Vendor banned from Patches and Pins Expo event
Event organizer cites overwhelming complaints of cyber-bullying, harassment of female artists for decision
The organizer of the upcoming Patches and Pin Festival in Santa Ana banned a pin vendor from the festival, citing complaints from attendees.
“Attention vendors. Due to an overwhelming number of concerns, The Pin Pirate and Scallywag Supply will no longer be a vendor at this Saturday’s patch and pin festival,” an Instagram story shared Sunday on the Patches and Pins Expo Instagram account read.
The decision, announced by expo founder Ricky Flores, follows a week of complaints by other pin makers. They allege that Ryan Grey of The Pin Pirate and Scallywag Supply has taken part in cyberbullying, and cite concerns of safety at the expo.Grey has attracted a notable number of followers for his Instagram Live Streams, in which he showcases the pin makers whose work he enjoys and collects. The streams also have been reported to be a source of harassment that Flores said he also faced on a number of occasions. The pin collector and enthusiast began selling his own pins under the brand Scallywag Supply last October.
Flores said he was inundated with messages from pin makers since last week, although he also said many were not even vendors slated to attend the expo. The event organizer said he finally felt forced to ban Grey after the owner of the venue where this weekend’s event will be taking place, 4th Street Market, contacted him.
Someone in the community forwarded screenshots to the venue owner of intimidating and threatening messages Grey allegedly sent to a female artist, Flores said.
“He’s not really one of these things that you can just contact him so easily. He (the owner) was like, ‘Hey man, if they got to me, then this is not a good thing,’” Flores said.
“There’s some stuff out there that we were just barely aware of,” he continued. “I guess he was threatening some female pin makers on Instagram. Since that happened, we have to address those things. And have to let him know, these things just came to our attention and we can’t have you there.”
Grey was previously banned from Patches and Pins Expo events in March for similar concerns, Flores said, but had recently been invited to attend the Orange County event this weekend after Flores received an apology from the pin collector.
“I went and met up with him, talked to him, and he came off as a cool guy and you know, he apologized,” Flores explained “He admitted to his wrongs. And at that point I shook his hand and said ‘Hey man, you know, I’m not one to try and ban people—I’m not trying to segregate people’ … I was like ‘Hey man, I’ll give you a second chance. If you wanna come to the event, come enjoy yourself,’” Flores said.
“The only condition that I expressed to him—what I really wanted him to do was come to the event and maybe apologize to some of the people that he harmed or talked negative about and try to make amends.”
For some artists, though, the decision to ban The Pin Pirate is too little, too late. Katie Hof of Faux Fox Studio said she decided not to be a vendor at any more Patches and Pins Expo events going forward. While she attended the Patches and Pin Expo in New York last year, she won’t be returning for the show this year in October.
“Ricky had seen screenshots and knew about Ryan and how he had treated women– pin-makers, business owners, vendors from his shows,” Hof wrote in a message to For The Share of Flair yesterday.
“So asking for proof was just a show, a false argument to protect his image. An image that he was innocent and had no prior clue.”
Jessica Anderson of GoreJess Flair said she was harassed by Grey following a relationship she had with him. She and Grey first began interacting in February 2017, she said, and described the relationship as being dysfunctional and abusive.
“He made me feel unsafe when he would get pissed off and start blackmailing me with facts about my own life… He made me feel unsafe when he continuously and simultaneously sent me sexual and threatening messages,” she said.
“He made me feel unsafe when he would tell me he would make sure my relationships failed. I don’t know if he meant friendships or more. He made me feel unsafe when he would threaten the lives of people I had any disagreement with. He made me feel like I was caged in…”
Grey didn’t deny the allegations, but said he previously apologized for them on his live streams and “made peace with his wrongs,” he said in a message with For The Share of Flair today.
“The issue at hand is over a year old,” he said. “There is a contingency of people who are a minority that are seeking to destroy my reputation and brand with out-of-context screenshots regarding a personal issue they have from the past which has been resolved directly.”
Later he added that he had agreed to come back and do Patches and Pins Expo to make peace for the greater good of the pin community.
“It should be obvious at this point that the minority has taken control in ways they shouldn’t, because of a few personal matters that have no relevance in the larger community,” he said. “I must repeat that I do not have anything but absolute support and appreciation for all makers, including female makers, which they believe I do not. I have always wanted the better for this community. These few have done more to hurt him (Ricky) and the expo now than myself.”
Patches and Pins Expo: Orange Country will be open from 12 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18 at 4th Street Market in Santa Ana, located at 201 East 4th Street.
The free event will also feature a car show, a vintage bike show and a “meet the artists” panel. It is taking place in tandem with The Bank Sale, a street and contemporary fashion marketplace.
Tickets are available at Eventbrite.com.
Patches and Pins Expo has been active since 2015 and is “the nation’s largest flare (sic) event,” according to the Expo’s website.
“P&P has been rapidly growing organically for the past couple of years while staying true to our roots making our event the successful platform it is today,” it reads.
Patches and Pins Expo has four different events throughout the year, all based in different Cities: New York City (Oct. 13), San Francisco (Oct. 20), Los Angeles (Dec. 15) and Orange County.