What happened to John and Laura Ramsey? They didn't just disappear from ShopNBC, they seemed to vanish from the industry completely. Their company's website, ramseygems.com, is completely gone. I heard a rumor that they were doing some work for Ross-Simons, but could never verify that to actually be true.
Then I found an exchange on a message board that just has to be seen to believed ...
Back in 2003 a poster on the DiamondRing.com forums named "Maven" innocently asked if anyone else liked to collect the John and Laura Ramsey's Gems at Large jewelry. In so doing, Maven unknowingly opened a Pandora's jewelry box of backstabbing ShopNBC vendor drama.
The post lay dormant for years until another poster named "Bankruptcyfraud" resurrected it. Well, I'm just gonna let him (or her) speak for himself:
They (Laura and John Ramsey of Seattle) filed for bankruptcy and screwed all their overseas vendors....I was one of the major ones. I produced alot of the beautiful pieces they used to sell. They used to fax ugly illegible scrawls to me and I asked my real designers to redo professional sketches for the Ramseys. We made these tammyfaebakers rich and famous and they do this immoral thing to the people that supported them and financed their operation. But make no mistakes, they love their customers and they know full well their customers are kings and they trained their personas to accomodate and lick all the loyal customers.
Laura's allegedly illegible jewelry sketches.
It might have been six years later, but Maven was still around to respond to the post and defend the Ramsey's. Maven felt that after the Ramsey's left and returned to ShopNBC, that the quality was "significantly less than the good old days" and that most of the ShopNBC vendors have started "catering to a lower Walmart mentality."
ShopNBC drove the ramseys out of business and forced them to file for bankruptcy ... I had always found them pleasant , and they certianly seemed very dedicated to tehir profession. John has gems in teh smothsomian. I am also not sure any of your story is accurrate. 'They always did alot of charity work. O have their autograpohed book, a gift fior being a good loyal customer.
So at this point we have a Ramsey lover and a Ramsey hater. Both seem to have inside info, but who knows the truth of what happened?
But the poster "Bankruptcyfraud" came back with some really serious accusations. And even though the post is really long, I'm just gonna quote him here since I don't want to misinterpret what he is saying.
I was searching online to see if the Ramseys are in jail yet. I lost almost US1mill selling to the Ramseys when they filed chapter 11. I chaired the committee when they filed.....i saw the inner workings of their creative accounting. ShopNBC paid everything and on time to RGI (Ramseys). All the suppliers got screwed for millions...now the DOJ has taken notice and got Congress to amend the bankruptcy laws which has closed loopholes so poeple like the Ramseys cannot file chapter 7/11 so easily. The debtors are more accountable. A complaint was lodged with the DOJ's USTP (US Trustee Program) that accused them of tax/duties evasion, concealing jewelry inventory...etc.
[...] After they ciphoned off all the cream during chapter11, they could have retired in Bahamas or the islands but they were cunning. They stayed on to work until the heat dissipated and postponed their retirement until now when its all forgotten. But these things never are forgotten forever. They somehow creep back at cha.
The good ol days was when we were a dedicated team of suppliers for Ramseys. Upon their return, all the great vendors that used to make their jewelry have stopped supplying them so the quality certainly went dnhill if not disappeared altogether.
Believe me ShopNBC didn't drove anyone nor forced them into filing. ShopNBC's parent is GE. There were many other host/brands selling shopNBC and they didn't get forced? The Ramseys were among the top volume/income for shopNBC and the darlings on TV. Why would shopNBC kill the golden goose and let the average sellers stayed on? The Ramseys were looking for an exit strategy to cash out. They tried to sell their business to my ex-employer, a big public company but it fell thru. It was such a specialized business and they were so greedy asking an astronomical selling price so no takers. Before their window of opportunity to sell was closed, they took the next best route. They are clever but they were too greedy...they thought cashing out at the height would yield them 30P/E or even40P/E.
I am not witchhunting, just want to set the record straight. I dont like seeing the devil cheating their way into heaven and try to look like angels while doing it.
[...] Why would my stories by unaccurate? I have received my share from the bankruptcy proceeding and the insurance company.
Tammyfaybakers were pleasant, dedicated professionals that did charity work. Which is all very nice but that is not mutally exclusive from being crooks.
After a new poster, "Saraj," jumps into the fray to accuse Bankruptcyfraud of being a "snake" who was only trying to "drum up business" for himself, Maven comes to his defense and dumps all sorts of information about the goings-on at ShopNBC.
Maven stated that the top executives at ShopNBC forced a lot of their vendors out in a "mass exodus" because they decided to go with lower end silver jewelry made overseas. The Ramsey's, Offerings, and 1912 decided to leave for this reason, as did the "gold maven" (not sure who that's supposed to be... maybe Meredith Borowski with Treasures D'Italia).
Shopnbc is trying to have a piece of evey line they carry. Pam McCoy is a leather designer,jeweler designer and what else? come on , they push their hosts to get product identification and then bank roll them to create lines they sell exclusively as Haute Couture? No way!!
look at what happened to Karen Connelly she bucked their system got a better deal( so she thought elsewhere) and was banned from returning, laura Duffek,and also tim temple left in that swoop as well as Kendy the darling they forgave and brought back.
Saraj, who seems to have inside information of his own, sticks to his guns. He thinks all the vendors left just because they "heard trouble was brewing," not because they were actually ousted.
Karen and the others left to go to another shopping channel, that from what I hear never gort off the ground. [...] I think its funny to see Merith not so much into her Italian accent anymore. Paul Kelly who you must know from the Q has decided to see what he can do with this company to improve it and I wish him much luck out there, I can see changes for the better already. He has Dave King now and Paul Deasy and I'm sure Judy will pop up somewhere along the way as well. I just keep waiting for Jeff Hewson to show up..lol.
After Saraj and Bankruptcyfraud throw mud at each other for a while, we get someone who refers to him or herself as simply "The Truth."
The Truth claims to have worked for the Ramsey's for years and also claims to know who Bankruptcyfraud really is. And although The Truth concedes that Bankruptcyfraud suffered due to the Ramsey's bankruptcy, he still thinks that Bankruptcyfraud is just a "PITA" who's full of "BS." (PITA is "pain in the ass" ... unlike BS, I had to look that one up!)
[The Ramsey's] are good people, they were fantastic to work with, they love and respect their employees and treat every one they meet with kindness, and they gave more to charities than any one else I have ever met. Your business would not have suffered if ShopNBC had not screwed the Ramseys and forced them out of business.
So what is the real truth here? What really happened to them?
We know that ShopNBC was trying to lower the average price point for all their items in order to increase sales. Of course, that was when ShopNBC was doing so poorly that their only choice was to sell cheaper items or go out of business completely. Can't really fault them there. We know that during this time many vendors left or were given the boot. We know that the Ramsey's were one of those vendors. Beyond that, it's just speculation ... extremely interesting speculation ... but speculation nonetheless!