Woman talking(l+r), Francesca's sign(c)

JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock @mugsby/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘This is insane!’: Small business owner says popular clothing chain Francesca’s owes her over $132,400. She’s not the only one

‘I always wonder how Francescas even stays in business, because they are always empty.’


Tiffanie Drayton


A small business owner is blasting the clothing store Francesca’s for allegedly failing to pay her over $100,000.

Back in 2020, the women’s boutique chain filed for bankruptcy protection. It planned to close approximately 140 of its 700 stores.

However, the store’s fate was branded a “Covid recovery story” after it managed to turn things around, restructure, and open new business ventures, like its girls’ and tween brand, “Franki by Francesca.”

The clothing brand’s CEO, Andrew Clarke, an openly gay man and advocate for the LGBTQIA community, was celebrated for the company’s post-bankruptcy transformation.

However, in a viral video that has racked up over 6.3 million views and 355,000 likes as of this writing, TikTok user Mugsby (@Mugsby) said a business deal with the company went sour after she never got paid.

“As of today, Francesca’s owes my small business $132,461.92,” the woman began in the clip. “Um, it sucks.”

The woman alleged that the company stopped paying hers in November of 2023 after a year-long working relationship. She said Francesca’s has failed to pay for five “purchase orders” since then.

She also said that a customized order made specifically for the company was not shipped because the company failed to pay.

She’s not alone

Apparently, the woman is not the only business owner who accuses the brand of failing to meet its financial obligations.

“Yesterday, I had about 20 people send me a viral TikTok that Taylor Elliot Designs … shared,” she said. “So, I think that it’s very important now to raise awareness.”

Though the small business owner said sharing the news did not immediately make her feel better, she hoped it would help others.

“Because it is hard, sometimes, on small business owners to be able to make payroll, to bring in new products to sell when you are out money you are expecting,” she said.

In the comments section, many noted that they had seen similar allegations from others on social media.

“Wow I saw the other video yesterday. I always wonder how Francescas even stays in business, because they are always empty. I hope this gets resolved soon!!” user ifyouknowyouknow wrote.

“This is the second video I’ve seen. Wow!!” another viewer wrote.

@mugsby Thank you @Taylor Elliott Designs for bringing awareness. #smallbusiness ♬ original sound – Mugsby

Many other small business owners have taken to the platform to share similar stories about Francesca’s.

Sammy Gorin (@sammygorinart), a small business owner who makes greeting cards and other stationary items, said the company owes her $25,186.70 for four unpaid orders.

Lauren Butler, the co-founder of Yes Cocktail Company (@yescocktailco), claims she is owed $14,340 for unpaid goods, and the company is refusing to communicate.

“We have no point of contact at all,” she said.

TikToker TheCliffNotesGal (@thecliffnotesgal) explained that the viral call out of Francesca’s was kicked off by user Taylor Elliot Designs (@taylorelliottdesigns), who said she was owed $12,818. Her video was later deleted.

TheCliffNotesGal said Elliot removed her video as part of a deal with Francesca’s. She included a screenshot she said she took of Elliot’s comments section as evidence.

“They paid my invoices in exchange for me taking down the video,” Elliot writes in the screenshot.

The Daily Dot reached out to Francesca’s via Instagram direct message, Yes Cocktail Company and Sammy Gorin by email, and Mugsby and Taylor Elliott Designs by contact form for more information.

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