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My dream team and I left feeling deflated, and annoyed. We had done so much work for Sonja based on her initial direction, and I had spent a good deal of time working with James and speaking with Gian Andre about shooting her campaign for what felt like nothing. I tried to stay cool under the circumstances, but as you saw, I was really frustrated with the whole situation. I was not only wasting my time, but even worse, the time of my professional friends I had enlisted to help.
Flash-forward a few days to the Yummie Tummie catalog photoshoot where I had previously invited LuAnn to come down to look at the amazing accessories we had pulled for the shoot. LuAnn is a jewelry fanatic and I knew she would have fun shopping the assortment and hanging to watch some of my photoshoot in work. . .but after the discouraging meeting at Sonja's, James, Gian, and I spoke and decided helping Sonja was going to be a lot more difficult than we had anticipated.
Under the circumstances, I felt I should talk to Sonja right away and so I asked her to meet up with us at the shoot where James and I could share our concerns and put the brakes on our involvement in the project. Although I had double booked, I decided not to cancel with LuAnn because Sonja and Lu have a really great rapport together and so I thought it might not be a bad idea to have her around as another voice of reason if my delivery to Sonja came off as anything other than sincere. I run my own business and spend the precious free time I have with my husband and our children, working on my charities, and with my dear friends and I don't have enough of it to even go around to myself. I felt like Sonja was stuck with a vision for her brand, without the means to see it through, and I felt good to do this favor to help her even if it meant missing some of the other things that were important to get it done.
I thought I could be a strong voice and to help Sonja to focus. But when she said, "I am the client," I was taken back at how delusional she was! How did doing a favor for a friend turn her into my client? Maybe this was a good time to bring in Lu! But then, when she said I was a quitter -- my warrior instincts kicked in and she got me! I don't quit anything! And as you saw, I can't quit Sonja either. Sonja IS a character and she cannot get out of her own way sometimes, but she is warm and has a big heart and I am genuinely fond of her. SO! We resolved to move forward! Part in partial because I could see how upset the thought of me pulling back made Sonja and partly because I did not have to ask James to retouch, format, and frame two set ups and do double the work, because she got him to agree to it himself! And because, we can help her! The guys and I are passionate about the creative direction I’ve set for her and I know she is going to love it in the end!
Now I will just have to prove it to her I just want her to be happy!
I could not believe Sonja's behavior as you endeavoured to put her on track for selling her ridiculous product. For the record, I do like Sonja's photo for the campaign better. It suits her personality. I think the abs man overshadows her. So she was right. However that does not excuse her bad manners and ridiculous behaviour in keeping people waiting, bringing in crazy eyes Ramona, etc. etc. etc.......I don't know why you put up with that. I guess part of it is for tv drama?? I struggled to figure how anyone could be so ungrateful and then I woke up with an epiphany. Sonja has a sense of entitlement. She believes that everyone should bend over backward to satisfy her every whim, regardless of whether she gives anything in return. It is all about her, and everyone else around her is just playing a supporting role. If you are willing to fill that role, and enjoy her charming personality, great. But, if you are looking for Sonja to be grateful for what you are doing for her, you might as well pack your bags right now. She feels you and everyone who enters in her circle owe her something..and maybe you do. I don't know. I have never had the privilege of her company.
Heather, Kudos to you!! The campaign you and the professional team you worked with for Sonja's business/toaster oven was great! I wasn't 100% on board with the campaign at first, but when I saw the photos at the shoot, it totally made sense. The photo of Sonja and her toaster oven be held by the guy with the great abs really stood out. It would have caught my eye in a store isle and given me the opportunity to check out Sonja's toaster oven! Sonja alone just blended into the background and I probably would have walked right past it.
I hope Sonja realizes your worth and your kindness and thanks you for what you "tried" to do for her. I thought it was very gracious of you to let her take the reigns and do it her way. I thought you and your team were very professional. It couldn't have been easy to work with a friend... I hope she has a change of heart and realizes that she needs to thank you and gives you and your team the credit you deserve!!
No one like a snobby princess! Hola!
That was really nice of you to help Sonja in her new business venture. She didn’t deserve all the free professional help you provided. You’re the real thing when it comes to business and a true professional business woman.
Heather, That was really nice of you to offer to help Sonja... did she use any of your photos? Did she credit your help?
Heather for the record you're the only one who makes sense. Watching the new episode has me so annoyed with Ramona. If only you could smack some sense into her head. Don't even waste your breath on her anymore.
