointed to the note on the receipt. “The items were on final sale so we can’t take them back.”
She didn’t like the answer.
“You’re a young schnook trying to run a business.” Her face was red and her voice rising. “You think you know what you’re doing? You don’t! Not at all! You’re going to go bankrupt one day because you don’t know how to treat your customers.”
She took a deep breath.
I took one too and repeated, “I’m so sorry you’re not satisfied with your purchase. You bought them on final sale and our store policy is no returns.”
The yelling started again. I closed my eyes and tuned it out. I wanted her — and everyone — to like me. It tore at my nerves that she didn’t. But you can’t run a business on everyone else’s approval, I reminded myself. This is business, not personal, and I need to take myself out of it. So I did, and instead of bursting into tears or answering back, I repeated the store policy — for the third time. There were no returns and there was nothing to argue about.
I love my business and I love my work, but after three years here I know that, even if you love what you’re doing, some days are hard. This woman is far from the first unreasonable person I’ve encountered. And as D-RAMA continues to grow, I doubt she’ll be the last.
During Covid, a woman bought a top during one of our flash sales. Almost a year later, her husband emailed me with a complaint: “The clothing you make is absolutely ridiculous! My wife bought a top from you almost a year ago and she’s been wearing it every week. Now suddenly some of the threads are pulling! Clearly this is not quality. We want our money back!”
I smiled, glad to hear that a D-RAMA piece had become such a staple in her wardrobe, then explained why I couldn’t refund the item. “She’s had the top for a year now, so we can’t take responsibility for normal wear and tear.”
He emailed back in all caps. “I’M GOING TO GET PERMISSION FROM MY RAV TO DISPUTE THE CHARGE ON MY CREDIT CARD.”
Over $80? I thought.
He did indeed call his rav, who then called me and gave a clear psak: The couple was wrong for requesting a refund, and I was right for standing up for my business.
There are negative parts to every business, and about once a month, I have a low moment and consider closing everything down. When an Instagram follower criticizes me for serving pizza or a client complains about missing the return window, I put my head in my hands and ask myself: Why am I doing this?
The answer is simple. Hashem sends us all down with a mission, and I believe, with a whole heart, that Hashem sent me here to create D-RAMA and He’s the One Who keeps it going. My heart and soul is in this business because I want to be part of a cultural shift, where we see people for their worth instead of the size labels on their clothes.
“D-RAMA sells more than clothing,” I tell each new hire. “Every item we sell is wrapped in love and support. Our company was created to connect with people on a personal level.” I like to trust that’s what we do.
Even if it seems people don’t realize there’s an actual person behind the brand, a real-live woman reading every comment. For every ten women telling me I’ve changed their life, there’s one who’s mad about the pricing.
I hold on to the former. So when a customer complains, when someone threatens to leave a bad Google review if I don’t do what they want, I look up, say a little prayer, and remember — even knowing what I know now, even with the obnoxious DMs that make me cry and the days I want to shut it all down — I’m grateful to be running a business that’s helped so many women.
And knowing that, despite the tough spots, I would choose this business all over again.
to be continued…
(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 772)
Oops! We could not locate your form.