As a business owner of a clothing brand, receiving anonymous slanders kind of come with the territory. They're mainly annoying cheap-shots from a coward, but every so often, someone crosses the line. Please bare with me as I break down a recent string of events.

I couldn't help but be intrigued recently, when someone by the user name of 'gonehoggin84' aka 'Martin Zane' of "Newport Beach, CA" continued a serious barrage of public bashes, to myself, my brand, as well as other people and brands on Emptees. They've successfully been doing it for 2+ years. What started as public posts, led to a series of unprovoked, hateful and accusatory emails targeting my personal character and business practices. This person even dragged my mom and sister into this :(

**Please note, this person somehow had every post or comment they ever made, completely wiped from Emptees a few days ago, but you can still stumble upon posts & comments where other people quoted 'gonehoggin84'. However, most of the juicy, disappointing, disgusting posts have been removed. If you read some of the 'Worst/Most Cliche, Yet Successful Companies Around' thread - you would have noticed and remembered how creepy this person was.**

To say the least, these were pretty heavy, odd, creepy, personal attacks. As if someone had been stalking me and my brand since day one. Heck, before it was taken down, they had gone through all 2,160 tweets from my twitter, trying to find ones that made me look bad. They then used their research by posting strange comments (ie: "On this date, I noticed that you posted about some charity work you did with your family. Do you think you're special for helping people out? Do you need to post about it to make yourself look better?"), they referenced the few random blogs and websites where supposed "real people" left negative comments. These were left by some anonymous people (is it coincidental that 'gonehoggin84' typed & used the same exact mannerisms, grammar, and creepy statements almost word-for-word as some of these other "real people"?).

Here are a couple smaller examples of what 'gonehoggin84' said to me, and how I replied;







*(at one point I thought this was a different person on Emptees, and that he had multiple profiles. I apologize)*

-----------------

Seeing hatred for my brand was not upsetting the least bit. With every business comes a bit of, this and that, when you put yourself in the public. This I learned when I was in a band at age 15. I was just genuinely intrigued by the time and effort that this person spent on researching everything I've done with my brand since day one, spending what looked like, a month, to compose it all while hiding their identity. I was not the only person who thought their research and odd obsession with my brand, was strange. Like, a Lifetime movie, jealousy-obsessed, serial-killer kind of strange. I kind of feel bad for them.

Here's where the story really starts -
Emptees member "Gonehoggin84" was selling his Johnny Cupcakes t-shirt. People asked why, then he started posting many slanderous, ignorant, personal attacks that were all blown out of proportion and again, seemed a bit odd and obsessive. "Who is this maniac?" I asked myself. Not only did I ask myself, but I took the liberty to ask the Emptees member who purchased the Johnny Cupcakes t-shirt from Gonehoggin84.



The e-mail that was sent back to me, read;

--------------

"Just got the package and you're not going to believe the fishy business. NO RETURN ADDRESS! It just said ' Martin Zane '. It did ship from Trenton, New Jersey though.

However, he said it was at his parents house and his fiancee shipped it. The writing looks totally like a guys writing, bold, mix of capital and lowercase. ( but some females have ugly writing )

I also found a white hair. I believe he has a cat. Or his father has white pubes. Both irrelevant deductions. Hmmmm... ( takes puff of bubble pipe )"

-----------

I mentioned this to my pal Rob Dobi...

"Trenton, New Jersey - eh? Isn't that right next to where Pyknic is based out of?"

...checking their website I see multiple blog posts with photos of The Butchers little white & black pug. Interesting...isn't that the little bits of animal hair that was on the Johnny Cupcakes t-shirt that was sold by Martin Zane / gonehoggin84 "of Newport Beach, CA"?

Was still a mystery. Oh well, shrugged it off as it was time to pack for my trip to London. On my way home I got a call from my designer pal, who told me he had an interesting chat with his designer friend, Kyle Crawford, who had sent me an email. He told me to check my e-mail asap. I pulled over and refreshed my mail on my iPhone. This is where the story gets really interesting. Kyle had the brilliant idea to send $0.01 via PayPal, to "Martin Zane's" e-mail address. I give "Martin Zane" credit for deleting his account and trying to cover up his tracks, but his e-mail was already floating around in the Emptees ozone when he had posted his e-mail up,martinzane84@gmail.com - in regards to the selling of his t-shirts. If you're a registered PayPal user, your full name shows up if/when you do business with someone - as does the person you do business with. Well, looky here;



Bingo — 'gonehoggin84' aka Martin Zane aka martinzane84@gmail.com aka Stephen Thompson aka The Butcher aka Pyknic Wear.

I made a call back home. My web company pulled up not one, but multiple orders from Robbinsville, New Jersey's very own Stephen Thompson aka The Butcher of Pyknic Apparel aka gonehoggin84 aka Martin Zane. Do they need that much more "inspiration" for their culinary based t-shirt line - that they have to make multiple orders from my website?

