BB Webb as BB Webb!

Exploring the Possibilities

Knowing your heart. October 8, 2009

A photo....of Carl House, taken by me, BB Webb

A photo....of Carl House, taken by me, BB Webb

Knowing your heart. At the end of the day, we answer only to ourselves and perhaps our higher power. As I go to bed I review my day and assess, have I endeavored to be loving, purposeful, living my life ‘on’ purpose, doing what my soul is meant to do. Some days I feel more on target than others. Other days I am impatient with my humanity. But, I am owner of it all. And my aim is to do good, to be a servant of sorts, using my skills and passions to create good. Each night I can go to bed knowing my intent is always, ALWAYS strong and in that vein.

The internet and communicating, stretching what we think and know, publically, is intriguing to me. I am now a part of the Blog movement and experiencing the world in a new way. I’m finding that being transparent, open and honest about who we are, strengths, foibles, all of who we are, takes guts.

I am not sure how other people live their lives though I know that being hurtful and negative serves no one. I am reminded of the story of the man who had a print shop close to a downtown area in a big city. He was a man of meager means, working to pay his rent, service his customers, to do good in the way he knew how. Again and again the neighbor boys would turn over his trash and paint obscenities on the outside wall of his building. Week after week this man would clean up the garbage and wash the paint off his wall. This went on for months.

I don’t remember the exact details of the story, but the long and the short of it was, he came upon the boys doing their thoughtless acts and instead of yelling at them, he surprised them and asked, ‘which one of you is the great painter,’ as one of the boys made lewd caricatures on the wall. He persuaded the boys to come in to see his shop one day. After a time, they grew to know the man, to hear stories of his life and his dreams beyond the printing shop, the challenges he’d encountered, the stories of his family, they met his aged father, were shown photographs of his children, now grown and living elsewhere, learned that his wife had passed away.

Compassion grew within these boys as they found that he was very much like themselves. They grew to understand this man’s heart and could no longer do the careless things they had done so thoughtlessly.

I received a curious email from a woman the other day. It was posted to my entire team at Carl House. Apparently I inadvertently posted stock photos on my Blog misunderstanding ‘Royalty Free’ as something I could use freely. I’m adamant about crediting the many gifted photographers who shoot weddings at my venue, clearly I am not an intentional ‘pirate’. That’s not me. People who know my heart know that that is certainly not me. My unawareness of the rules was perhaps not particularly savvy, but nonetheless, an unintentional error.

‘Kim’ (though it’s doubtful that is her real name, sent me her hotmail note which reads as follows):

To whom it may concern,

I was visiting your website during my recent wedding planning search and felt I needed to write to you.

I viewed the links from your website to both the Carl House blog and the blog for the apparent owner, BB Webb. I am utterly appalled at the unprofessionalism of both blogs for their content and for the unethical and illegal usage of stock photos from companies such as Fotosearch and Shutterstock. I am completely surprised that a business would openly use photos that have obviously been pirated from these companies without compensation to them!

Ms. Webb, you write of “being in the arts” so it seems YOU of all people should understand that you are stealing from the same people you claim to support.

I have notified these companies of your sites and hope they can recoup the loss of income from your apparent lack of ethics. Also, I will certainly NOT contact you for my upcoming 2010 wedding plans nor will I refer anyone to your venue.


Might it not have been more gracious to call me directly to alert me of my error. I wondered why someone who doesn’t know me, would speak so hatefully. I wish I were more thick skinned, but it was hurtful.

After thanking her for bringing this to my attention, I spoke immediately with John at Fotosearch telling him of the letter and my error. I have calls into two other companies I have used. He said that lots and lots of people do the same and don’t understand what ‘royalty free’ means. He accepted my apology and shared with me some cost effective sites I might use. I suggested I post the rules of ‘royalty free’ on my Blog, mentioning his company and additional sites. He thanked me and said he will put together something to post, sent in a separate email after getting the okay from his manager.

I shared the email I had received from ‘Kim’. He was shocked at its sharpness and accusing tone. He was stunned by a letter so hateful.

BB Webb the deviant pirateer?? Photo by Artstar Photography

BB Webb the deviant pirateer?? Photo by Artstar Photography

Perhaps this email is really a disgruntled former employee masquarading as Kim, or maybe she IS a bride-to-be. If it is a bride, I wish she’d contacted me privately, to better know my heart.

This person does however represent a part our culture who think little about being hurtful, they hide behind email, are unwilling to have a thoughtful conversation. ‘Kim’s’ follow up email was all the more blaming and obsessed. I decided not to participate. To me it’s an odd way to spend time and energy.

