• Report: #392097

Complaint Review: Ashley Stratton, The Wedding Market LC, The Wedding Market, Starting Forever

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  • Submitted: Mon, November 17, 2008
  • Updated: Mon, December 15, 2008

  • Reported By:Paoli Pennsylvania
Ashley Stratton, The Wedding Market LC, The Wedding Market, Starting Forever
163 Exton Square Parkway Exton, Pennsylvania, 19935 U.S.A. Exton, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

Ashley Stratton, The Wedding Market LLC, The Wedding Market, Starting Forever, The Wedding Market Inc, The Wedding Cafe Inc, Eventus Productions, Anthony McDowell BUSINESS PARTNER-VP OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SINCE 2004: USED, ABUSED, HARRASSED & FOR THE FINALE - HAD $5,000 STOLEN FROM ME Exton Pennsylvania

*Consumer Comment: Happy with Starting Forever

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How excited was I, to land a job that not only was made for me - but that I was BORN for. Everyone that knew me told me so. I was perfect. I started working with Ashley Stratton at the then-named The Wedding Market at 969 E.Swedesford Road, Exton, PA 19355 in August 2004.

I was given the title of VP-Business Development.

The concept was brilliant. We were in a beautiful, old, stone house in Exton, and we were to bring brides to the vendors. I had to find the vendors. For a monthly fee, they were then allowed to display their business on a shelf in rooms on the second floor. We had photographers; videographers; bands; locations; caterers; favors; planners. We hosted showers and invited vendors to attend. We were constantly brainstorming & coming up with plans.

Except that we were being controlled by a manic lunatic.

Oh, and there was no money. From the moment the doors opened.

We were constantly harrassing our vendors to pay their months fee. We were constantly putting off companies who called and were owed money. We were constantly arguing with the landlord - Eadah of Exton (who I know, is owed lots of money) and not paying them.

Ashley was full of energy & character & enthusiasm. She was also full of lies & deceits and evil moods & outbursts. The ones who worked for her were completely sucked in.

I was drawn into this complete dysfunction, and played my part well. Just before Christmas of 2004, I loaned Ashley $5,000 - all I had - to help out with all the expenses. We were just at the point of opening a new store in Lititz Lancaster; I had spent months driving up there & finding a location & vendors, and it was to be MINE!!

In the February, she hysterically threw me out because, thru gossip with a co-worker - Joy Crozier-Vining- she discovered my kids had talked about her!!

(p.s. part of the loan I gave her was to go towards Joy's salary, as she was getting married & going on honeymoon and I couldn't bear to think of her not getting paid)

I had to get my salary thru the Labor relations and I got a receipt stating that I had loaned her the money.

Then, between Joy Crozier-Vining & Ashley Stratton, they spread the most evil, malicious gossip about me; filed a harrassment charge against me and my then 12-year old daughter - yes that was a real low point - to have the police call my daughter when she was on her own at home. My deed??? I had left a box of Ashley's personal belongings on the doorstep of Starting Forever, which had just moved to King Street in Malvern.

I have sent letters. Had lawyers contact her.

Since then, I have spent 3 years battling cancer & trying to keep working & keep my head above water. And it is eating me up. I want my money back.

I think the reason why I have also left it so long is because I AM SCARED of Ashley Stratton. She is vicious & volatile. She lies and causes so much disruption and hysteria you cannot believe you are part of it.

I welcome ANYONE to contact me. I know several vendors who are probably still owed money from way back. And I know what it was like. I worked there & saw it and still stayed.

Stephanie
Paoli, Pennsylvania
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/17/2008 03:37 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Ashley-Stratton-The-Wedding-Market-LC-The-Wedding-Market-Starting-Forever/Exton-Pennsylvania-19935/Ashley-Stratton-The-Wedding-Market-LLC-The-Wedding-Market-Starting-Forever-The-Wedding-392097. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Happy with Starting Forever

AUTHOR: Happy With Starting Forever - (U.S.A.)

It's amazing how some of these individuals who have placed information on this web site are either delusional or just not smart business owners or employees. First off, if you worked for Starting Forever back in 1994 why would you be so interested in telling the media or the consumers now. If you felt that $5,000.00 should have been spent in other means other than giving it to a business owner for honeymoon expenses, maybe you should be the one who needs the help. I'm sure your heart was in the right place but if you lent someone money out of the goodness of your heart, then try to blame the company owner for monies you lent for intentions other than help, then why do it in the first place. Come on!!!!

For our other consumer that wishes to name themselves Annonymous from Somewhere in the USA how do we know that you even dealt with Starting Forever in Chester County, PA. Were you just bored one day & decided to pick on a business owner or a company because you didn't have anything else better to do or is that you don't want anyone to find out that maybe you really weren't a vendor in the store after all.

