More local artists say holiday shop owner owes them money

Posted at 7:51 PM, Oct 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-26 21:51:49-04

DENVER -- A seasonal holiday shop owner with a history of ripping off local artists appears to be at it again.

At least two more local artists say Tim Newberg is stealing from the local art community and hasn't paid them money they're owed from last year.

"Basically, he's stealing from the art community," Kym Bloom, owner of Shenanigans jewelry said.

Newberg runs a seasonal holiday artisan shop. Last year, the store was set up in the Cherry Creek Mall.

"There's absolutely no question he owes us the money," said Bloom. "It just angers me that he goes out, and that he keeps doing this."

Denver7 has learned Newberg had plans to open another holiday store this year in Downtown Boulder's Pearl Street Mall despite still owing other artists money.

The store is no longer branded as A Dickens Store. This year, Newberg is calling it the Boulder Artisan Shop.

A sign at the store location promises "vendors paid up to once a week."

Bloom said she knows Newberg's enticing sales pitch well, and signed up to sell her jewelry in the Cherry Creek Mall location.

"He came up and he said my jewelry would do really well in our store," she explained.

But after selling thousands of dollars' worth of products a year later, Bloom said she's only seen a little over $500.

"How much money are you owed by Tim Newberg?" asked Denver7 Reporter Jennifer Kovaleski.

"Right now, right around $1,500," Bloom said.

"About $115," Patrick Smith, another local artist, told Kovaleski. 

A total of nine artists, including Smith who makes specialty pumpkin seeds, came to Denver7 with the same problem.

"He took all my merchandise, he stole it, he kept all the money," Bloom said.

Each artist agreed to pay a booth fee and give Newberg 30 percent of all sales, but said they were left to chase the money they made -- which buyers thought was going to local artists.

"Once I realized people were owed $1,000, $2,000, $3,000, I realized it was a lot bigger than my $115 so I just felt an obligation to stay involved," said Smith.

Now they want to make sure other artists don't fall victim.

"Part of the reason I'm doing this, is that I hope if there are any vendors signed up for his store this year that they turn around and run," said Bloom.

Denver7 talked with Dick Blumenhein, an agent with the Downtown Boulder Pearl Street Mall. He said the mall is in the process of trying to evict Newberg.

When Kovaleski spoke with Newberg on the phone, he said he plans to step away from running this year's store. He'll turn the lease over to someone else.

Newberg and Blumenhein said artists who have already paid to have their booths in the store this year will still get space.

As far as when Newberg plans to pay Smith and Bloom, he insisted they will be paid and hopes to get them on a payment plan soon.