The mystery man behind a Milnsbridge furniture store has denied his business is a scam or that he is a “big bad gangster.”
The Examiner has previously reported how angry customers had besieged the Furniture by Stan store at Home Mill in Britannia Road claiming goods they had paid for hadn’t been delivered.
Two weeks ago customers from across the country descended on the store demanding their goods and police were repeatedly called.
The store had been closed after a row over the lease on the premises but is now open for business and trading again.
Now, writing on the store’s Handmade Furniture by Stan Facebook page , the man behind the company – who signs himself ‘Stan’ – claims he’s been let down by others.
Stan says he lives and works in Indonesia and supplies high-end, craftsmen-built furniture which he ships to the UK.
In a 1,600-word post he tells how his business started exporting the furniture through a Rochdale-based company and all was well until last December when payments slowed down and stopped and he hit cashflow problems.
Stan said his business was saved by his son who put a £90,000 inheritance from his grandma into keeping the company going.
However in March they were approached by two businessmen who they started supplying.
Stan wrote: “They were going to make it happen and everything was going to be great and we were all going to live the Little House on the Prairie lifestyle. At first everything was fine.
“But then, once more, the money started to slow down. I started to pay my staff late and morale went down and stress levels rose.
“I had always only taken a 10% deposit but these guys were now taking advantage of my good reputation and were starting to take 30% deposit and in some cases even more.
“They were piling the orders on me but they weren’t sending enough money.
“It got to the stage where I was falling behind with my orders, I couldn’t make the furniture fast enough so I told them that I could not accept any more orders for bespoke items.
“They agreed but behind my back they continued to take orders and take deposits for bespoke furniture but they just didn’t tell me. They were controlling the Facebook page and the emails.
“I said that I was blocking them from the Facebook page and emails until I received all of the orders.
“The orders were finally sent.”
Stan said he split from the two businessmen who he claims turned up at the Milnsbridge store to take furniture, staff barricaded themselves in and police were called.
Stan then claimed he was subject of an internet smear campaign where he was branded a “big bad gangster.”
He says someone tipped off Customs that his shipments from Indonesia contained drugs.
“Customs cannot ignore such information so they decide to pull the containers and searched them,” said Stan. “So for ten days the containers wait in a queue and then when the custom man finally opens the doors he sees a spider and because he has a sister called Miss Muffet who once had a scary experience with a spider that sat down beside her, he rushes to close the doors and orders that the container must be fumigated, which means, filled with poisonous gas that will kill all the little spiders, but this will take another ten days.
“Meanwhile all the customers’ furniture and glass bowls are sat at the docks and I am inundated with customers saying ‘Stan you are ripping me off’, ‘this company is a scam.’
“I advertise a sale of stock items and everyone thinks that we are doing a runner. We need to have a sale of stock items as we need the money to keep going whilst the furniture sits at the docks.
“So the moral of this story is to let you all know the truth. Yes I am behind with orders, we have lots of orders sat at the docks but I am not doing a runner.
“My son has invested everything he has into this venture and I have invested my life.
“We are dedicated to making the best quality furniture in the world at the best possible price so much so that we have left the green fields of England and the crack riddled streets of Moss Side to live in a jungle and produce furniture.
“We are having a sale of stock items at the Huddersfield store. We are open until 8.30pm tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday and Sunday from 10.30am to 5pm but I am not doing a runner.
“Love you all long time and always will.”
Stan and son.”