Couple hundreds of pounds down as Mrs Hinch recommended company 'disappears' - Lancs Live

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A couple has been left hundreds of pounds out of pocket after ordering products a Lancashire business recommended by influencer Mrs Hinch - only for the company to disappear.
The small business got a dramatic boost in attention when Instagram influencer Mrs Hinch posted about a product she’d bought from them on Instagram.
Then the unthinkable happened in September 2020 when Mrs Hinch bought one of our custom made stair gates for her beautiful home.
“She then posted her new gate on social media and tagged our company in the post, after this our phones were non-stop with thousands of messages, with people enquiring about also getting a gate like Mrs Hinch’s.
Their social media following rocketed from a few hundred to 17,000 and they’ve expressed their gratitude to Mrs Hinch for her act of kindness.

Couple hundreds of pounds down as Mrs Hinch recommended company 'disappears' - Lancs Live

A couple has been left hundreds of pounds out of pocket after ordering products a Lancashire business recommended by influencer Mrs Hinch - only for the company to disappear. Hazel and Gordon Thompson spent £260 on custom-sized baby gates from The Rustic Mill Company but now fear they’ve been left out of pocket and in the lurch as all trace of the business has disappeared online. The business’ social media pages no longer exist and an email address used in previous correspondence is no longer active. Hazel told LancsLive that the matter has been reported to Trading Standards, with the couple hoping to reclaim the money through their credit card provider. However, she fears others won’t be able to do the same depending on how they paid and wants to warn others not to fall victim as well. READ MORE: Nasty Preston thug threatened to kill girlfriend as his jealousy made her life hell Based in Thornton-Cleveleys, the Rustic Mill Company is run by husband and wife team Martin and Catherine Ollerenshaw. The small business got a dramatic boost in attention when Instagram influencer Mrs Hinch posted about a product she’d bought from them on Instagram. With four million followers on her page, the post sparked a surge of interest and orders and led to the couple talking about moving into 2,000 square feet workshop. Speaking last year, the couple discussed how their fortunes changed overnight. They explained: “We started the business in a small shed in our back garden in January 2020, at the time we were advertising and selling our products through Etsy, making a few small sales. (Image: Instagram/Mrs Hinch) “During the first lockdown we expanded our business slightly to a larger cabin also situated in our back garden, still advertising through Etsy and only had a small following of around 100 followers on Instagram. Then the unthinkable happened in September 2020 when Mrs Hinch bought one of our custom made stair gates for her beautiful home. “She then posted her new gate on social media and tagged our company in the post, after this our phones were non-stop with thousands of messages, with people enquiring about also getting a gate like Mrs Hinch’s. This we never expected, and although we tried our best to reply to everyone we just simply could not keep up with the volume of messages.” Martin explained that he and his wife Catherine did their best to reply to the messages while taking pre-orders for their custom made gates. Their social media following rocketed from a few hundred to 17,000 and they’ve expressed their gratitude to Mrs Hinch for her act of kindness. They continued: “We couldn’t believe the experience and to this day we are still grateful to Mrs Hinch for the exposure that she gave us. Within 48 hours this number had increased again to 25,000 followers and the messages were still flowing and other public figures were getting in touch with us to enquire about our products. “We were shocked to find that a short while later Mrs Hinch purchased another gate from us for the downstairs of her house. Again once this was put on her Instagram page, our followers grew further along with the messages and enquiries. This time we were slightly more prepared, although nothing could prepare us for the volume of messages we were receiving again, thanks to the exposure.” Hazel, who works in procurement for a bank and lives in Scotland with civil engineer Gordon and their son who is nearly one-year-old, was among those to place an order. On March 3 this year, the couple paid £260 for two of the gates - and in emails seen by LancsLive, the business responded to check the measurements and discuss fittings. However, when the expected delivery came round in May, they hadn’t heard anything further and decided to check on the progress. Gordon said he emailed the same address from previous correspondence but this time it was no longer active and the message could not be delivered. When they tried to find their Facebook and Instagram pages, they said all had now disappeared. Hazel said: “It’s incredibly frustrating. Gordon spent pretty much an entire day online, searching, trying to find out where they’ve gone and what’s happened. We’ve put quite a lot of time trying to talk to them. “Money’s tight for everyone. I don’t want someone else to have the same thing happen to them.” LancsLive has attempted to contact the Ollerenshaws but received no response. The Rustic Mill Company remains an active company on Companies House, with Martin and Catherine Ollerenshaw listed as company directors. The company was set up in September 2020 with no updates to the company since its creation apart from confirming they are still both directors of the business. On Etsy, The Rustic Mill Company is listed as no longer selling on the platform. The Rustic Mill Company's Instagram account - instagram.com/therusticmillcompany - no longer exists. When LancsLive emailed The Rustic Mill Company, we got the following automated response: "Your message wasn't delivered to therusticmillcompany@gmail.com because the address couldn't be found or is unable to receive email." The company's Facebook page - facebook.com/Lancashire.co.uk - is also a dead link.
The Original Article can be found on Lancs Live

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