Heather - hope you stay strong...Ramona is just awful this season. You are a strong, intelligent, insightful and positive role model. Ramona is the complete opposite...ugh.
you seem nice but you talk a little too much, to the point it gets annoying. i commend your strong business sense but hate the name 'yummie tummy" it doesn't make sense. Also, your intro when you say "Hollar" is crazy ridiculous, you need the street cred for that to work and I'm sorry you do not have that.
Even if Sonya wasn't paying for the favor up front, she'd have paid for it later if she wasn't happy with the results. Best not to agree to "favors" if what you really want is creative license. I thought that always belonged to it client.
methinks No, if Sonja wasn't happy with the results she would have simply done it again with the "team" she alleges to have. Sonja has no business experience. She came to Heather for help and it seems that Heather is simply trying to offer her the benefit of her experience and ideas. I understand that it must be hard for Sonja to let go of whatever image she created in her mind for her brand but she must be willing to work with other professionals if she wants the brand to be successful. You must trust your team... or you must find another team that you do trust.
And, finally, Sonja is NOT A CLIENT!!!!!!
Heather better get a really big SPIRTZ BOTTLE ur gonna need it & it seems for a couple of these so called ladies
You were very gracious to Sonja. Ramona was a blindside and I would never forget that.
To keep helping S thru this says alot about you and your caliber of friends. He was very gracious also. You are getting to be one of my favorites. You cant help but laugh when Ramona does her "jabbing fly bys" at the parties. I keep laughing too!!
I can't understand why Heather continued to suggest things to Sonja, when she was obviously being difficult. If Sonja's idea's were so great then why did she want to change it in the first place. If you like the girl swingling her purse then keep that one. Perhaps, instead of Sonja sobbing over LuAnn and Jacques relationship, she could focus her energy on her tosteroven.
I adore Heather!
Heather, You go girl. You handle Ramona like a champ. Shes so envious of you, its sad. It seeping out of her pores weekly. Heather you got many fans. HOLLER GIRL
Not reading your 4 page blog....just came on here to say, WHY Bravo decided to add you is beyond me. Ramona (like her or not) IS Sonja's friend, so what's the big deal she was at the meeting. Didn't you bring LuAnn in? Also, you following around Ramona at Aviva's party a few episodes ago was one of the most immature things I've ever seen. You dislike her so, so stay clear from her. Isn't that a simple enough solution?
JMRN You are so right. That behaviour was just awful. Someone did that to me and I eventually blew up. That is what happens and I commend Ramona's response to such childish, ridiculous behaviour.
Milica I just think that Heather wanted Sonya to RESPECT her; her time; and her talent! She's doing her a favor and she's STILL A PROFESSIONAL! Who goes to a dentist and gets services for free and then tells the dentist what the best materials to use are? No one!
Milica Heather acted maturely and professionally the entire time. She was very respectful of Sonja. I agree that Sonja had every right to opt out of the arrangement and should have done so. She has very limited resources, though, and knew she wasn't going to get the thousands of dollars of free services anywhere else so she panicked when Heather suggested she find a team Sonja felt more comfortable with.
Heather, I just watched the show where you told Lu Anne (spelling?) that "no one over third grade refers to Native Amercians as American Indians.that it is insulting.." As an AMERICAN INDIAN , I would like to politely inform you that YOU have no authority to speak for us. WE, my entire family, are quite above the third grade in age and are well educated professionals who proudly call ourselves AMREICAN INDIANS. I like you on the show, however, please do not assume that YOU know what everyone likes. You're desire to be politically correct about all issues, shows a bit of insecurity. Speak for yourself, your opinion. Do not assume that you know what everyone wants to be referred to as. It's quite obivious you think you are more intelligent, as well as more successful than the other ladies on your show. You appear to be an excellent mother to your son, who is precious and well loved. However, your attitude when speaking to Lu Ann was rude and classless, in my humble opinion. Sometimes, my dear, less is more. You try a bit too hard to impress and it is becoming more obvious with each show.
