Woman talking(l+r), VidCon(c)

Randy Miramontez/Shutterstock @lexihensler/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Send a bill’: Woman says VidCon workers ‘robbed’ her small mental health business

‘I would just like to know who she is.’


Amelie Allen


Mental health influencer Lexi Hensler (@lexihensler) accused another influencer and two VidCon staff members of robbing her booth in a viral video last week.

“So I got robbed this weekend,” Hensler begins the video, speaking straight to the camera. “Not just me but my small business, my small mental health company, got robbed.”

Hensler’s business is Hugz, a line of weighted plushies intended to help customers manage “anxiety, depression, stress and sleep.” Every month, Hugz features a specific stuffed animal and donates 10 percent of the proceeds from that animal to mental wellness charities.

“I’m bringing [the situation] to the internet because it was an influencer,” Hensler states. “I don’t know what her name was, and I need help finding her, because I just wanna have a chat.”

The video cuts to footage of Hensler’s booth at the annual content creator convention, VidCon, in Anaheim, California. The video, taken by the vendors next to Hensler’s booth, shows a woman in a floral romper walking over to a table at the booth, picking up a bag of stuffed animals from underneath the table, and walking away.

“And then she inspired more people, because then some of the people who worked at Vidcon actually came over and stole a few,” Hensler adds. 

In the video, two women in purple “Crew” shirts stand on the other side of the booth, looking through a lineup of Hugz plushies. The footage shows one of the women opening and closing a Hugz box, but does not show either of them walking away with any plushies.

“Look at them taking their sweet time shopping,” Hensler narrates over the footage. “They’re like ‘which ones do I wanna steal?’”

Hensler plays the footage again, focusing on the first woman who stole from the booth. “I know she’s an influencer because she’s wearing an influencer badge,” Hensler elaborates. “And the expo hall was only open to influencers during this time.”

“And you know the funny part is if this girl had just, like, DM’d me asking for an animal or for a discount, I probably would’ve sent her one,” Hensler says.

“They stole six of them, which isn’t that many, but we are a small business,” Hensler says. Considering the plushies are priced at $54.99 each, Hugz lost over $300 from the incident. 

Hensler ends the video with a call to action: “I would just like to know who she is. Don’t send her any hate, just let me know—I wanna have a chat, maybe send a bill.”

Chaos in the comments

Commenters were eager to help Hensler solve her mystery, and many of them accused singer and influencer Louisa Melcher of committing the theft.

“That’s gotta be Louisa Melcher she has all kinds of rompers like that and that’s her style,” one commenter said. 

“Louisa Melcher cause she had the same clothes and her response is crazy…” another commenter added.

Most viewers suspected Melcher, but some people weren’t convinced.

“Swear I don’t think it’s Louisa Melcher because just because of the video she posted. The flowers on her romper in the recent video are much smaller than the ones on this one,” a user rebutted.

A few comments accused Hensler and Melcher of faking the drama entirely.

“Wait is this some meta marketing strat bc this seems like the type of thing Louisa would make a video about and shes wearing the dress in her latest tiktok,” a commenter theorized.


I never thought this would happen

♬ original sound – Lexi Hensler

Louisa Melcher responds

Melcher made two response videos about the situation. In the first video, she says VidCon took away her creator pass, which she calls “very public” and “very humiliating.” 

“What you don’t know as a creator going to VidCon—it’s like you are in a zoo,” she starts. She says she was overwhelmed by public attention and decided she no longer wanted to attend the event as a creator.

“Yeah, I exploded,” she says. “And someone who is actually very kind who worked at VidCon was like, ‘Well if you don’t want to be acting as a creator at this event, you have to give up your creator pass.’” 

She states that she already had “all the free stuff that you get from being a creator,” so she agreed to give up her pass.

In the caption, Melcher wrote: “Ironic how they invited tons of mental health brands to come and sell products, and yet, it’s normalized to pester and badger influencers, even though it harms them psychologically.”

Melcher’s second video is a response to a comment accusing her of stealing from Hensler. The video shows her in bed, wearing a face mask and clutching a stuffed elephant (not a Hugz product). The on-screen text reads “Taking a self-care day bc hundreds of thousands of people in my comments are accusing me of stealing from a small business at Vid Con.”

@loulouorange Replying to @Worm fidget toy Y’all wanna cancel me so bad 🥱 #vidcon #vidcon2024 ♬ Apple – Charli xcx

Who could it be?

Content creator and industry reviewer Amanda (@swellentertainment) stitched Hensler’s video to give viewers more context about the inner workings of VidCon. 

“I was not a featured creator at Anaheim, I was a plus one,” she says. “I was a plus one, and I also had a yellow badge.” 

Amanda explains that she didn’t qualify for a “Featured Creator” pass: a yellow badge which gives attendees access to the influencer-only space where Hensler’s booth was. Rather, Amanda’s friend was invited to be a Featured Creator, and she tagged along as his guest, thus receiving all the same privileges.

“That’s one of the things that I really wanted to point out—because a lot of people are, like, trying to think it’s an influencer, but it could not be an influencer,” she says. “It could just be someone’s plus one: a speaker, a chaperone, or an invited guest.”

As of publication, there has been no confirmation of the thief’s identity. 

The Daily Dot reached out to both Hensler and Melcher via TikTok and Instagram direct message and to VidCon via email.

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