A PROMISING Bundaberg businesswoman is feared to have left many of her customers thousands of dollars out of pocket, accepting money for orders they never received.
The NewsMail first spoke to single mum-of-three Tanya Jackson when she began her online retail business Burlesque & Pin-up Couture last year.
Since that time, she steadily grew her database of thousands through her business' Facebook page and was even nominated in the 2011 Bio-Oil AusMumpreneur Awards.
Business appeared to be booming, with Miss Jackson constantly posting Facebook information about upcoming sales, and also awarding special discounts and prizes to her Facebook fan of the week.
But the site began to show signs of trouble last month, when customers started querying the whereabouts of their paid stock.
A friend of Miss Jackson posted on Facebook that the advocate for plus-size women had gone through some personal problems, and she wasn't sure when she would respond to emails and messages.
Several people have contacted the NewsMail saying there is now no online store, no Facebook page, no contact details and no stock or returns offered for her customers.
Miss Jackson has appeared to have gone to ground and has failed to return the NewsMail's calls.
The Bundaberg mum had organised for Sydney-based pin-up "Miss Pixie", from Boogie Bop Dames, to come to Bundaberg and surrounding areas last month to hold workshops.
Miss Pixie, who also runs Miss Pin-Up Australia - one of the biggest pin-up events in the world - said Miss Jackson had secured 25 interested women from Bundaberg to attend her course, but then became unreachable.
"I've left hundreds of phone messages and sent emails and Facebook messages to her," she said.
"I find her behaviour unprofessional and inexcusable."
Miss Pixie said she was "devastated" to hear Miss Jackson may have taken deposits for the workshops and failed to refund the money.
"I actually don't have any way of knowing if there was anyone who paid Tanya," she said.
Miss Pixie still came to Maryborough three weeks ago, but had to plan the event from scratch herself.
"Unfortunately, I let her represent my business by allowing her to organise us coming up to Bundaberg," she said.
"I'm very much into helping women ... but this is very, very bad."
Miss Pixie said Miss Jackson's behaviour did not reflect on the pin-up industry as a whole.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.