My family, for many generations, were PROUD to be called INDIAN and we STILL are. We don't need to change our 'tag line' to follow the sheep that feel they only fit in by being 'politcally correct'. We are confident enough, in ourselves, to not change the race NAME just because some may feel it's needed. So from THIS proud AMERICAN INDIAN and our ENTIRE family, our generations before were proud to be called INDIAN and these generations still living, still are. You have no idea what you are talking about. If Lu Anne carries American Indian in her blood, then SHE has the right to choose WHAT she chooses to be called. I don't recall a vote where we changed that right. YOU have no Indian blood in you that you spoke of, so let US, each of us, choose how WE like to wear our 'label'... You were trying to make Lu Anne appear stupid. It backfired.. you were the one who appeared..shall we say... talking out your backside'..
PTgirl25 Thank you, PTgirl25 for pointing out my error. I made an apology to Heather in a post just now. I do not watch all the shows and thought the lady speaking was named Heather. I was wrong and it was Carole. :)
I offer a sincere apology to you, Heather, for mistaking the names and posting this to your blog.
I do not watch all of the shows and that comment regarding AMERCIAN INDIANS was meant for Carole.
Karmin That was Carole. Heather wasn't even in the building. She was home, sobbing that Ramona hadn't invited her:)
Heather, you are the most genuine lady in this franchise. You haven't wavered from your first appearance. I liked the way you kept Ramona a bay from your London trip. She is socially maladroit and would have embarrassed you at your company's international meeting. You've been very helpful toward Sonja by attempting to harness her vision. I'm not sure Ramona's presence at the meeting was actually a set up. It seemed more like Sonja feeining insecure around you and your team. Unfortunately, Ramona is ridiculous as a mediator for you and / or anyone. She's all bluster, no intellect. Sonja is very lucky that you are so patient. However, due to Sonja's waffling between you and Ramona, you might want to cut bait and let her go. She's already a lost soul and sadly, doesn't realize how silly she seems around you and your well oiled machine. You've been a great addition to the show. xo.
Heather, you and Carole are my favorite ladies from this show. Intelligent, funny, and basically really good people. I wouldn't mind hanging with either of you. my one comment has to do with Sonjas logo. Why not have her swing on the bottom part of the J. If she wants a sexy J put her on it. Kill two problems at once. Think about it (no charge it is my pleasure).
I think it's pretty unprofessional of you to agree to lend your services to Sonja for free, then turn around and throw it in her face. A client is a client, paid or not. She became your client when you agreed to help her. Though I'm not sure how much help you're given, being as how you are acting as if this is YOUR brand and YOUR toaster oven. Sonja should have a logo and a picture that she is proud of, because it's her name behind her, her product, her life. If she is not in love with the ideas that you and your team have come up with, it's time to try a different approach. It's business, dear.
And what's wrong with having Ramona at the meeting? Ramona came with her to a meeting with a plastic surgeon a few seasons ago. She was there to offer support for Sonja, to see and hear things with a different set of ears and eyes, and to ask questions that Sonja may have felt to overwhelmed to think about. Are we also forgetting that Sonja went to both Ramona and Heather for advice to start with?
It's not a big deal, it's not personal, it's business. And frankly, your lack of professionalism and that of your friend is appalling. Sonja should be firing you!
SookieSue Oh, Goodness. No, no, no. Ramona has an axe to grind with Heather. She can't put those feelings aside and simply be supportive of Sonja and further the process. Ramona derailed that entire meeting by being combative and rude (answering phone calls in the middle of a meeting??) This isn't helpful. That's what is wrong with having Ramona at the meeting. It created confusion and frustration and broke down the communication between Sonja and the rest of the team. Sonja needs to put on her big girl panties and learn to effectively and confidently express her thoughts and desires, if she wants to join the business world. She lacks confidence so she brings in Ramona as her cheerleader. Bringing a support system is fine, bringing someone who has already existing feelings of animosity towards the professional helping you is silly and unproductive. A business meeting about the creation and construction of your brand is NOTHING like a doctors appointment.
Yes, Sonja went to both Ramona and Heather in the beginning. She quickly decided Heather was the one she wanted to help her. This says a lot about whose business sense she respects more.
And, yes, for a professional, wasting precious hours during the business day is a big deal. Every hour that she spends working pro bono for Sonja is an hour not spent furthering her own brand and building her own business. It's really quite generous of Heather, this entire situation. Also, bringing someone's primary adversary into a meeting is definitely personal. I don't know what you do for a living but if you were donating your time to help a friend and that friend showed up for a meeting with the one person in the world who thinks the least of you and says rude and hurtful things to and about you on a regular basis, I'd imagine you wouldn't appreciate it much.
