February 17, 2022 – Thursday
Below is the full exchange that I had with the Public Relations folks from Williams Sonoma yesterday. I share these types of communication threads with you (Lead Safe Mama readers) for a few reasons…
- By sharing these communications in a public forum it helps to alleviate some of the stress I personally feel were I to keep these types of communications to myself.
- I think the consumer deserves to know exactly how companies are responding to these findings and I like to have full transparency in sharing these communications with you.
- While I feel very strongly about exposing NEGATIVE (and inappropriate) communications from corporate representatives I also think that companies responding positively and proactively should get credit for doing the right thing, so I like to share those communications as well. I want all companies to expect that when they communicate with me their communications (and my responses) will be made public, because that adds another layer of accountability on both sides of the communication (it also means I am less likely to get emotional and spout off – and instead try to be as straightforward and business-like as possible – in spite of the tone of *some* of the posts I write for this website that may be a tad more emotional!)
With all of that said I want to say that I applaud these Williams Sonoma representatives for the thoughtful consideration of these initial communications. In spite of my general ire for the past business practices of this particular company as a whole, seeing such positive, open, receptive communications from their current representatives gives me some hope that this might be an exchange that could move the needle a bit in terms of the toxicant content of their future products.
I am also – separately – VERY THANKFUL that it was their public relations team I heard from, not their lawyers. I think that shows a level of respect and “grown-up-ness” [I’ll find a good word to replace that with!] that is a good sign for the direction this exchange might take from this point forward. Said another way: when a company’s first reaction is to send their lawyers at me (for simply sharing science-based findings and concerns about their products) … that always seems to start the communications off on the wrong foot (and their customers [YOU!] don’t respond well to that too!)
This communication exchange (in full, below) also gives Lead Safe Mama readers a good sense of the time, energy and attention to detail (and research) that I put into each of these exchanges. Thanks for reading! Thanks for being here! Thank you for supporting this work in ALL of the ways!
Owner – Lead Safe Mama, LLC
As a little index of what follows below here is a list of the communications (in the order that they were received / sent:
- February 14, 2022 – The Lead Safe Mama e-mail newsletter about the dish in question. [Apparently there’s a Williams Sonoma employee on my e-mail newsletter list! ;-)]
- February 16, 2022 – 9:10 a.m. The first email I received from Williams Sonoma Public Relations
- February 16, 2022 – 9:53 a.m. – My initial response
- February 16, 2022 – 10:12 a.m. – My first P.S.
- February 16, 2022 – 11:10 a.m. – My second P.S. [P.P.S.]
- February 16, 2022 – 11:12 a.m. – Williams Sonoma response to my three e-mails above
- February 16, 2022 – 11:29 a.m. – My final response to Williams Sonoma yesterday
- The 10-page report that Williams Sonoma sent me with the initial email
And with that, here’s the full exchange (as a series of screenshots):
Item #1) February 14, 2022
The Lead Safe Mama e-mail newsletter about the dish in question.
Item #2) February 16, 2022 – 9:10 a.m.
The first email I received from Williams Sonoma Public Relations
Item #3) February 16, 2022 – 9:53 a.m.
My initial response
Item #4) February 16, 2022 – 10:12 a.m.
My first P.S.
Item #5) February 16, 2022 – 11:10 a.m.
My second P.S. [P.P.S.]
Item #6) February 16, 2022 – 11:12 a.m.
Williams Sonoma response to my three e-mails above
Item #7) February 16, 2022 – 11:29 a.m.
My final response to Williams Sonoma yesterday
Tamara, you are amazing, thank you for the work you do. These responses are also so well written.
Marisa Plemer says
Thank you Tamara for all the dedicated work you do on behalf of families everywhere! You’re the very BEST at what you do, Congrats!
Aloha from Hawaii, Marisa
That was excellent on both ends. Good for Williams-Sonoma! It certainly would be incredible if they were to lead (“leed”) the industry away from leaded products. Thank you for sharing all of this with us, Tamara.
Thank you for all that you do.
For those who don’t know, I was the person who sent the Made in Portugal & Made in Italy William Sonoma Sicily Collection dinnerware to Tamara. I only did so because I liked this set so much and yet, after 4 separate attempts, they refused to give any concrete answer regarding the lead safety of their plates. The only answer I got from Williams Sonoma was that all their products passed regulations & CA65. They really only started “talking” after Tamara got the results herself.
Thank you Tamara for doing this! I really hope that this could bring about change to Williams Sonoma.
Thank you so much Peng!!!
yvonne short says
What an *outstanding* example of professional diplomacy backed up with expert knowledge. I am SO proud of you; your level of expertise in heavy metal testing, widespread education to prevent further heavy metal poisoning, in short a very bright light helping everyone and a mother of four to boot! Your plate is FULL!
Williams Sonoma’s response gives me hope with a seemingly sincere tone that they might be “lead” to reconsider the unfortunate choice of how they’ve been testing their products. You’e right, they could be a leader in the industry and it would give them a far greater following of customers having peace of mind buying their products with zero heavy metals.
As an ex-potter of high fired porcelain I knew only too well what was likely used in those beautiful designs, so never bought any even though I loved the look too.
Thanks very much for sharing your emails.
Thank you for your comment!
wen budro says
Bravo for your diplomacy. Thank you for all you do. When I did a chelation urine test my lead levels were 35 when they should have been below 2! You have helped me reverse my levels by throwing away 1/2 my kitchen dishes and buy new from your Amazon site. I am forever grateful to you.
Thank you for commenting Claudia – it really keeps me going (all these kind comments and success stories!)
You’re amazing!!! THANK YOU!! Let’s hope this affects change.
Thank you, Tamara, for this information on Williams Sonoma. I just purchased a set of WS Terre Matte Flax dinnerware. I found your website after my purchase. I called customer service. The customer service representative said her supervisor stated that they do not sell any dishes that are toxic.
Do you know if the Terre Matte Flax set has lead or cadmium?
I don’t know sorry. If you want to send me a picture and possibly send one in for testing – this is how that works:
Thank you for your wonderful work Tamara. I own the bowl version of these plates. What do you suggest folks do? Call and ask for a refund?
I think we are still waiting for a response here – but I would call and ask for a refund – that’s always a good first step (hopefully they will let you do that!)