Saturday, April 28, 2012
Mattel's Monster High Ghoulia Yelps Doll meets VonErickson Lab Blood Drip Bracelet and Necklace Jewelry
Friday, April 27, 2012
Recently while wasting time on the internet I discovered a digital version of my coffin couch on a pre-teen virtual doll website http://www.stardoll.com .
You can "buy" it for your doll house. I composed this scene with my couch and my doll based on my wife....ain't she cute!?
Thursday, April 26, 2012
by Steffi Veizen
Von Erickson Labs has been asked several times for free merchandise, the most obnoxious request was someone asking for a free coffin couch about a month ago. (I guess some people are clueless about the labor and cost of materials that goes into a piece of furniture, but that’s another rant altogether.) He has sent out complementary necklaces and bracelets to two charity events, one was for a breast cancer fundraiser and the other for a theater fundraiser. The theater came through on their promise to send us a letter that we used for tax purposes. We never heard back from the breast cancer event people, but that’s OK, we never asked for anything in return.
In September of last year Von Erickson Labs was contacted by a young woman named Ash Costello. She sings in a band we’d never heard of called New Years Day, which can best be described as squeaky clean California power pop. She inquired about a “sponsorship”, offering Von Erickson Labs “constant advertisement for your site and company! In interviews, in press, editorials, on my website, the bands website, via twitter and tumblr to our hundreds of thousands of fans that are perfectly in your demographic, as well as any physical fliers or banners we can keep on our merch table on tour and on the road!”
This message from her was several paragraphs long, so it was obvious that this was a form letter sent out to others besides Von Erickson Labs. Like a resume, it mentioned her recent press, how she was on the Warp Tour, etc, etc.
We mailed her necklaces and bracelets for her and her band mates in October on 2011. She wrote “I can offer 2 posts a week for 2 months on all my social networks promoting your bracelets, making sure the sites that cover my style promote your bracelets also and mentioning in all press as well in the next 2 months your sites and wearing the items on stage and in any promotional shoots in the near future. Also putting any promotional material you send on our merch table during the run of our fall tour.” I mailed the package out to her, via delivery confirmation, and never heard back. We never received any links from her.
Peter Von Erickson is a laid back, trusting guy, I’m a hard assed cynical New Yorker. The honor system only works when both parties actually honor the terms. I only trust people who have proven to me that they can be trusted. I handle all business transactions with a contract, if you don’t have it in writing, you have no leverage. I just considered our efforts to be a waste of time, and forgot about it.
However, Pete contacted Ashley a couple of days ago, calling her on the bad behavior. She apologized, saying she thought she sent him a link to the press she gave him, and invited us to her show. She sent Pete her phone number, and told him to text when we got to the venue, and she would send someone to get us in. At this point my bullshit detector was ringing quietly in my head. She never did forward that link to Pete.
Pete sent a text to the number she provided when we arrived, then decided to call. He got a recorded message stating that the number was disconnected. We later learned that the area code she gave (715) is for Wisconsin, she’s from Los Angeles.
I have a pretty pessimistic view of people in general; I’ve had a lifetime of experiences with a cousin who is a pathological liar. She lies for attention and sympathy, to appear to have something in common with someone, and to try and earn respect from others. Why would Ashley go out of their way to lie to Pete, knowing she would get called on it? Wouldn’t it be easier to just ignore him? I guess it’s not about what’s easy.
The situation then turns from annoying to just bizarre. Pete wrote her later again regarding the invalid phone number. She claimed that the number was indeed hers, to try it again, and that he would get her voicemail. She apologized for the confusion, stating that she has been praised for her professionalism in the past. Pete gave her his phone number, she never called.
Many designers send free clothing and accessories to celebrities, hoping to get free press. There are those gift bags given out to celebrities at award shows. How much does all this really help the small business owner? If it’s known and understood that the product will be mentioned by the celebrity on some forum, then that’s great, but I suspect there is more taking then giving back when it comes to this kind of exchange. The big irony is that the ones doing the taking are the ones that would have no trouble buying what they are getting for free.