Well, we have still been on the search for the perfect RG Natural Babies location. Let me tell you, there are some great spots available in Racine! A lot of very nice landlords which we've had the opportunity to meet and talk to. But my heart still sits in the property that said they wouldn't rent to us because of "conflict of interest".
So what do I have to lose to ask them again if they would reconsider - nothing! I've been praying about it and I'm just not settled on the other properties that once again would be great locations/buildings/you name it! And so I wrote this letter:
Dear Kimberly Clark,
I hope this letter finds you well. My name is Michelle Schimian – I am the owner of RG Natural Babies. Back in October/November we were trying to rent a space from you in the city of Racine, WI.
About 5 weeks after going back and forth with negotiating a price, you had decided you could not rent to us because of conflict of interest. Honestly, that baffled us, and literally, it left me speechless. First we thought it would come up right at the beginning if the fact that I sell cloth diapers would be an issue, but it didn’t seem to be. Also many people were surprised to find out that building was owned by Kimberly Clark, so to find out it was conflict of interest was a shock to many.
Yes, I understand that you make Huggies and Cloth Diapers and my mediocre sales probably impacts your bottom line ever so slightly. But the majority of people that are switching to cloth diapers are not doing so because I have a local store – it is because they are researching and deciding to do so on their own and then happen to find a local store to support versus purchasing from the plethora of online stores available. I am a stay at home mom working hard to help my family.
When the probability looked good to rent from you, I was actually quite excited to be renting from a corporation as yours at the hopes that the “going green” impact would be seen and in turn more “green” products would be taken into consideration for development by your company. Maybe even something I might want to carry in my store in the future. After all, I do and have carried disposable liners and disposable inserts. They are chlorine free, all natural based. I do understand that cloth for some cannot be a 100% of the time idea and these are a nice option for others that wish to avoid the chemicals.
We are coming to the drawing board and going to choose one of the many locations to rent from – all of whom want and are excited to work with us because of today’s economy. But my heart can’t seem to get away from the location that you own. So I ask once more if there could be any consideration again to rent to us.
This space would allow for a more community-like atmosphere than most of the others would. To be able to hold classes so others can learn more about natural childbirth options, breastfeeding, and the like. With this space, I was hoping to make children’s books a main item and hold story times. Events that would be free to the public to help make downtown Racine a better place.
Thank you again for your time.
I took it over to Susie who is the apartment manager over there and super sweet to work with. She sent it over to corporate for me. This is the space that makes the things I would like to incorporate into Racine possible. It has the offices, retail space, front rooms that would be so fun for creating a story time (opposite days of what the library has of course). The build out is there and ready to go and is available (for 3 years it has been vacant). There is another space we are considering that could incorporate things like this, but some of the others would be too small to add books and other conventional baby items into the store.
If you think of it, please pray for God to work in the hearts of those that will be reading the letter at Kimberly Clark - that they may open to realizing I'm not really a threat to them (goodness, I can't convince some of our closest friends to use cloth diapers... but could probably steer them towards Pampers or Luvs if they aren't using them already, LOL) and reconsider renting to us as they did in the beginning.