Kustom Kicks is a custom shoe design company owned by Joey Escobar and Christy Starnes of Flower Mound, Texas.
This is a friendly warning to all photographers, videographers, publicity agents, makeup and hair stylists, equipment rental agencies and nightclub owners, and anyone else who might wish to work for this company.
Think carefully before you devote your time and labor.
If you decide that working for free is okay, then disregard this entirely.
But if you work for a living, either learn to like getting paid with rubber checks or ask for cash up front.
On July 17th, 2009 I was hired by Joey Escobar to shoot a fashion show at Plush, an exclusive nightclub in downtown Dallas.
This was a two camera live shoot with rented professional camera gear.
Mr. Escobar made the very kind gesture of handing me my check before the shoot began, so I took it as a standup gesture.
The shoot went very well, everyone was happy, customers, the club owner, the audience and the models.
I deposited the check in my business account the next morning.
A week later the check was returned to me with a fine for NSF.
Mr. Escobar does not return phone calls or emails, or messages to his Myspace or Facebook pages. He is being evasive.
After careful research with people that Mr. Escobar has done business with in the past I discovered that non-payment for services rendered and evasive behavior is his modus operandi.
A world renowned model agency owner and musician that he has done business with in the past is still waiting for delivery of some shoes that he ordered, a rental agency is still pursuing him for payment for equipment that he rented, the list goes on and on.
Mr. Escobar sells hand painted custom shoes to thousands of celebrities, models and entertainers around the country and even around the world, as evidenced by the fact that he has several thousand Myspace friends.
One has to wonder how many of these people he has taken money from and not delivered the goods.
Eventually a person like this winds up turning over every rock on the beach.
Sooner or later enough companies get stiffed that no one will do business with him or his partner Ms. Starnes, and that's too bad, because he is good at his craft, very talented.
But a solid ethic must accompany talent, or soon that talent gets eclipsed by a bad reputation.
Simply returning phone calls and attempting to work out an arrangement would go a long way but when a person hides and demonstrates that they do not intend to make any effort to set things right, they are cowards and thieves.
Ultimately things like mechanic's liens will catch up to Mr. Escobar and his partners, but in the meantime I want to provide a warning to those who might consider buying his wares or working with him.
Cover your blind spots and demand cash payment UP FRONT or suffer the consequences.