For our third vendor, Carol from Photo MD. Let me clue you in on some information. The first time she received a client from Starting Forever the first thing out of her mouth was to belittle one of the employees at the store & this is a person she is trying to get business from. Let me tell you, she obviously didn't get her service. Personally, if someone was coming to my business & I told them rude things about someone that was sent to me, I wouldn't expect them to do business with me either.

Let me tell you a different side of the story. I know a lot of you got caught up in the store opening in the new location at the Exton Mall & that unfortanetly did happen. A build-out of the store which cost $60,000.00 was approved by employees of the Exton Mall. Then, within a weeks time, those two Mall Employees that approved the store, got fired. Another contractor came in & gave Ashley, the owner, a punch list that included 3 1/2 to 4 pages of things that needed to be changed in the store because he didn't like them. From the color of the name Starting Forever on the awning outside the store, to changing the color of the floor, to just everything that needed to be changed within a 30 day time period. In the meantime, the mall was also trying to get Ashley to pay for two months rent while she was waiting for her permits to open the store. We are talking about $12,000.00 at least, that they wanted her to pay. She was also paying for a Kioske outside the food court & the store was still open upstairs. What would you do? At this point in time she had enough & closed the store. It wasn't the Exton Mall that closed her down, it was Ashley that closed the doors. Selling everything that wasn't tied down was what was best in the position that she was put in. An email went out to all the vendors to let them know about the punch list & to come get your things. Some totally ignored the e-mail, some in defense of the vendors did try contacting the store with no avail at times to get their belongs. I myself got the information I needed to contact Ashley to find out what was going on & the injustice that was before her. Did I quietly sit back & say "Oh well I guess the store is closed maybe I should get my things out". No I took a stand & sent a long e-mail out to all the vendors as a family to stick together if you believed in the concept & to stick together to see what we can do against the mall. Yes we were losing money & we were not getting what was promised by having our meetings & our events there, but when you advertise in the phone book does Verizon or Yellow Book promise that you are going to get so many customers by seeing your ad. No, there is no guarentees in advertising as well as there are no guarentees in life. Only one person responded to my email & she contacted the news media to put us on TV & report what was going on. No one wanted to get involved!!!!

I'm only giving my side of the story because I believe in the concept, I believe in the store & you make it what it's worth. I'm no one special. I advertise like the rest of you do but you can't just drop off your things & expect someone else to sell you or your company. You are the only one that can do that! Since I have come on board as a Starting Forever Wedding Vendor, within 1 year, I have received 5 Weddings, 1 Bat Mitzvah, 1 Bar Mitzvah and an event for Macy's that have called me again to do this year. You have to set-up appointments for your clients to come in & you have to have events there to so the customers from the mall can find out more about you. Yes, the job of the employees is to know your business but you need to sell yourself. Their job is to get the clients to you and provide a brick & morter place to hold your events.

It's amazing how some of these vendors only pay $100.00 a month for advertising & they want to complain about not getting business. Have you spoken to Idearc lately to advertise in the Verizon phone book? You are going to spend more money in one month in a phone book and on the Interet than you can imagine. Are you going to put them on Ripoff Report because you didn't get a client or that they took my money. Booo hooooo. Any vendors who have chosen to return have been compensated for their loss with free months avertising. We want to make this a great year for not only Starting Forever but for the vendors who believed in the concept from the beginning.

We have new vendors that are coming into the store that have no idea of the sweat & tears that Amanda, Roberta & Ashley shed as they had to make the decision to close the store & whether or not to reopen the store. You have no idea what they have been through & the money that they have put in out of their own pockets to make this dream come true. Do you think that if this store was owned by a big company they would be pushed around this way? So many lives have been hurt, changed & distraught over these past 3 months it's amazing that more people have not come forward to ask what is going on. Everyone is to busy sticking their heads in the sand like ostriches but when they want to complain they sure come out of the woodwork. It would be nice to hear something good come out of peoples mouths when the going gets rough. It's amazing out of 5 years of business 3 people were not happy.

As I finalize my last goodbyes at this rebuttle, I hope you enjoyed reading my side of the story & why I am happy with Starting Forever. Ashley has not asked me to do this rebuttle. Nor has other employees, investors or anyone else from Starting Forever asked me to write anything. I just felt it was unfair to someone writing a comment on this report to really know everything and for the general public whether your a business owner or a customer there are always two sides of the story. The owner & the vendor!

Thank you for reading my report & we hope you stop by Starting Forever to see this wonderful store.

Pam
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