I am thankful to have so many dear friends and colleagues who know me, who know my heart, my intentions toward good.

My world is becoming and will become more and more public as I do what I am meant to do, sharing all I’m learning as a business owner, as a woman, as a servant and student of the world. One of my dear friends promised to make me a suit of teflon to let the negatives barbs and thoughtless jabs hurled by people roll off me.

Emails such as Kim’s help me know better who I am. They strengthen my resolve to continue the work I am doing and to release the people and things who serve me not.

And with the knowledge of my error, please stay tuned, you’ll be hearing from the various photo stock companies I’ve contacted… so far, gracious, understanding, considerate. My sincere apologies to them all and thanks for agreeing to help educate me and others on the rule of ‘royalty free’ photos. I’d rather be part of the solution than the problem. Any day.

BB Webb


14 Responses to “Knowing your heart.”

  1. Brian Patrick Cork Says:


    I’ll find myself disappointed in this Kim.

    My sense is her total lack of grace in this matter. She had an opportunity to be discreet and helpful. A simple telephone call or more gentle email would have been sincerely and well received by yourself. Instead, based on the email you’ve shared with us, she instead chose to be mean-spirited and judgmental. She went out of her way to pick on you personally, and erroneously assume that your run your entire business poorly.

    I’m sure we all hope little Kim’s wedding goes well, and the rest of her life with it. I know you feel that way, BB. But, my own experience with people that come across this way (and, concerned about leveraging judgment, here, myself) is you likely “dodged a bullet” matrix-style. As hard and efficiently as your crew works, the sense I have is Kim would never be satisfied. Perhaps she’s a good candidate for that silly reality show “Bridezilla”! Maybe, she’s just sad and unhappy with her lot in life and needed to vent.

    In any event, I like your post. And, I appreciate how you have handled this manner. You took Kim’s utter lack of grace and converted it into a transparent lesson for us all.

    Thank you for that, really.


  2. BB Webb Says:

    Thank you Brian for your supportiveness and perspective, really. I’m reminded of your expression oft times when addressing your hearty and ferocious soccer team of young women, coaching them toward excellence and stewardship, ‘silly kittens’, as from time to time, aren’t we all.

  3. Linda Says:

    I can not comment on what Kim wrote other then to speak of what I know from my own personal and professional experience in dealing with BB Webb and Carl House.

    Over the past four years I have had the honor of both attending professional functions at Carl house and several fundraisers that BB has graciously hosted.
    My husband and I have travelled the world and I can honestly say when you go to Carl House you are treated to world class excellence. The house and gardens are an extension of a truly beautiful woman who is so completley given to insuring you are treated as royalty. The house is stunning,the food a culinary delight (I am always delighted), the service excellent but the shinning star is Ms. Webb, she attends to every detail and smiles the entire time!
    Anyone who can write with such maliciousness I fear finds the world a dark place and everyone an enemy however let me assure you, Ms. Webb is highly ethical and holds to a very high moral standard.
    Over the years I have spoken with many people who have the same opinion as my husband and I – Wonderful!
    Thank you Ms. Webb, you are a true success story

    • BB Webb Says:

      Mayor Blechinger….I am honored to have you in my life and to belong to such a growing, forward thinking, positive community. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comments AND, certainly for stopping in to read my Blog. Blessings to you.

  4. Gail Dunn Says:

    I certainly feel your distress. The world has become pretty mean spirited from the days of my childhood, and I do not think it serves anyone.
    I had a similar incident a year or so ago, when I inadvertently stepped on a trademark of a lady in the automotive business that I had met.
    She did give me an opportunity to right a wrong that I would have never made intentionally.
    I hope “Kim” finds some peace in her life. She certainly appears to need it.
    I am going to propose your offer to host an ABWA luncheon to the board and will advise.
    Have a wonderful weekend, and I hope to see you very soon.

    • BB Webb Says:

      Thank you for your thoughts Gail. I’ll be delighted to host an ABWA luncheon….keep me posted! I hope to see you again soon as well. Warmly, BB

  5. Linda Says:

    BB – I was just reading your post. I wish I had your writing skills 😉 I was surprised by that email?! She absolutely should have picked up the phone as opposed to hide behind email.

    The personal attack was ridiculous and did not deserve a response from you. I think you went above and beyond on this one. If that ever happens again, hit the delete key!

    We all know that you are a wonderful person that runs an incredible facility! Any bride would be lucky to have her wedding there.

