A Message From Michele Acquin of Puppet Planet

The following was posted on Puppets and Stuff. It’s a message from Michelle of Puppet Planet.

Dear puppet planet customers,

As many of you are aware, I have had several personal challenges over the past couple years that have led to some difficulty in my business transactions. Divorce, Illness, home foreclosure, and moving out of state to name a few. All of which have contributed to a slow progression to financial stability for my family.

Things have gotten so rough that my daughters and I had to spend a few months recently in a one room homeless shelter. At this time, I have no means of transportation as my vehicle needs the transmission replaced. I no longer own a computer due to being forced to sell most of my valuables and furnishings when transferring my family to the shelter. I have, however, recently been provided a home on a ranch with the opportunity to work off the value of rent and utilities until I find regular employment. I do not have a telephone. I live in a very small rural town where there is no public transportation available. I know very few people here all of which help me with transportation when they can. The nearest library is about 15 miles away, where I am currently using the free computer for communication when I’m able to get here during open hours. I am telling you this to express the difficulty of being able to communicate via email in a reasonable manner. And to let you know of the limits to resources currently available to me at this time.

I have read some disparaging remarks about myself and my business practices. I am very sorry that my personal life has interfered with my ability to run things in a professional manner. I suppose I have to live with those remarks and negative word of mouth about me. However, I have no intentions of changing my business name to hide behind some other persona. I am working to get my family back on stable ground and I will make no pretence of the fact that it will take some time. I will continue to do business under the name Puppet Planet for as long as the desire to build puppets remains within me. I will build my reputation back to respectable status via means of facing the issues at hand and taking responsibility for them. Over time, positive word of mouth will replace the bad things that people have chosen to say and spread about me. I feel that’s the right thing to do rather than filing bankruptcy or other methods that some people choose to “start fresh”. I certainly hope that those who took the time to label me as a “fraud”, “thief”, etc. will also take the time to update the status of their remarks when I have worked to make things right between us.

In an effort to start with a clean plate and resolve problems, I would like to offer refunds to everyone that currently has open transactions with me. I must admit up front that the refund process will be slow, and done in small partial payments due to my current financial situation. But I intend to make this right and this is probably the best way to proceed. If you have an open transaction with me, please send details in writing with any available copies of payments you have made to the address provided below. In return, I will provide you with a signed letter in writing indicating my agreement that a refund is due and begin to send partial payments.

A refund probably won’t please everyone, but since I currently have very few options available to communicate and very few resources available to complete custom orders…. this is the resolution that I feel would suit everyone involved. I do have some completed puppets/figures belonging to people but with no computer I have not had any means to obtain contact information. The owners may opt to receive the completed items or to receive the refund via payments as described above. I have no intention of forcing someone to choose one option over the other despite any completed orders that I have in my possession.

Due to my lack of supplies in stock and lack of resources to obtain special supplies, I will not be able to accept custom orders until things have improved financially enough to do so. When I can find a means, I will be attempting to use donated and remaining supplies to build and sell my work online. This will help me obtain funds to start making refund payments to everyone since I currently do not have any other means of income.

I am asking everyone reading this, and if they desire to help find other customers I may not reach here, to please copy this message in it’s entirety and post it where you feel others might be able to find me. The computer use is limited here and I may not get to all of the forums that I would like within the time set for my computer access. I’m hoping to reach puppetsnstuff, worldvents on yahoo, christpups on yahoo, magic forums, and other places where similar people of puppet & vent interest may gather. If you don’t see my post there, please feel free to duplicate for those who would benefit.

Michele Acquin
Puppet Planet
PO Box 175
Creston, NC 28615




Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com

Copyright 2010 by Dan Willinger

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4 Responses to A Message From Michele Acquin of Puppet Planet

  1. Lee Dean says:

    I am an old Ch 7 bankruptcy lawyer, and have been since 1970, where you list all debts then pick and choose who you want to keep paying if anybody I have been doing this and this only except a few and I mean very few uncontested divorces, since all of the recent changes to try to force one who needs relief to have to file a Ch 13 at great expense, and which I don’t handle. If I had to file myself, I would, and feel no shame since like said can pay if want to. We are living in a bad time, Michele Acquin and Puppet Planet. I used to do two filings per week, now lucky to get one a month, but that’s how it is for everybody in the middle class, both small town lawyers and puppet makers. I hope things get better.

  2. Timothy Cowles says:

    Wow Michele! We are so very sorry to hear about all that has happened to you! We can identify. My wife and I were her grandmother’s primary caregivers. She lived in Alabama, this required us last year to move out to Alabama and care for her, a 24 hour job. We would do it ALL over again. This did REALLY set me back on building, and I am still not caught up. She was diagnosed with COPD in Nov. 2008 and we took care of her in 2009, that is why we were not able to attend VentHaven. She recently passed away and we are now back in Dallas. It is easy for people to forget that building puppets and such is a service. It is hard to put a time frame on building something when family emergencies and a full time performance schedule is there. That is why I don’t even take orders any more. I am finishing up a few, but am now just building when I have the time. I love building but was completely burned out this last year. We love you Michele and if there is anything that we can help with, please don’t ever hesitate to ask! Take care!

  3. bob abdou says:

    Hello Michele,

    take it from me, you will be fine, just keep your spirits up and your dear friends closer.

    I can tell you this from experience, I was also divorced, filed bankruptcy, lost my 2 million dollar business, lost my religion, my so-called friends, my car, my home and don’t forget my hair. Plus I owed the IRS over $190,000.00. I lost it completely and was near homeless for 3 months back in 1995. I also went to the convention that year and had a nervous breakdown. The vents that helped me through it all are my dear friends today and I thank them for being there for me when I needed a friend.

    I know you might have heard it before, time heals all wounds and money comes and goes, but it is true. Those that are negative and are a heavy weight on you, you will soon forget them and not waste your valuable time on them.

    You must be positive, be happy, never stop smiling and good things will eventually come your way. Remember I am living proof of that.

    Yes, it’s tough now but the future is great for someone like you, your talent and spirit is your ace, rely on yourself to pull through.

    My thoughts are with you and will see you soon better than ever.

    Bob Abdou

  4. Matt Kimbro says:

    Thanks for sharing your stories Bob and Tim. My wish is a prosperous 2010 for everyone!

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