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Monday, February 22, 2010

SPICE Carnival Band... The Good. The Bad. The Ugly

I could write pages and pages on my experience with SPICE, but it would be infused with too many emotions. I will attempt to keep my emotions out of this and speak strictly on the facts.

The Good.

- Spice employees customer service. EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT. I am speaking of the workers, not the management of the band.

- I would like to give a special thanks to the following people. Their help, concern, and just over all customer service was outstanding. Some higher ups in the band should take a hint from their workers.

*Miss Goldie Locs who worked at the second stop of collection. She has a head full of blond locs which she wears tied back. Always smiling with a twinkle in her eye.

*Marina who just sat and listened to me gripe without interruption, and showed true concern in the middle of all of my woes. I did not complain to her initially. She saw me standing up looking like I had lost my best friend and came over to ask me what was wrong.

*Leah... a beautiful spirit hands down. Great, great, customer service, always with a smile and a kind word.

*TAMMY! A total inside joke with me and one the workers. Every time I heard someone call her name, and saw her reaction, it provided a round of giggles for me. A sweet young lady and much appreciated.

Beautiful costume designs, (if they would have carried through on some of the actual prototypes). But still no denying, the costumes were lovely, and looked absolutely fabulous on the road.

The Bad

- Costume collection could be a bit more organized especially for foreign masqueraders

- Foreign masqueraders need more time to collect. Not just one or two days before carnival, in case there are any kinks that need to be worked out.

- Delivering costumes true to the prototype on costume collection day.

- Truly listening to the customer and giving them a voice. Listening would help to resolve conflicts easier than blowing off a customer's concerns, and really ticking off the customer.

- Issues with my costume, which were eventually resolved to my satisfaction.

- Well constructed costumes. The same costume which was adjusted to my satisfaction and that I was totally in love with. completely fell apart by noon on Tuesday. (My head piece literally broke into 3 pieces). It killed my vibes and left me quite sour.

The Ugly.

Bringing a mas band is a HUGE undertaking, and I have a much respect for the time, dedication, and planning that must go into producing a carnival band. I can only imagine the stress and pressure that band leaders are under, come carnival time, to meet the many demands from all sides (customers, the band leaders association, etc) that is required of them. All of these factors could easily a frazzle a person's nerves and make them a little "short". But what I find MOST UNACCEPTABLE is just flat out disrespect to a customer whose hard earned money is driving your business.

The women at the last point of collection was assigned to check costumes against receipts, and hand out wrist bands, and back packs. I was told she was the Band leader's mother. She had to be the rudest nastiest person I have ever encountered.

There was an issue with my costume, so I was told by another member of the spice staff, who I will call GENTLE, to proceed to the last table and collect my things, then to come back to see her. When I proceeded to the last table and passed on the message from GENTLE, Band leader mom blew her top and said this was incorrect.

Now I can understand how these little mishaps in communication, can occur. But instead of telling me that what GENTLE had told me was incorrect and I would simply have to wait, she lambasted me! Trying to keep cool, I told her I was only going on the directions that GENTLE, her band worker, had given me. She then stormed away from the table, walked over and proceeded to give GENTLE a tongue lashing. GENTLE was sweet as sugar, because she quietly took the tongue lashing, and even came over and apologized to me for the misinformation and on behalf of Miss Nasty Band Leader Mom.

I know it takes all sort of people to make the world go around, and I understand that not everyone has a sweet personality, but my goodness. When you have a pit bull, you use it to guard the gate, not to mind the baby. Each person should have their place, and this woman should have been stuck in a back office counting the money, instead of dealing with the paying customer.

That was the single most unpleasant thing about my entire spice encounter.

Designers mess up, costumes fall apart, miscommunications happen. There may not be enough chairs at the rest stop, food may not be good, security may have glitches... but for my hard earned money, that I could be talked to like I was a beggar on the street asking for a free costume, and not a hard working, paying customer whose business should be appreciated is unforgivable. At the end of the day, if Spice would have handed me a brown paper bag with a smile, humility, and courtesy, and told they messed up... I probably would have paraded the streets of POS in full paper bagged glory with no gripes.

It is no fun to be handed the too too special of the day on a silver platter, and be expected to think that this behavior is ok. Well it is not okay, and I can take my money and my self respect elsewhere in the future.. because if I wanted someone to too too on me... I could have that done for FREE

Makeup Artistry By Kirk Thomas, The Review

With the popularity of Kirk Thomas soaring after last Carnival season this year my makeup appointment on Carnival Tuesday was even earlier than last. In spite of the hour I had to be at Crobar there were ladies there before me as I met some who had a 2:30AM spot just finishing up when I arrived. There was a delay owing to some previous tardiness by a client so I was pretty happy to have an early appointment because the 15 minute wait did not really affect my schedule at all.

Once again I loved the location of Crobar that Kirk used this year, there were some other makeup artistes who were also doing faces at the same location as well, because it is pretty close to Stanmore Avenue where TRIBE departs from. And once again I was TOTALLY in love with what he did with my face! I am not going to show you the  state I arrived in or even the transformation that took place when I left but I was so excited over my look I was bouncing in my chair when my face was done. Best of all is that I was able to tell him the look I wanted and he was able to give it to me, making sure I was satisfied.

It is not only about having gorgeous eye makeup or gems, the face is literally transformed using makeup techniques leaving you wondering who is that much improved stranger staring back at you when you are done:







Ladies On the Road 

Still Going Strong At Night!

These Ladies were shy about their "before"

I was also pretty pleased with the longevity of the makeup; Kirk used a primer called "Absence" that was supposed to control the sebaceous glands to prevent oiliness during the day. Technically I cannot say if the glands were controlled completely , however personally my face was not a total oil slick, even under the hot sun. One of the bloggers I met asked how was did my face remained so "dry", this at midday when the sun was at it's most brutal. And, I was removing my face gems when I got home, they held up ALL day so I was pleased that the investment in professional makeup translated into a well made up face all day.

Of course Kirk would be my makeup artist of choice for 2011( I am hoping he has room for me as I know many ladies were booking him for next year even before the end of Carnival 2010! ) as another Carnival leaves me TOTALLY  happy with the work he did. I saw many, many ladies with gorgeous faces on both Monday and Tuesday so send in reviews of your makeup artist; were you pleased, how did the makeup hold up? Email

Many thanks to the lovely "models" featured in today's post who allowed me to use their photographs!

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