'Not that cute': Job applicant goes viral after Metro Detroit boutique critique

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

A Metro Detroit boutique is being dragged on social media this week after its vice president's errant response to an applicant said the potential worker was "not that cute" to represent the brand.

Gracie Lorincz, who applied at Ava Lane Boutique in Auburn Hills, showcased the email response on TikTok Thursday and the video has gone viral with more than 1.3 million views.

Chuck DeGrendel, vice president of operations and the owner’s husband, accidentally sent Lorincz an email response at 1 p.m. on Wednesday saying, "This girl is fresh out of college (Hope College) and not that cute," DeGrendel wrote. "She applied to the sales model position. Are you sure you want me to interview her?"

Gracie captioned her video ":))))) feeling amazing" and explained the uncalled-for situation.

Shortly after her video was uploaded and gained traction, a statement was posted on Ava Lane Boutique's Facebook page on behalf of DeGrendel saying he has removed himself from the hiring process and that all future hires for brand representatives will be handled by the boutique's human resources representative.

Chuck DeGrendel, vice president of operations and the owner’s husband, went on Facebook Live Thursday to address the video and apologize.

Later Thursday, DeGrendel went Live on Facebook to explain and apologize.

He said Lorincz emailed her application with photos to the boutique, which were reviewed and passed to him by owner Laura DeGrendel. 

“I reviewed the email, the application, downloaded the resume and I sent a reply back to Laura that said she was a recent college grad and I didn’t feel that she was that cute so I wasn’t sure if we wanted to proceed with an interview,” he said tearfully. “I don’t know why I said that … it was very unprofessional and really not in line with my core values."

DeGrendel said his phone has not stopped ringing and "it's totally understandable, I deserve that blowback."

The business has since put all of its social media accounts on pause after it received multiple threats following the video.

"I wish I could take it back," he concluded. "I'm not trying to hide. I'm trying to protect people."

Laura DeGrendel, who started the business in 2019, addressed the public during the Live video, saying she doesn't believe it was Lorincz's intention for people to threaten her family after posting the video.

"Yes, we are going to make the accounts private and we don't really have anything else to say," she said in tears. "He made a mistake and he owns it. We can learn from this and learn the power of social media and choose to use it for good."

srahal@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @SarahRahal_