Sonja CAN'T fire Heather. She desperately needs her help. If she really had her own team of professionals jumping at the bit to help her, for free, she would use them. Don't forget that when Heather tried to point out that Sonja may be happier with another team of advisors, Sonja panicked and back-peddled. If you look into the team of people that Heather constructed on Sonja's behalf, you'd see how valuable Heather's participation is to this effort. The creative director has worked with Harry Winston, Tiffany & Co., among others, and Gian Andrea de Stefano ( the photographer) has worked with Donald Trump, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, etc. Sonja would be so foolish to let them get away.
I've seen not one instance of an lack of professionalism (against all odds!) from Heather. I've seen nothing but disrespect, unprofessional, entitled antics, and a complete disregard for everyone else's time from Sonja.
so, here's the problem with business and friendship. YOU view this as helping Sonja and therefore she must do whatever you and your "team" tell her to do. I respect that, because time is money and you're working for free which is a huge deal. Sonja views this as accepting your help while also giving your team a national television aduience as a platform. So therefore, she expects that if she isn't happy with what you suggest, that her vision be carried out according to what she desires--which is ONLY fair, considering this is HER brand, not yours. I'm sure if somebody wanted you to take a direction with Yummie Tummie that you weren't comfortable with, you would put the kibosh on it. So while you are viewing this as "I'm helping you, so f off and do as I tell you", she's seeing it as "This is my baby and I will not be pushed into doing something I'm not comfortable with". So you DID try and quit for that reason, and now you see, since you were denied an exit, why Sonja is Sonja. She talked you out of leaving her and talked your uptight branding guy into doing exactly what she wanted and playing it off like it was HIS idea. She's brilliant.
@BKViewer80 It doesn't seem like Heather has a problem with Sonja expressing her opinion. It seems she is frustrated with Sonja saying she's okay with something and then, later, suggesting that not only was she not okay with it but never said she was in the first place. This is a complete waste of Heather & Co's time.
Also, PEOPLE, please realize that Heather is not in the business consultant field!!! She does not benefit IN ANY WAY from folks watching her help Sonja. How anyone gets this twisted into something that is furthering Heather's brand is beyond me.
Tell Sonja if Ramon's opinion is so important let Ramona work with her and stop wasting your time.
Heather, I still don't like you at all. You bring nothing to this show. I don't like the way you are with Ramona and sonja now. I don't even like the way you are with LuAnn and i'm not even a fan of hers. Did you come on this show to attack all three of them and to promote you Yummie? I HOPE YOU ARE ONLY ONE SEASON.
@penneyone Of course she came on to promote Yummie. And Carole came on to promote her book, and Aviva to promote her charities. They are all on here produce revenue. In the meantime, Heather is also trying to give some charity to Sonja in the form of free help launching her brand. Sonja is coming across as ungrateful, and seems to be a bit delusional about how one would typically respond to such a generous offer. Hopefully if she is watching these episodes she realizes this is a sign she has spent too much time with crazy Ramona.
Let me ask this: is there anyone whose image or reputation has BENEFITED from an association with Sonja Morgan or Ramona Singer?
No one wastes a designer's time more than a client who ISN'T paying by the hour. It's a rookie mistake.
Heather, like many others here, I think you are smart, kind and interesting -- a great addition to RHONY. Testimony that we actually prefer role models over train wrecks. (Producers, are you listening?) I would have liked to have seen you take a firmer stand with Sonja, whom I like overall, but think she needs a lesson in not only the business world, but personal relationships. This incident showed an extremely unattractive side of Sonja, acting like a spoiled child with an indulgent daddy. Her unprofessionalism and disrespect in bringing Ramona unannounced into a meeting, for which she is receiving your gracious charity, was bad enough. Demanding that you simply do everything her way, and foot the bill for it, is ludicrous. Let her find another firm who needs the exposure and doesn't mind the abuse, perhaps give her what she wants to the detriment of her brand. In my opinion, you should have shown her the door, in your usual gracious, assertive style. And, by the way, who is Sonja to lecture you on being a professional? As far as I can see, the only business experience she has had Is heavy-duty partying and marrying a "money-ed" man. (Her term.) I recommend that doubters read books that support the clean style you promote, such as PRESENTATION ZEN or THE NON-DESIGNERS DESIGN BOOK. Less is often more.
