Monday, January 17, 2011

Learning the Hard Way


Painful lessons are the hardest to take. 

Last July, I was contacted by a gallery-Queen City Emporium- interested in consigning some of my handmade bags.  As an artist, it is always thrilling to get this type of recognition.  Unfortunately, this gallery’s intentions were far from honorable, and along with many other talented artists, I’ve just learned this weekend that I’ve been scammed. Now I am having to learn the ins and outs of dealing with the proper authorities in an attempt to recoup my losses.

While I may be out several hundred dollars, it breaks my heart to see that other artists may lose thousands of dollars.  And while For the Love of Pete is not my bread and butter-the same cannot be said about all of us involved, and losing money for some literally may take food from their tables.

As artists, we know we have to take risks-we put our work out in the public eye, fully aware that there may be criticism and rejection.  These are hard enough to take-but  they can also cause us to do some re-evaluating- potentially helping us improve what we do.    But dishonesty is different-because it destroys trust in others and makes us jaded-something I don’t want to be.

But I am jaded now.  Because I will never again risk being cheated this way.  And it makes me doubly sad, because the reason I named my business For the Love of Pete was so that I could honor my uncle-someone who valued the meaning of honesty and integrity.

Yes-I’ve learned my lesson.  But my heart is broken.

Important!  If you are reading this and have consigned with QCE, there is now a Facebook page called Stop Queen City Emporium that can assist you in taking action against these people.


  1. What a terrible thing to happen to you. And anytime we have to learn to trust others less is really the worse lesson of all. I hope you find a gallery that's trustworthy to showcase your art Valerie!

  2. Thanks Kim-and I agree-when something like this happens everyone loses.

  3. I am so, so sorry. I think it's worse when these things happen when they deal specifically with our work, something we put our heart and soul into.

    I hope justice is served.

  4. That's awful!
    My mom once had her art in a shop and the shop burned down.

  5. Thanks Melissa-that's what makes this whole thing so sad to me. What we all create, with our heart and soul, results in something deeply personal-a part of us, so to speak. This whole incident is so disrespectful to all those who were cheated.

    I'll let you know how it all turns out eventually (and too bad it can't be over a couple of diet Pepsi's) :)

  6. Ms. Givens-that's horrible!! Your poor mom!

  7. I am so sorry to hear this. I have had a similar experience with freelance writing, where individuals will sometimes publish your work without paying you. It is heartbreaking.

  8. Why oh why can't everyone just be decent and honest!! Thanks Tina-and sorry that happened to you.

  9. Oh Valerie!
    I just read about this QCE mess on Etsy's forums.
    I am so sorry you were one of the victims.

    You would think that someone who would go to the extent of having a physical store location, would be serious about their business and on the "up and up". I guess some people will go to a lot of trouble in order to deceive. :-(

    I hope that you and the rest of the sellers are able to get some kind of compensation.


  10. Even if I never get my bags back-or see any money-my heart is so warmed by the outpouring of support by my fellow Etsians like you Kimberly. Thank you-I appreciate it:)