Monday, March 10, 2014

Libel Is An Illegal Game

UPDATE:  We've had many enquiries as to how we handled this issue in our regular Monday Kick-Off LIVE event.  You can watch it here!






ORIGINAL POST: Have you ever had a dream that you’ve gone after?  Something in your heart that you really want to do, and you go for it despite the odds?

I have.  It’s called The CraftStar.  And I know you have too, otherwise you wouldn’t know this post exists.

My dream was to create an e:commerce platform for small businesses, that was fair, open, and honest.  I wanted to give small businesses (like me) a chance to grow, with a community who wanted it as much as they did.

I have worked non-stop for over 2 years in building this dream of mine.  I have gone through hell.  I have been beaten up left and right for what I believe in.  But I’m still here.  Do I want to be ALL the time?  No.  There are days I don’t want to get out of bed.  There are days that are full of tears.  There are days (like the past few) that I honestly can’t believe the hoops that I have to go through to try to make my dream a lasting reality.

But I’m still standing … when 80% of self-funded start ups close before they hit their one year anniversary.  Why?  Because I totally believe in what we’re doing as a community.  And I will continue to pursue my dream.

I read a quote yesterday which touched me … exactly when and where I needed it:  Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. (Thomas Edison)

And this one is pretty good too:  Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest. (Benjamin Franklin)

I have dealt with negativity that I didn’t expect.  I’m not naïve enough to have thought this was going to be an easy ride, but I was naïve enough not to ever have even imagined some of the things I’ve seen written about me.  And to me, for that matter.

Last week, a former team member of The CraftStar (Queen of de Tile), intentionally tried to shatter my dream (again), with a calculated post on Etsy about The CraftStar basically stealing from her. She claims she’s sent me "numerous" emails demanding we stop charging her.  She has sent me ONE email, which I replied to within 6 minutes, explaining what she needed to do, and I even offered to do it for her.  She never replied.

First of all, stealing would be illegal.  It’s very easy to close your shop and stop your membership payments on The CraftStar. It is clearly written in our Terms and Conditions and FAQs.  She hasn’t bothered to read that, as she was so intent on sticking another knife in her former “friend” and employer.

Our legal consul requested that Queen of de Tile issue an apology and retraction to her very damaging statement, which she has refused to do.  Based on this refusal, we are now going to file a lawsuit against her in Los Angeles County Court.  We are also requesting Etsy close her ability to conduct business until this matter has been settled. According to Etsy’s Terms of Use:  content and use of Etsy may not "Be defamatory, trade libelous, unlawfully threatening, unlawfully harassing, impersonate or intimidate any person (including Etsy staff or other users), or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with any person, through for example, the use of similar email address, nicknames, or creation of false account(s) or any other method or device."  

That employee relationship went way beyond my means, both personally and financially.  She never balked, or come to think of it, never really appreciated, when I gave her extra money to feed her kids.  Or to send her on special days out with them.  Or to listen to her latest “drama” which she thrives on and which I really would have preferred not to have been part of.  She didn’t like it when I stopped being the sucker, and I’ve been paying for it ever since.

Her post last week on Etsy is libelous, it’s a lie and is being dealt with by the lawyers.  It’s not the only post on Etsy that has torn me apart.  The one that says I deserve to die was really charming.  Especially when I complained about this to Etsy’s management and they “thanked me for my concern”. And yes, that post it still up.  There’s something seriously wrong with that thinking and reflects that destructive atmosphere.  An atmosphere we do not tolerate on The CraftStar.

I am a self-funded entrepreneur who has put everything I have into building this site.  I am more accessible as a CEO than any other company similar to ours that I can think of. I have nothing to hide.  

Also, as a self-funded entrepreneur, I don’t have the resources for a court battle.  However, my dad was so disgusted having seen Queen of de Tile’s post that he’s paying for the legal fees to sue her for libel.  Why?  Because when I flew her to Los Angeles, she quite happily sat in his house for dinner. 

It’s not easy being an entrepreneur with the responsibility of running a site like The CraftStar.  If you look up “tendencies” of entrepreneurs, I tick off many of the boxes.  I’m focused on building my dream, probably too much at times as I haven’t had a proper social life as there’s always work to be done. I am self-centered at times because I’m trying so hard.  BUT … I would NEVER ever hurt anyone intentionally.

In this day and age, it’s very easy to hide behind a keyboard and be hurtful.  I don’t get this.  I was not brought up this way (the dad I mentioned earlier would have grounded me for life if he saw me writing such things), and I don’t understand the mindset of grown people and their need to hurt others.

But … again ... I have a dream.  And for those who are on this journey with me, I really appreciate it.  For those who aren’t … that’s absolutely fine … there’s just no need to be vicious about it.

I will be addressing this tonight in our weekly LIVE show: The CraftStar Monday Night Kick Off - 5pm PST / 8pm EST.  Please join us by going to https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/103642489195745052292/events/c5u8t8f3tcdc8dc004mmpm1imlo or thecraftstar.com

Bethan
FOUNDER / CEO 
The CraftStar


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