Shopping Blind

I’m not a shopper, by any means.. so when I do go shopping, I appreciate a good experience.

Today, I went shopping at Victoria Secret for the basics and left feeling so appreciative of their wonderful staff and the excellent customer service they provided. Steven and I were stopping by the Apple store and a few others stores today too so he was with me. We went in together and started to figure out where I needed to look when a very sweet customer service representative named Lauren came over. She asked me if she could help and I acknowledged that I would very much appreciate some help. We were looking at bras and underwear. I knew what bra size I was but no idea about underwear.. so she asked me what jeans size I wore.. no idea once again. Did I mention I don’t really go shopping? 🙂

So I told her what I liked and she took me to show me a few different kinds. She let me touch each one so that I could see it with my limited vision but also get what I couldn’t see with my limited vision with my hands. I so loved her accessible approach to helping me shop! I asked her about the prices, she told me a special about bras and underwear combined, so then we went on to bras but hadn’t quite picked out what I wanted for underwear. I told her what I was looking for and we agreed to have me try a few things on. At this point, I told Steven he could go wait outside because my sweet, shy boyfriend gets very awkward just waiting in the VS store.

I went back to the dressing room and tried on a few bras but then the fitting specialist decided that a different kind of bra might be a better fit, with the clasp at the front. So she lets me try it on and then a few minutes later she comes back, and I still hadn’t gotten it on. (Note: I had never had a front clasping bra before). I reminded her that I was visually impaired and was having a hard time figuring it out. She apologized profusely and then asked me what the best way to show me it was. She showed me how to clasp and then unclasp and then left me to try it on. What’s important to me is not that she knew how to help me right away, but was that she genuinely cared, wanted to learn, and asked me how to best assist instead of just guessing or assuming. That speaks wonders.

I left with exactly what I wanted, a great experience, and while I still needed a little help, I felt pretty independent because I could go into the store, get what I needed with the assistance of their staff, and then leave.

(Disclaimer: To me it’s a little weird writing this knowing my family reads this but hey, every girl needs bras and underwear, right? This kind of thing isn’t talked about enough either in the disability community.)

Published by

Jessica N and Makiko

Jessica is a proud Texan. She graduated in 2014 with her Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling and is now employed. She is visually impaired and has a retinal disease, Retinitis Pigmentosa. Originally Jessica started blogging about everything from being diagnosed with the disease to where she is now, almost 9 years later. Then, Jessica went to Guide Dogs for the Blind and was blessed with Makiko, her new guide dog. Now, her blog "The Way Eye See The World" is about everything related to visual impairments, including guide dogs.

4 thoughts on “Shopping Blind”

  1. I guess you didn’t have your guide dog with you, otherwise the staff should have picked up on the fact you where blind? Having said that (and being blind myself) I know that despite (almost always) having my guide dog Trigger with me, people dont always pick up on the fact that I am visually impaired. Its great you had a good customer service experience. Kevin

  2. HI! Actually, like you, I almost always have my guide dog with me and did have her with me when I shopped. Makiko combined with the excellent customer service staff who clearly cared about accessibility, it was a great shopping experience. Like you, many people and places don’t know I’m blind just because I have Makiko with me because I “don’t look blind.”

    Thanks for sharing and commenting!

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