Hello, my name is Thomas, I am the husband of Annie, or as most of you know her, Isla (I’ll refer to her as Isla from now). You may have heard rumours and allegations about Cheeky Pea recently and I would like to address these. This post will discuss what happened, why it happened, how we are going to rectify this, and finally how we plan to move on.
First a little about me, until the end of 2017 I worked as part of the Cheeky Pea team writing scripts and handling customer service. I did this while I was studying and in the space before I decided what to do. I am now a management consultant specialising in operations and logistics, and occasionally procurement. My work and study background combined with spending time as part of the Cheeky Pea team qualifies me to take over the running of Cheeky Pea in the interim. I am doing this because there has to be a review of processes, there has to be higher level of accountability, and Isla has to concentrate her efforts on content creation.
In recent months Isla purchased various models from different sources to use in her sets sold in Second Life. There were varying degrees of the percentage of the purchased work and her own work in these sets. This was an unacceptable practice for a number of reasons. In the first instance the license attached to the item sold by original creator may have had terms attached that they could not be used in whole or in part in virtual worlds. Ignorance of the rules is no excuse. In the second instance a number of events stipulate that all items must be 100% new and unique to the event. While it is acceptable to purchase a template or the services of another SL Resident to comply with these rules, it is not acceptable to buy off the shelf components that are not unique to and original for the event.
I have identified the following sets which do not meet the high standards expected by our customers, event organisers, and other creators, with help from the SL community:
- Molly Patio Set
- Markle Carriage Bed
- Caicos Set
- Faith Set
- Cynthia Crafting Set
Why this happened
I’m not looking for sympathy on behalf of Isla or making excuses on her behalf. To keep up with the demand of the event cycle she cut corners, skirted rules and generally made an immense mess of things. These events occurred in 2017 when I have no longer been dealing with tickets. Cheeky Pea has the wonderful Saffron Foxclaw to assist but she does that in her spare time when she isn’t delivering babies and saving lives. This has left Isla to deal with forcing out content in a short period of time. The right thing to have done would have been to drop events or hire assistance.
What we are doing to rectify this
First of all, we have removed all of the content. We actually removed more content than we needed to. This allowed us to conduct an internal review so that we could make sure we caught these items and sets. We will be adding back the original content in due time but there are more important matters to deal with first.
To customers who bought the affected sets
We are sorry that you bought these sets in good faith in the belief that they were 100% original mesh because of the event they featured in. We are sorry that we have let you down and we want to make this up to you. We are offering you the choice of either a full refund of the L$ amount or twice the amount paid as a store credit. To do this we ask that you submit a ticket wit the items bought, tell us whether you would like double store credit or a L$ refund. We will then process these as quickly as we can, verifying purchases against our records. We are close to bringing in an assistant store manager to help us deal with these requests, additionally I will be remaining part of the team for the foreseeable future.
To event organisers we let down
I am sorry that we damaged the integrity of your event by not playing by the rules. We’ve lost friends over this, we’ve lost our places at events. This is understandable, the removal from events was both an appropriate and proportional response to our actions. While we may not work together again I hope the SL community can see past our mistakes, which you had no duty to police, and recognise the hard work you put in.
To fellow creators
We might not know each other, we might not particularly like each other but we’re sorry that we made it an unfair playing field. I understand how some of you can feel cheated out of customers or places at recent events because we were there selling what was essentially someone else’s work. Cheeky Pea did not get these spaces overnight, the store has been in business for almost ten years, it had taken a lot of hard work to get to the stage of almost automatic invites to some events. I understand why you are annoyed and I apologise wholeheartedly to you. You deserve fair competition.
How we plan to move on
There are number of processes we will be implementing to improve how we work in the future. As previously stated I am looking to bring in an additional store manager to work with Isla and Saffron in the immediate term to deal with any tickets, requests, and refunds as a result of this mess. Going forward they will help lift some of the stress from Isla.
The store is a juggernaut. There are too many aspects for one and a half people to manage. The main store in SL has suffered recently, there hasn’t been enough communication, and our VIP’s need a little more attention.
Hopefully by installing a team around Isla we can free her to get back to creating, to get back to enjoying her work again. This time with no shortcuts, no deadlines, no external pressures. This will mean an increase in store releases, and in turn more immediate benefits for members of the VIP group.
Isla has begun to share her creation process by streaming on twitch, some of you may like to watch this. Although she is very busy she is usually happy to answer questions about using Maya when she has time. In addition to this we will try and post more work in progress shots through our Plurk and Facebook pages. We want to show you what goes into the creation process and engage with the community as a whole more. This has been something missing from Cheeky Pea for quite some time. If you want some help writing scripts or creating plugins for AV Sitter feel free to give me a shout. Similarly if you want help having a baby please contact Saff, although for all of our benefits we hope she doesn’t live stream birth.
Cheeky Pea have dropped the ball in recent months. There are no excuses. We apologise to the SL community, our customers, event organisers, our competitors, and the original creators we bought work from outside of Second Life. We are trying to make this right but we know the road back will be difficult. We are making changes to how we operate. We hope that we will be allowed the chance to keep delivering the content that our customers love.
If you have any questions, as I’m sure you can appreciate, our ticket system and Isla will be rather busy in the coming days. If you need a speedy reply please contact me directly by email: