What is Starting Forever?
Their website states: "We are a one stop resource for planning any aspect of your life. Every type of vendor you need to plan that perfect ?milestone event? in your life. The Wedding Market makes the Wedding planning process fun, and the Living Room, well that's just for everyday living needs. We have everything from landscapers to a local handy man. So please, explore. Go into each room and look around."... Sound like a hoax already? Keep reading!
The "retail stores", which sold no retail merchandise, were set up with displays of local business owners. Each of these vendors would display marketing and advertising to draw mall traffic into the store. The concept of the store was to unite small business owners into one retail store location so that the consumers who were interested, and were in the mall, would be able to come in and see what the best local business's had to offer. Great idea right?
In turn, the company (Starting Forever) would market, advertise on their website, distribute advertising and media to patrons and would host and setup events. All at one fixed price to the small business owner. Wow sounds to good to be true. A way to promote your business with out you there.
Here's how it really works: First a member of their sales team will solicit your local business and promise you all the above said guarantees to promote your business. Then you will apply to be a vendor because they state that: "space is limited, and the offer will expire in 72hours." So you jump!
They then will schmooze, promise, guarantee, and allude to and make the facade of this well structured and organized "media, sales, promotion, exposure and advertising company" when really its run by a lunatic. So you make it this far... can it be true?
Your next step in the process is signing the contract. The "contract" is no different than an apartment lease, most likely written by a dubious attorney because of the typo's, which then guarantees in writing the above said promo promises of sales and media etc etc. So you sign it. Seems legit.
Heres the fun stuff...so you pay 1st and last months rent of your space in the retail store. Fine. Then a monthly rent, which is billed one month prior to your card for the next months rent. Ok thats iffy. Oh and by the way only credit cards are accepted no checks, no cash. Never. Then once you have paid you can bring your merchandise in.
You are then welcomed into their half empty retail store locations, that have no customers in them might I add, and set up your only display to attract mall traffic. Once that is done you wait for them to contact you about sales, and media, and web postings.
Truth be told the website was never updated. The stores on the page have been closed for years. The vendors on the page don't exist and the events on the site were either canceled or never confirmed. The events that they had drew less than five customers. Rarely. And they never inventoried or were able to track if sales for vendors occurred.
The advertising for the company never happened and sales never occurred. So where did all your belongings go in the store? Better check the trash because if the crazed CEO of the company didn't like your business then she would throw your media and collateral away.
Events? Sales? Promotion? Never Happened, and all the cost of a full vendor membership of $2700! What a sham! Remember Starting Forever is a make believe company dreamed up by a diluted woman by the name of Ashley Stratton. Did I mention it is also home to not only several small business owners but a below health code standards cafe. Really. Bugs in food. Rotten food.
Starting Forever: as their slogan states "Dream of Anything...Plan For Everything" ...Yes a rip off! and the worst business decision of your life.
No Where, Pennsylvania