Monday, June 29, 2009

Crafters / Business Owners BEWARE

I advise that you cancel any transaction from Tonya Pendley of Jasper Alabama. She is a scammer. I was recently a victim to one of her many scams. At the end of this post I have included some helpful information from livelaughlovesoap on how to fight back. Something I unfortunately have to do myself.

I took the following post from I didn't get it as bad as this artist did, but I still want to spread the word about this scammer in hopes that she gets what is coming to her. And soon:

My shop on ArtFire is called CreativeCritters and in May I made my biggest sale ever, 15 items for almost $500.00. Great, right? Maybe not. After waiting for more than 2 weeks for the check to arrive I emailed Tonya Pendley of Jasper Alabama and suggested she may want to track the check down, in case it had gotten lost or stolen. She said she'd just send me another one. I did actually receive that check about a week later. I deposited it right away and planned to ship the package once the check cleared, which happened a few days later (or so I thought). So I happily ship the package, thinking all is well. Today, more than a week after the check showed up in my account, I receive a notice from my bank stating that the check was written on a closed account and the money had been taken out of my account. I was totally bummed out, of course, and posted on the ArtFire forums about what happened. Some of the artists made some very good suggestions (contact the Attorney Generals for both her state and mine, and include all documentation possible), and I did a bit of research myself. I discovered that Tonya Pendley has pulled this trick on more than one artist, and that she used to have an Etsy account. How low can you possibly go- taking advantage of (and stealing from) fellow artists?! So I'm printing up everything I can find against her and will mail it to the Attny. Generals, and possibly the FBI. My mother said they may be interested, as this occurred in several different states and they've been taking internet fraud a lot more seriously. I had to warn other artists about her though. I may never see my items or the money again, but maybe I can keep this from happening to anyone else. My husband also suggested that I post pictures of the items I sold, in case Tonya tried to sell them on eBay. I do sign my work, but if someone tried, they could probably remove the signature. Anyway, these are the items Tonya Pendley stole from me.

There's a miniature church sculpture, a log cabin sculpture, a Tudor style house sculpture, a scarecrow pen set, a Westie dog pin, a blue house sculpture, 2 Brussels Griffon dog pins, a knit stuffed cat in brown and cream, hearts in roses earrings, my World of Warcraft Tauren Hunter and his pet Lion, a red brick house sculpture, an orange and yellow striped knit cat, a brown and white knit dog, and a black and white knit cat.

Wow, looking at them all like this, makes me realize just how much this woman stole from me. I worked really hard on these pieces, and I really liked each of them. These represent 100's of hours of work. I only hope I can get something out of this. She certainly got FAR more than she deserved.

If anyone has additional information on this woman, please leave a comment for me, or contact me through my studio. And to all artists out there- BE CAREFUL! Because of this, I no longer accept checks. It would be nice if I could just trust everyone, but unfortunately, the world doesn't work that way.


Here is the advice from livelaughlovesoap:

First, send a registered letter to the offender, invoicing for the price of the item plus NSF fee. State that you will need to seek legal repercussions if an agreement is not reached and payment is not made in XX amount of time. I recommend providing two options for restitution and, whatever you do, do not accept another personal check from the offender.

Sending this letter registered guarantees that the offender receives it. Keep a hardcopy of this letter for your records.

If you do not reach an agreement with the offender to resolve their debt to you, contact your State Attorney's Office for Bad Checks. Writing bad checks is against the law and you have rights under the law to receive restitution. Writing a bad check is never "an honest mistake." It's a misdemeanor and sometimes a felony.

Once the SAO has opened a case, it will cost the offender hundreds more in court and processing fees. Additionally, the offense will be on their legal record and if they reoffend, they will not be eligible to participate in any deferrment programs. It is in their best interests to take care of this problem with you as agreeably as possible. Otherwise, they can explain their "honest mistake" to a judge.

Remember, you're a business. The world does not end with Paypal or your internet venue. Follow legal channels when appropriate to follow legal channels.

Good luck. :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Shop Closures July 14th - July 24th, 2009

My shops will be closed from July 14th - July 24th 2009 for my Honeymoon Vacation to Maui, Hawaii!

If you are planning to make a purchase for an upcoming birthday, anniversary, or personal pleasure now is the best time.

All items purchased during July 14th - July 24th will be shipped after my return.

Mahalo nui loa!

__1337 Art

Friday, June 12, 2009

Time to Think Ahead.

I conducted a small survey with 160 participants regarding when they start shopping for Christmas gifts. If you take a look at this chart you'll notice that a majority wait until November and December.

These results have me thinking about my three shops (I recently opened one on Madeitmyself) and how to prepare them for the upcoming Christmas season.

I want over 200 items in my Etsy Shop, over 150 in my Artfire Shop, and at least 100 in my Madeitmyself Shop.

Since the times are slow I need to take this time to really evaluate my shops, my items, my supplies, etc. to determine what steps I need to take to make this season a successful one. My first step, obviously, is to use this down time to create new designs. Step two: organize my studio. I'm not going to fret and worry about low views and sales at this point, and as a result I have been away from the Internet and all things social networking for the last couple of weeks.

After my Honeymoon/Vacation next month I'm going to look over my design/new idea books and hoard on supplies in August so I can spend August and September sitting in the middle of my bead mess and create until my fingers threaten to stop working. Until then I'm going to utilize the supplies I currently have and work hard to keep my shops inventory stocked (and update my blog more often!)

Thank you very much for reading. I hope this chart is helpful to your business. And good luck this holiday season!

1337 Art


Related Posts with Thumbnails