Auckland wedding fair saga failure continues as owner puts business into liquidation

A wedding fair scheduled to take place in Auckland has been delayed for more than a year and vendors who paid to be a part of it are asking for refunds. Photo / NZME

The owner of an Auckland wedding salon that was delayed for over a year and then canceled – leaving sellers with thousands of dollars out of pocket – has put her business into voluntary liquidation.

Jade Stack confirmed to disgruntled sellers last week that the fair, marketed as Love Me Love Me Not Limited, “ceased to exist.”

In an email to the sellers, she apologized for being “disappointed”.

“I was more than excited for Hitch’d 2020,” she wrote.

Fast forward to today, I’m completely disgusted that not only was Hitch’d 2020 ruined by Covid, but the tumbling effect of the negative backlash resulted in the cancellation of Hitch’d 2021, and more devastating. , my whole hitch business’ cease to exist.

“I wanted you to be the first to know that Hitch’d is on liquidation.”

The Hitch’d wedding fair was originally scheduled for March 2020 in Kumeu but has been postponed due to the national Covid-19 lockdown.

Vendors were promised new dates – most had paid down payments to attend the fair and promote their own businesses – but the show never took place.

Some paid several hundred dollars and others more than $ 800 to secure a location at the fair.

In March, Stack told the Herald that dates had been “blocked” for May 8 and 9, that documents had been signed on site, and that she was planning publicity and marketing.

But on April 15, an email to sellers confirmed that the fair was not taking place.

Last week, Stack told them she wanted to give back as much as she could to sellers.

In an effort to be “completely transparent,” she told vendors how their money was being spent.

Some paid a deposit to attend the fair and others paid in full.

Stack claimed she paid two site fees of $ 3,400 and $ 3,900 for marketing, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google.

Money was spent on the design and printing of 1,000 tote bags and $ 1,200 on a “printed media wall for photo entry space.”

Stack said a total of $ 7,900 could be refunded and told sellers that the “most honest and proper way” was to split it between them.

Some have been reimbursed, others are still waiting.

When the fair was called off, Stack did not respond to the Herald, but today she responded by saying her situation was “very difficult”.

“Since the start of the voluntary liquidation, all sellers who had unpaid funds have been reimbursed at 40%.

“The salon had a non-refundable cancellation clause, so I refunded in good faith.

“Hitch had not received a refund for past advertising and marketing, or room rentals, so unfortunately we were not given the option of a full refund, otherwise we would have.

“I apologize that the suppliers were affected by this. “

Stack, who is also a director of Nook Homes Limited, previously told sellers that she was putting personal money into Hitch’d to reimburse them.

Salespeople the Herald spoke to were disappointed with Stack and felt their communication throughout the situation had been poor.

“It’s so heartbreaking for everyone,” said one woman.

Another said the way it was handled was “disgusting” and said Stack’s communications and record keeping had been “absolutely appalling” and she had given “so many mixed messages”.

Stack previously conceded that their communication with suppliers should have been better.

A report from the liquidators was sent to the creditors, including a number of sellers.

“The liquidators say they don’t think anyone will get a refund at all,” one seller said.

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