Sometimes it's not easy to do grand favors for people we love, but a sure sign of a good friend is someone who soldiers on especially in the face of disagreement or feeling unappreciated/underutilized. Good for you, Heather, for being so gracious. Like you said, you can't help but love Sonja and it feels like she definitely appreciates your help and admires your expertise. Hang in there!
I agree with most of your comments, Lovey, except I'm not feeling the gratitude from SonJa. She's coming from a place of entitlement, and I don't recall her ever expressing a genuine "thank you so much"...or "I couldn't do this without you and your team". ..I do recall that she is accustomed to being "comped" at restaurants because of the clientele she supposedly attracts to their establishment. Cipriani was at least one of the places she mentioned. Perhaps she's comped because she doesn't wear any dainties, and gives everyone a good show by flashing the fellows...I wonder if she'll be wearing any knickers for the upcoming photo shoot!! I recall she flashed the entire crew and Kelly Bensimon when she climbed onto the dining room table for that shoot!!! Yikes.
Heather, you are a class act. I can't believe how rude and unappreciative Sonja is. If she wanted Ramona's help with her business she should have used it and not gotten you involved. As you so rightly said, Sonja is not a client because she isn't paying. She's really taking advantage of your friendship (?) and then insulting your team's advice by bringing Ramona to the meeting. You really showed great restraint with both of them. I'm not sure I could have handled it so well. I hope your generosity doesn't bite you in the butt. You know that saying, "no good deed goes unpunished". You are a remarkable woman and a wonderful addition to the NY cast.
Nothing in life is free. Sonya wants it her way then she should for it. Sonya is about FREE, FREE, FREE or being as cheap as she can be. To have Romana there was offending. If Romana is such a great Bestie, why didn't she and Mario help her??? I think Heather and her team should have pulled away and not looked back. Beggers can't be choosers! Sonya and Romana together is a train wreck happening in front of your face. Both are completely disrespectful in every form and every environment they are set in together...they fuel each others bad behavior. Romana seems to have this affect on everyone situation...chaos and unappreciative of efforts put forth.
I think at this point you would be well within your rights to tell Sonja that she is no longer being
given a professional courtesy, you will be charging her for your services, and those of your
associates. Nothing will shut her up faster! I like Sonja, but I think she's taking advantage of
Heather, like many others here, I think you are smart, kind and interesting -- a great addition to RHONY. Testimony that we actually prefer role models over train wrecks. (Producers, are you listening?) I would have liked to have seen you take a firmer stand with Sonja, whom I like overall, but think she needs a lesson in not only the business world, but personal relationships. This incident showed an extremely unattractive side of Sonja, acting like a spoiled child with an indulgent daddy. Her unprofessionalism and disrespect in bringing Ramona unannounced into a meeting, for which she is receiving your gracious charity, was bad enough. Demanding that you simply do everything her way, and foot the bill for it, is ludicrous. Let her find another firm who needs the exposure and doesn't mind the abuse, perhaps give her what she wants to the detriment of her brand. In my opinion, you should have shown her the door, in your usual gracious, assertive style. And, by the way, who is Sonja to lecture you on being a professional? As far as I can see, the only business experience she has had Is heavy-duty partying and marrying a "money-ed" man. I recommend that doubters read books that support the clean style you promote, such as PRESENTATION ZEN or THE NON-DESIGNERS DESIGN BOOK. Less is often more.
If Ramona really considered Sonja a friend that needed help, but has no money, and she didn't like Heather's and her team's ideas, then why didn't Ramona take Sonja under her wing for free? Could it be because in Ramona's book, that would be unthinkable...doing anything for anyone for free?
The fact that Heather is a new friend to Sonja, and she was willing to help her out, then Sonja should have been more grateful. I don't think she would have found anyone else who would have been willing to line up a top team, and take time away from her family, to help out an acquaintance. Sonja had the right to agree, disagree, and bring her own ideas to the table, but bringing her helper's "nemesis" was inappropriate. Sonja also had the right to ask Ramona to help her if she wasn't happy with Heather's brand of help.
I agree with Sam64. I see you and your associate as snotty and looking down at Sonja as if she's a complete dingbat. Given the fact that it's HER product, you guys should be more supportive of her input and try to blend it with your ideas. This is how a TEAM works in case you didn't know. Sonja didn't deserve your associate's snarky glances and arrogant demeanor. God forbid if she has her own vision of how her product should be marketed. You guys cannot possibly be the be all and end all of marketing gurus. Please! Why did you get involved in the first place?