I see the real reason they're trying to sell their Johnny Cupcakes t-shirt — why would they want to be caught wearing shirts from the brand that they've been known to rip off? The only reason they've made multiple orders from my online shop, is to see what we do and how we do it, so they can continue to alter Pyknic in more Johnny Cupcakes'-like ways. If they wanted advice, they could have called my office and I'd be more than willing to talk to them for more than an hour, just like I've done before; when I gave them honest, creative criticism. I knew I shouldn't of given them the benefit of the doubt.

In the past & present I've received many e-mails from random people calling them out. Even people they've worked with & stores that they were trying to get into. Pretty much stating, "Hey Johnny, these Pyknic dudes seem to biting your brand...just a heads up!" It's funny because it almost goes without saying, common-thought, among many design colleagues, that Pyknic "gets a lot of ideas" from Johnny Cupcakes. It almost seems redundant to state it here in this post.

I also feel bad for everyone that 'gonehoggin84' aka Stephen Thomson aka The Butcher aka Pyknic Wear - used to slander. After some searches, I found that 'gonehhoggin84' aka Stephen Thompson aka The Butcher aka Pyknic Wear would leave positive comments under many threads where Pyknic was mentioned. Classy. Good job being sneaky, guys. Shame on you. You should be leaving positive examples for others and acting a bit more professional. In the wake of the unnecessary drama, myself, my family, employees, friends, and a number of Emptees pals are left with disgust & sincere disappointment.

***This just in.***

It saddens me to find yet another new discovery/fake profile of Stephen Thompson aka The Butcher of Pyknic Wear aka gonehoggin84. This time he even brings in and bashes my littler sister for no reason (who he doesn't know or ever met). Not only that, but he displays more of his behavior, his same exact wording + mannerisms as used in his other personal attacks, and a few bashes on other wonderful Emptees people, etc.. All while hiding behind another fake profile.

Say hello to 'horokifuel' aka Martin Zane aka gonehoggin84 aka Stephen Thompson aka The Butcher of Pyknic Wear. Another one of his many fake profiles that he's made up over the years to hide behind and send hateful remarks to myself and my family. At one point he put down my Portuguese heritage, while asking me to tell my little sister to shave her mustache.

Take some time and read the many comments in this thread, as other peers are coming forward with their own horror stories. This is all unnecessary and unfortunate. I hope we can all learn from this as how to not act in business and in life.

610 Comments

  • christopher ott

    oh shit son!
  • Kolby

    Holy fuck.
  • Paul Granese

    I never liked the butcher, and I never liked gonehoggin84. Actually, they're two of the only users that I genuinely disliked. It totally makes sense now that they're the same person.
    Dude is always rude, posted a few asshole remarks about me aswell. Sorry about the trouble he caused you man.
  • MattyVF

    Fucking pathetic.

    This explains why that dude was so hostile towards members defending your professionalism. Fucking lowlife, seriously. I have zero respect for him and his company now & I'm so happy I've never purchased from there. Also, that was a genius move on Kyle's part.
  • Kolby

    I feel sorry for the chef. Fuck that.
  • n0x

    I don't think anyone liked him...
  • johnsaurus

    Clever Investigation! total mindfucked right now.
  • herman

    epic.
  • camoshop

    wouldn't surprise me , he threatened me on a tee i posted , .. people that have to hide behind a fake account , are pathetic , every dog has there day!!
  • The Quickness

    Whoa, I think this is the drama thread we've all been waiting for. Nonetheless, fucking sick shit dude. That's some incredibly shady, ghetto ass behavior right there. I applaud you for cracking this case. Crazy...
  • Ameeee

    Woah.

    This is the drama thread!
  • The Quickness

    Rico. said:
    The Quickness said: Whoa, I think this is the drama thread we've all been waiting for. Nonetheless, fucking sick shit dude. That's some incredibly shady, ghetto ass behavior right there. I applaud you for cracking this case. Crazy...

    Ghetto ass behavior? Seriously?

    Who exactly do you think I'm talking about? lol.
  • Keith.

    holy crap
  • MattyVF

    Rico. said:
    The Quickness said: Whoa, I think this is the drama thread we've all been waiting for. Nonetheless, fucking sick shit dude. That's some incredibly shady, ghetto ass behavior right there. I applaud you for cracking this case. Crazy...

    Ghetto ass behavior? Seriously?

    Yeah, you know.
  • Smiths Canvas

    Disturbing. I'm guessing this is the super drama thread.
  • MattyVF

    Johnny Cupcakes vs. Pyknic.
    I think we know who's who.
  • Paul Granese

    I just can't get over how much of a douche that guy is. I'm not one to hate on people, but i'm glad that dude is getting what he deserves.
  • Benzoe88

    Rico. said:
    The Quickness said: Whoa, I think this is the drama thread we've all been waiting for. Nonetheless, fucking sick shit dude. That's some incredibly shady, ghetto ass behavior right there. I applaud you for cracking this case. Crazy...

