Margot Chapman-In Memorium

 

It’s one year today Margot Chapmanthat my best friend, Margot Chapman, committed suicide.  It’s still hard to believe that she’s gone.

Margot was one of the kindest, most giving human beings I’ve ever known.  I met her through work, and as a marketer, was impressed with her uncanny ability to take trends from one world and see how they applied to another product category.  

Margot was a serial entrepreneur.  She started “Warm Fuzzies” the first scheerling slipper company, “The Chapman Sisters Calorie Counter” the first portion controlled great tasting fast food place for working women in downtown Chicago, “Swirlz” one of the first cupcake stores, and she was my first friend or associate to recognize the potential of social media.  When everyone was saying “I don’t get it,”  Margot dived in.

What got to her was a series of illnesses, including misdiagnosed gluten intolerance, that drained her financially and emotionally.  Then the economy hit the skids and she could no longer find much work as a new product consultant.  She just couldn’t take it any more.  To this day it still bothers me that I missed the signs and didn’t rush back to Chicago to check on her.

Margot, I miss you every day.

 

 

About Karen Pelletier

Karen Pelletier is an independent Marketing Consultant. She has over 30 years of experience in consumer packaged goods, new product development, technology marketing, and Internet Marketing. She can be reached at kjpelletier@marketing-consultant-k-pelletier.com.
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7 Responses to Margot Chapman-In Memorium

  1. Karen, thanks for the great tribute to Margot. I would also add that she was a selfless person. I was often at a loss to describe our relationship. I would sum it up simply as “She’s my mother, my sister and mentor”. When I was a lowly Marketing Assistant at Quaker (aka “Slug”) she took me under her wing. Through her I learned to be comfortable with ideas that others might not immediately grasp but would eventually come to accept. She was a woman that made big things happen. But she never forgot the little things like a birthday or my fascination with pigs (I still have a pink beaded pig that she found at a store and said “I immediately thought of you”.) The good news in her death is that I know her spirit lives on. In me. I realized long ago that I could never repay her for all that she gave me. But I could live a life accepting of my uniqueness and “pay it forward” by encouraging others to be all they were put on this earth to be.

  2. Karen, Thank you for posting this. I know it must have been hard to write. I am an entrepreneur myself, and I only recently found a snip-it of her marketing wisdom. It led me on a quest to find out more from her, and this is the only time my search actually stopped prematurely. I just want you to know she is still helping others. I will forever remember her #11 tip on how to get into a magazine: “Cupcakes Make People Happy”

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  6. Ava Sussan says:

    I miss Margot still everyday, and think of her loving, giving spirit and great talents. I was never able to connect with her sister Leslie, to hear and understand what and why she choose to leave us.
    I have not been able to have closure with her death. I do recall our last telephone conversation,
    and my last Birthday card, she NEVER forgot a birthday or special occasion. One of the most
    talented ,creative, giving, loving, remarkable people I have ever loved. I first met Margot when I
    worked for the “love of her life” Derick J. Daniels, at that time President/CEO of Playboy, former
    Knight Rider News Executive, Editor of Detroit Free Press. Margot became my dear friend, mentor,
    & “Older” sister I always wanted. I can not begin to express the positive impact Margot had in my
    life. She gave unconditionally. She loved unconditionally. She lived with a zest and love of life.
    Yes, today I look at all the calorie counting in restaurants, & packing that she began with her “Chapman Sisters Calorie Counting” restaurant on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Extended to
    other Chicago Suburban locations. “Warm Fuzzies” the slipper Company she 1st started & have
    be copied world wide — still my favorite slippers ever. Yes, anyone who truly knew Margot knew she
    was a visionary, always ahead of her time. She put cupcakes on the map in Chicago long before
    anyone EVER thought of beyond children’s parties instead of cake. I learned of her death via
    computer on her Birthday In November of 2010 when I had been unable to connect with her. Leslie
    Chapman, Buddy Gains, Roddy or Tracy Gains, or. anyone who really knew Margot please contact
    me to remember Margot, because I still do not have closure around her death. She was/is such a
    large part of my heart, and I dearly miss her. The world truly is a better place because Margot was
    here. Lauren I do recall meeting you with Margot at I think a Japanese restaurant in Chicago in the
    80’s. Please do contact me ava_67 @ hotmail.com. Thank you. Ava Sussan

    • I agree with every thing you said about Margot, and I miss her too, every day. It’s hard to have closure; I still find it hard to believe. I do know that during the last few years of her life as her financial pressures got worse and worse, her beloved father died, her psychiatrist (who she really liked and trusted) either retired or passed away, and she just couldn’t face selling her lovely place and starting over. I offered to let her live with us, but she wouldn’t impose. If I had had any inkling that she was so despondent as to plan her suicide I would have jumped on a plane and dragged her back to my home.

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