This letter by Global Craft’s owner Kevin Ward was forwarded to us by Tiffany Kaplan and contains numerous false charges made in charged emotional words.
What really happened is that Kevin himself cut off communications with the cooperative on December 17th 2017, the same day that Artcamp’s invoice were provided that included a (very) modest price increase. Global Craft’s discount from list wholesale prices removed, because Global Crafts had cut orders by 35% over the year and this was in violation of a previous agreement to maintain a level of orders no lower than the previous year, so the cooperative members would be able to count on steady work. During that year (2017) the artisans submitted images of very many products in a variety of styles, including leather accessory goods. Global Crafts decided to NOT expand the selection of Artcamp’s products, the the decline
in Artcamp orders was effectively forordained. All we did was take off the super-discount Global Crafts enjoyed and to write the invoices at the list wholesale price.
The difference was not very great, still it would have been sufficient to replace
the abalone shell and pewter materials the cooperative had in its storeroom,
in other words, the difference was barely enough to replace the pewter ingots
and abalone shell that was used up making Global Craft’s orders during the year.
This was explained to Global Crafts owners when the invoices were presented, still the decision was taken to cut communications and to interpret the modest price increase reflected on Artcamp’s invoices as an affront, giving permission to Global Crafts to unfairly accuse the cooperative and its President of theft and dishonesty.
The following letter was forwarded to us by Tiffany Kaplan and we present it here:
Feb 13, 2019, 4:07 PM
Tiffany Kaplan to Paula, me
I am so sorry you are struggling with Artcamp. The relationship has always been difficult as they struggle to make ends meet, they tend to lash out and blame others when they are in financial trouble.
Last year the situation deteriorated, the women accused Emi of stealing from them. After several emails it became apparent that Emi was attempting to retroactively increase pricing and therefore claim we had not fully paid. I believe this was to recover money that the women felt was missing. I have no idea if money really went missing or it was just the impact of a declining sales leaving them short of funds. Emi claimed to be in fear of her safety.
I find the current communications from Emi very disheartening and dishonest. I am also very concerned that Emi seems to be suggesting that orders placed with Paula on the computer we gave to Artcamp are somehow not with Artcamp. To be clear we always paid directly into the same bank account provided to us by Artcamp for the 10 years we worked with them. At no point were we ever told that we were not working with Artcamp. Attempting to define Paula as somehow not Artcamp, is just another way to create confusion and extort money from Global Crafts.
This pattern of end of year extortion is unacceptable as we always paid 100% in advance.
At this point in time I no longer find Artcamp a credible fair trade organization, I do question the honesty of Emi. I do not know how Paula fits into this, but it is clearly dysfunctional. I feel very sorry for the women who Artcamp have let down. I can not say with any certainty that the women are paid fairly or even at all by Artcamp as the accounting is poor at best if not downright dishonest.
I do not feel confident that Emi or Paula intends to fulfill the contract created by your last purchase order. They are both deflecting blame for this. I can not in good conscience recommend continuing to work with Artcamp. I think you should seek out new jewelry artisans who want to have a positive relationship with global crafts.
On a personal note I regret introducing you to Paula and Emi as I know how painful it is to navigate this level of incompetence. I genuinely believed that they had moved forward and that for the sake of the women the relationship was worth saving. I see now I was wrong.
Tiffany Kaplan | President
I AM SORRY. THIS LETTER IS QUITE MISLEADING.
I HAVE NEVER HAD ONE PENNY OF GLOBAL CRAFTS MONEY IN MY HANDS
THEY SENT THEIR PAYMENTS DIRECTLY TO TECALPULCO AND NOBODY
HAS PAID ME A SALARY OR PAID ME FOR MY EXPENSES REPRESENTING
THIS ARTISAN GROUP WHICH RECRUITED ME TO HELP THEM QUALIFY
FOR GOVERNMENT CREDIT (FONAIS) TO REPLACE THE CASTING MACHINE.
WILL YOU ASK KEVIN TO MAKE THESE CHARGES TO MY FACE, PLEASE
SINCE I WAS NEVER ACCUSED BY ANYBODY OF STEALING ANYTHING.
WHY DID MR KEVIN WARD TELL TIFFANY KAPLAN THAT I AM A THIEF?
OFELIA ESTRADA, PRESIDENT AND LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE ARTCAMP SC DE RL