    Ghetto ass behavior? Seriously?
  • The Quickness

    Benzoe88 said:
    Rico. said:
    The Quickness said: Whoa, I think this is the drama thread we've all been waiting for. Nonetheless, fucking sick shit dude. That's some incredibly shady, ghetto ass behavior right there. I applaud you for cracking this case. Crazy...

    Ghetto ass behavior? Seriously?

    I'm talking about The Pikync dudes... okay whatever.
  • Chaddoesdesign

    Whoa. That's some fine detective work.
  • MattyVF

    Also:
  • n0x

    I've been waiting for this day for SO LONG. It's like EVERYTHING in the world is now OBTAINABLE, live is worth living now that THE BUTCHER GOT SLICED.
  • Gianni

    Pathetic.
  • What The Eff

    im guessing this was the drama thread dobi was talking about.
    and holy shit!!!
    who the fuck does he think he is to talk down to JOHNNY EFFING CUPCAKES!!!!
    i mean, he arguably ripped is entire brand idea from johnny.

    even tho i dont own a single johnny cupcakes shirt (it's a pity, i know) or even come close to exchanging words with the man, i can say IMHO hes an awesome guy, who doesnt seem to have much of an ego.

    eff pycnic
  • MattyVF

    Johnny, post this all over your facebook/blog/twitter/etc. Rip this dude to shreds, no mercy. Continue to butcher the butcher. Do you think people would take it as some kind of rivalry? Like, the modern day 2pac vs. Biggie of clothing brands? Who knows, this dude is toast in terms of respect now. Can't wait to see him post on here if he even tries to.
  • Masked Clothing

    Is this real life? That story is super creepy and just weird.

    Brand on brand drama is so silly everyone should be grateful for what they have and not look in one anothers kitchen. I don't care if Shaniqua across the street has donuts and I don't because if I work hard enough I can have those donuts too.
    I kinda lied though because if it was real life donuts I would want one really bad, but you know what I mean.
  • Lmerrill

    Props to Kyle for the paypal trick! That was the most entertaining/interesting/suspenseful thing I've read in months. Glad you figured out who it is/was!
  • Masked Clothing

    Check this picnic out!



    P.S. Any predictions if Pyknic is going to have a statement about this?
  • jontoi22

    after reading this I regret that I bought a tee from pyknic. T_T
  • Stijn Van Belle

    This i seriously low for him to do that. And i almost bought something. good thing i didn't.

    BTW, how's the london shop going? :)
  • Chaddoesdesign

    Dammit Johnny, Some people are trying to work while you sashay in with this drama. I now will most likely keep checking this thread ever ten minutes or so. Thanks.
  • The Quickness

    My girlfriend bought a pair of Piknyk jeans a while ago. When I see her tomorrow, I'm gonna rip them shits off her legs and burn them.
  • Chaddoesdesign

    Rico. said:
    Chaddoesdesign said: Dammit Johnny, Some people are trying to work while you sashay in with this drama. I now will most likely keep checking this thread ever ten minutes or so. Thanks.

    Shit, I have work.

    ON SUPERBOWL SUNDAY!?! are you a commie?
  • reyrey78921

    3 words for you johnny
    KICK HIS ASS !
  • Paul Granese

    Glad I never bought anything from them.
  • MattyVF

    PaulCharlesGranese said: Glad I never bought anything from them.
  • Chaddoesdesign

    Rico. said:
    Chaddoesdesign said:
    Rico. said:
    Chaddoesdesign said: Dammit Johnny, Some people are trying to work while you sashay in with this drama. I now will most likely keep checking this thread ever ten minutes or so. Thanks.

    Shit, I have work.

    ON SUPERBOWL SUNDAY!?! are you a commie?

    No Jets=No Me

    And not the show up at work work, the sit in front of my computer typing shit work

    Nothing like a revenge game. Go Pack! I now hate Pittsburgh.

    Also, before anyone rushes to conclusions, we should at least here from Stephen. After all there are a lot of Stephen Thomas' and Trenton is a moderately big town, the Fresno of the east coast. However it is in New Jersey, which according to principle of relativity bumps it down to the Temecula of the east coast.
  • Alejandro Prez



    WTF. What a fucking pussy, makes me want to throw out my pyknic varsity, what a fucking joke.
  • collisiontheory

    What a way to end an era of emptees.com! Now we definitely need to continue to a new site just to see how this story unfolds!
  • evolve or die

    well played, Kyle. Have to remember that trick.

    and that's the end of Piknyk. Good luck getting good designs, fellas!
  • This thread is currently locked. Comments are disabled :(

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