An Open Letter To Kathleen Fasanella

Dear Mrs. Fasanella,

I have never met you in person, nor have I conversed with you via the Internet or by any other means, but tonight I am writing to you to let you know that I do not think too highly of you right now and I think you should be ashamed of yourself.

For several years now, my wife Gidget has been researching, planning, and establishing her own business. She has extensive experience as a seamstress and decided to help supplement the family income by performing a service in which she excels. She came up with a business plan, organized her sewing studio, and it didn’t take long before Buttercup 149 was born. Soon she realized that Buttercup could become a full-time business if she worked hard to make it happen.

Four years ago she joined your forum, the Fashion Incubator in the hopes of learning more about the business by participating in a platform that appeared to foster new ideas and provide support from her peers in the industry. Over time, she paid $100 and she bought your book, “The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing” to fulfill the conditions you set for membership.

Gidget has really enjoyed some of the discussions on the Fashion Incubator. She has learned from those discussions and she has developed strong friendships with some of the other members of the forum. She communicates daily with several members of the forum and she is thankful for the relationships that have developed because of those conversations. To say the least, the relationships are invaluable to her.

Over the past couple years, Gidget came up with some ideas for products that could benefit the elderly and disabled, so she began researching the market for the products she wanted to develop. She started drafting patterns and lining up sources for the materials she would need to manufacture those items. She works hard every day to make sure her business is a success and developing the new line of products. Yet she still finds time to log into the forum everyday to read posts, participate in discussions and be an active member of the community.

I honestly don’t know where she finds the time to do all of that while keeping our home nice and tidy and homeschooling our three children. She often mumbles under her breath about sitting at the computer too long, reading posts in the forum when she should be working or doing something around the house, but she never felt like she was wasting her time by participating in your forum, until this afternoon.

At this point I think I should tell you that Gidget has mentioned your name quite often around here. She has spoken often about your experience in the industry and the valuable resource that you provide through the forum. She respected that experience, she respected you. But while reading through the forum today, she found some posts she had not seen before, and was shocked at the tone and content of some of the posts in the thread she had found. She spends a lot of time on the forum each day and she never noticed that thread before. It’s like it appeared out of nowhere. She has wondered for a long time why another member of the forum has not participated for a very long time, and the thread pretty much explained why he was MIA.

She replied in the thread that what had happened was a shame but that she now understood why that other member was no longer participating in the forum. The thread explained it all.

Soon after posting that reply, you sent Gidget a private message telling her you wished to avoid any “controversy”. Then, you deleted the post she made in the public thread.

Gidget was not taking sides. She was not flaming anyone. She was simply commenting on a fact that several members of the forum had noticed the absence of the other member as well. But yet, you deleted the post. Why would you delete a post as benign as the one she made in that thread? What controversy were you trying to “avoid”? A simple explanation or civil conversation would have yielded much better results than censoring a post in the forum that you simply didn’t agree with.

I understand that the Fashion Incubator belongs to you and in no way am I telling you how you should operate your forum, but deleting posts is a chicken-shit thing to do. When you have to rely on deleting posts to re-write history rather than discuss a topic with civility and sincerity you deprive yourself and your members of the most important element. Honesty.

How many other posts have you deleted? How many other conversation threads have been altered because you decided to delete posts rather than discuss the issue as an adult? Honestly? No one will ever know will they? And no matter what you say now, there is no way to know for sure. No one will know if they can believe you, because you’ve already done it. You deleted the post I referenced above, no one will ever see it on the Fashion Incubator. I was standing beside Gidget when she posted it. I was standing by her side when she read your private message. I was standing by her side when she realized you had deleted the public post.

You may have 25 years experience in your industry, but I wonder how much of that experience is based on your attempts to re-write history or censor those who may know otherwise?

Tonight my wife posted a good-bye on your forum. She’s had enough. Yep. All it took was one incident of seeing you for who you really are to make her realize that any future involvement with the Fashion Incubator would be a complete waste of her time and energy. I just wish she had learned this before throwing $100 in your feeding trough, spending money on your book, and sitting for hours on end reading the words you espouse as an “expert” in your field.

I have no idea what prompted your response to delete that post, but it seems to me that you have some sort of chip on your shoulder for the person discussed in that thread, and you are acting spiteful and insecure. It seems as if you are covering your tracks if there is even the slightest possibility that someone might make you look bad, even when someone like my wife, who has never had a mean thing to say about you, posts a benign message in a thread that is two months old.

As I said when I started this post, I do not think too highly of you this evening. I think you owe my wife an apology, publicly, in your forum, and anything less will just prove that you have no ethical backbone. But don’t you worry. If you don’t feel like apologizing, this post will be here for a very long time so people will know what really happens behind the scenes at the Fashion Incubator. This is one post you won’t be able to delete. This is one history you will not be able to re-write.

You should be ashamed of yourself.