Party place closes, Locks 4-year-old out of her Birthday Party
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Natchitoches mother Anna Dupre said she paid Shreveport Princess Parties hundreds of dollars for a princess party for her 4-year-old daughter, Erin, this past Saturday.
On that day, the business was a no-show, which has now sparked a social media outrage across the area.
The location of Shreveport Princess Parties used to be at the 3900 block of Youree Dr., unbeknownst to Dupre.
When she drove her 4-year-old daughter, Erin, to the location for her princess party, she said the doors were locked up tight.
"I didn't want her to see me upset," Dupre said. "Like any mother would, I had a little breakdown but then once I pulled myself together, I got her in the car and said: 'OK! We're going to your birthday party!'"
The mother and daughter were able to change venues to Air U Trampoline Park at the last minute, but Dupre said she's still out hundreds of dollars, not to mention the cost of driving to Shreveport from Natchitoches and the fact that 10-12 girls were also on-hand for the party.
Dupre said some of her friends had even driven from Texas for the party which wasn't happening.
"I'm out $350 just for the site itself," she said.
When KSLA News 12 went to the business, there were lights on, but the entrance lobby was empty and no one was there.
Dupre posted a warning on Facebook which has been shared more than 250 times.
What Dupre learned is she's not the only one.
We reached out to Shreveport Princess Parties owner, Julie Martin, who declined to interview on-camera but texted us saying:
"After 5 successful years of happy customers and many good deeds, I am closing due to my husband's current fight with cancer and kidney disease."
Dupre wants to know why Martin never called her or refunded her money, then.
"I'm not denying the fact that there is someone ill in her family but saying that she's stopped and is getting out of the business, I think, is another lie,"Dupre said.
When we asked Martin why there was no call, she texted:
"It was a mistake on my part....I thought I had contacted everyone that was on my schedule to let them know of my closing. She unfortunately was missed."
But Dupre said she's been trying to contact Martin about the party since last Monday.
"Her cellphone number, tried calling. There was no voicemail set up. Numerous text messages, E-mails. No reply," Dupre explained.
Dupre said she's called Shreveport police and doesn't want this to happen to any other mother.
"I hope she'll stay true to her word and let this be the last time that someone slips through the cracks," she said.
Also in a text message to KSLA News 12, Martin said Dupre would be refunded.
Both Dupre and Martin said the payment is currently being disputed on PayPal, but Dupre said she has not yet received a full refund or heard from Martin and said she is now considering legal action.
Others in the community have also come forward about Martin's business.
The landlord of Shreveport Princess Parties' old location in the 3700 block of Youree Drive, Laura Sasaki, said they evicted Martin back in August 2015 after she missed six months worth of rent payments, totaling $16,000.
Sasaki said she and her husband are also considering legal action.
Martin told KSLA she has statements from the Sasakis saying she doesn't owe that money. Martin also claims her name was never on the lease for that building.