Hello, my name is Gratien ("gray-shen") and I am the owner and artisan of Ella's Apothecary in Austin, TX. Recently, I discovered that I lost a dispute to gain my money back from a company that scammed me out of $22,175. I am now in massive debt and may have to close my business as a result. I am simply devastated! I am not good at asking for help when I need it. I am an extremely hard-working and proud person. I now feel like I have no choice if I want to bounce back from this.
What Happened (in a nut-shell):
This "business" offered me a custom-built commercial trailer and did not deliver what they promised. They are in violation of the contract they built. My credit card company was no help and I can't afford legal aid. I could probably qualify for free legal aid, but even if we fought (for what would likely be years) and won, I would never see that money again, because these scam artist guys don't have it. I have been down the lawsuit path before, won, and never got a penny. That is the sad reality of how justice falls short in this country. My video talks in more detail about what happened.
What I Need:
I need to be able to bounce back from this somehow. I need to pay off this debt so I can start over.
What I am Offering:
I make a ton of great products and although donations are wonderful, I am a proud person and hope to earn your generosity somehow. I don't currently see a way to display stuff to offer, so you can visit EllasApothecary.net and purchase items from me, or message me directly, via my website, and I will make you something custom and amazing!
More About Me:
I have been working for myself full-time for a few years now and last fall was the first time I was able to put money away to pay myself a decent wage. It was not easy. I worked 7 days a week 16+ hour days for several months straight. That is not an exageration.
I decided to use most of that money to grow my business by purchasing a retail shop on wheels. I need to have year-round access to customers in a weather-safe shelter. Renting a retail building costs $5000 or more a month in Austin (not counting other associated bills). This is simply not accessible to most small businesses, myself included. A trailer was the next best thing. I have seen businesses do it and I was ready to do it too. I researched for months and found who I thought was a reputable business. They fooled me. I am not proud of this. I have been in a deep depression over it for over a month. Learning today that I lost the dispute leaves me with no choice but to ask for help from my community.
I am also a massage therapist. I used the pandemic as an opportunity to work my butt off toward a better future by starting Ella's Apothecary and going to massage school. After I was certified, I started working both jobs. Massage and Ella's Apothecary. I finally was able to start paying my bills for the first time in a long time.
After sustaining multiple injuries from massage (one surgery down and one ongoing unresolved injury), Ella's Apothecary has become all that I have. My body won't let me go back to bartending (which I did for over 20 years) and to receive more education to learn massage modalities that won't further my injuries, I need several months and over $3000. Believe me, I don't want to be asking people for money. I'm crying as I type this because I feel like a failure.
I am not too proud to be vulnerable, so I am being very real about my position and emotional state. I am, however, too proud to just take your money. Please let me offer you something in return. If you don't see something on my website you like, ask me what I can make for you. If you do insist on just donating, please know that I am forever humbled by your heart and I appreciate you more than words can express. I need to bounce back from this. I believe in what I do and I do not want to have to quit, having completely failed.
Thank you, from the bottom of my broken heart!