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.
-Michelle of CreativeCritters