    • BB Webb Says:

      Thanks for that Linda. Sometimes you just get sucked in and feel compelled to respond…make a move toward something more positive. Thank you for your kind thoughts AND for being such a leader in our industry. I look forward to stirring up more good ‘stuff’ together! Warmly, BB

  6. That just kills me that someone hurt your feelings like that. I can not imagine what their motive was, but you will have to consider this a blessing that you didn’t host this wedding…it has trouble written all over it. BB, I’m so proud to be your friend….not only are you a great, strong woman in business but you make a dandy friend too. There is no one (who really knows you) who doesn’t see that you are passionate, giving, loyal—and of all things, a true supporter of the arts. It hurts to take an attack like that because you are a sensitive, caring individual. I know we talked about a hateful letter I received and I spent the whole weekend sick, hyperventilating over it—I truly didn’t deserve it and never got an apology. I really gained my peace when I decided to forgive and let it go. People are screwed up, you’ll never be able to change them…release this ugliness to the universe—you have many friends who love and appreciate every little thing you do. BTW my friends Chip Sparrow and Danning Manning told me to tell you hello! They both think you’re the bomb 🙂 🙂

    • BB Webb Says:

      Jeni, thank you for that. People are a mystery aren’t they. And no, the idea that we might please everyone, or have them know our heart, is a total ego trip. I’m learning, albiet, slooowly, that everyone has their path, they can choose to be ugly or they can work toward being part of a positive solution. I’m noticing though how easy it is to give our ‘power’ away with an attempt to condemn OR please. It’s a wasteful use of energy. Ahhh, to be human.
      Knowing you all these years, and the challenges you’ve faced, I know the path you are on….and darlin….YOU rock! 28 bookings this month demonstrates your tenacity, passion and verve. I’m honored to be YOUR friend Ms. Hot Stuff! Thank you Jeni. I can’t wait to hear you sing and play again soon…hopefully, at CARL HOUSE!!

  7. Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    This is a example of a “Chinese Maybe”.

    The original email from the hapless Kim was mean and pointless. Was that a bad thing?


    The stage (always for BB) was then set for people that actually know BB, and her business, to rally. Was this a good thing?


    It’s probably up to both Kim and BB in terms of how they conduct themselves, in any circumstance, going forward, with all of this a lesson. I’m admittedly not a Muslim. But, one of their loosely translated sayings goes something like this: “The promise is in the punishment, and the punishment is in the promise”.


  8. BB Webb Says:

    I feel an important lesson, which I might be missing, coming on sir….might you kindly elaborate? My guess might be…moving forward…to let such barbs roll. As lovely as it is to have supportive allies, certainly who know my heart and intent, perhaps moving forward I need spend less time with such slings or arrows….but rather take a breath, stop being so shocked by humanity… and ‘know thyself’.

  9. aubrey Says:

    Hello Ms. Webb.

    I have known Brian Cork most of his life. Thusly I will impose my thinking on your blog as is our habit in the world we share.

    A lesson you might recognize today or tomorrow in this is accountability. “Kim” who does not know you raised her hand and was obnoxious. She evidenced poor moral judgment, weakness and ignorance. Ironically this exchange will survive as an immutable example of Kims own negative qualities and poor decision making. We can only hope she is reading all of this and might consider redemption. A community that knows you rose up in your defense and held her accountable whilst also outlining your good qualities as examples.

    I can see that you recently commented on Brian’s own post today arbiter of the Abacus. Therein lies a very good example of the potential lessons here and this episode in yours and Kim’s lives. As Brian states in the comments “karma is a bitch”. The cold steel can be a metaphor, or not.

    I would say you appear to live your life well or attempt to do so. Kim judged you without bothering to do any research. Many of us are judging Kim but appear to have good reason if this post and history are an indication. Knowing Brian and his history I suspect there is a strong correlation. But we should all try not to be Kims and strive to be like BB (and Brian).

    Many of us that follow Brian hope that our lives reflect and represent the way we want others to treat us.


    • BB Webb Says:

      Thank you for rounding out this forum so well Aubrey. I’m reminded also of very poor decisions or snap judgments I have made, acting too swiftly, (which is often my tendency) without doing my homework, my tendency to ‘flinch’ and respond without real thought. As we become more conscious of the choices available to us, we realize there are other ways ‘to be’. Our wounds heal and our options expand. These lessons are certainly ‘up’ for me just now.

      With that in mind, I might consider the idea of ‘grace’ a bit more. I’d rather consider that Kim, like all of us, is learning, expanding and growing and could do with a soft touch to ease her own pains. I certainly know plenty of times when I wish someone had given me that grace despite my hasty, ill-thought and possibly hurtful reactions. I’ve certainly made some very poor decisions in my past.

      Thank you Aubrey for your comments and thoughtfulness. Always a new day!

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