What does hacktivist group Anonymous have to do with a child’s birthday party at local business “Shuga Land?” It seems that they have a LOT to do with the child’s birthday party. A video has been circulating around Facebook about a little girl’s ruined birthday party, and Anonymous released their own video to the owner of Shuga Land, Nsenga Rivens.
The daughter of Jamie Norfolk was injured in a motor vehicle collision on June 8th of 2013 at the merge of Route 100 and Route 10. The crash left Norfolk’s daughter with life threatening injuries. She survived the crash, and her mother booked a birthday party for her at Shuga Land in Marley Station Mall for the hours of 12-3pm. Family friend Mindy Lopez says that the party did not go as planned. When Jamie first arrived for the party, it was not even on the schedule, and they had to set up everything themselves. The girls got their nails and makeup done, but did not get to make their lip gloss, have their cupcakes and pizza, or open gifts. The makeup was rushed, nails were rushed, adults were not allowed into the changing rooms with the girls for the fashion show, and when Rivens arrived at around 1:00 pm, she had a bad attitude and told them to leave. The girls did not know what was going on, and everything was very disorganized, according to Lopez.
We spoke with Ms. Rivens today, who says that “They got their d*** party,” and that she asked the party to “wrap things up” fifteen minutes prior to the intended end of the party because someone used a racial slur against her, something that Lopez says she did not hear happen. Ms. Rivens was more upset about the videos that have been posted, saying “How come nobody contacted me to get the money back?” and “no one is saying anything about the party anymore.” Rivens owns another spa in MD, but would not give us details about it, saying that people will “never get the name of my second spa-I’m not linking them together,” and that she was taught to “keep your businesses separate.” This would be the reason why people who have cancelled appointments at Shuga Land have unknowingly made appointments at her other spa. Rivens has said that this is quickly becoming a race issue, and that the family and friends of the little girl are condoning what Anonymous is doing by liking comments, sharing photos of her, sending her threatening emails, and commenting with racial slurs on Facebook. She does not see the point in photos being shared of her, saying that “Those photos are from 2011, I no longer sell toys. I’m not ashamed of the pictures at all, how many of your public school teachers sell toys?”
Ms. Rivens would like to know why Anonymous and the family are going after her other businesses, stating that she is “still going to be a businesswoman” and that any damage done “won’t stop me.” She is closing Shuga Land’s doors in Marley Station Mall and has signed a contract to move the business out of state, under a new name. She stated that police reports have been filed, and that she is taking it to court, where it should have originally been taken. Ms. Rivens has not filed anything against Jamie Norfolk as of this writing, however information from case search shows that Mrs. Norfolk filed papers today suing Ms. Rivens.
We also got a chance to speak with Cynthia McGivern, owner of Sassy Shoppe in Dunkirk, MD. McGivern is an Anne Arundel County resident who opened her business around four years ago just over the county line. She put out a request on her personal Facebook for the family to contact her as she wanted to offer them a free birthday party for up to 15 people. The family has been in touch, however no date has been set.
The Norfolk family is not the first family that this has happened to. Case search shows that Rivens was sued in 2013 by a family, the Marley Station Mall Facebook page has been full of comments from previous customers, and we reached out to a former customer of Shuga Land.
Kelly Lewis, who is new to the county, and one of her friends scheduled a joint birthday party for their daughters at Shuga Land. They arrived 10 minutes early and were told that they needed to wait outside, that they could not be there early. When the party started, Kelly said that it was very disorganized, and that the teenagers who were doing nails seemed like they did not want to be there. Lewis recalls the day as being very awkward. They brought their own pizza as the package only included one slice per child. When it became time for the girls to eat their pizza, the employees brought it out, cold. When asked about it, the families were told that it was the pizza they brought it, and they did not receive a pizza from the spa because they brought their own. The tea served was “gross,” and Lewis said that it had particles of tea in it and that she did not allow her daughter to eat the strawberries because they were mushy and just looked nasty. She also noticed a lack of displayed licenses for anything-food, nails, makeup, or liquor. Lewis told us that “It was disappointing. It was ridiculous. We weren’t happy, but for the sake of the kids, we kept smiling.” She said that Shuga Land is presented as something totally opposite from what it really is, and that the owner will take your money and run. One thing that bothered Lewis was the selection of music for the kids to listen to after they ate. She said that Rivens turned on Beyonce, and not just any Beyonce! The music selection had profanity and sexually explicit lyrics. She said that Rivens was walking around in low cut jeans wearing a pair of lacy underwear, which she did not seem to realize she was showing to this group of young girls.
When asked about the initial video posted about Jamie Norfolk’s daughter, Kelly Lewis said that she thinks the family did what they needed to do, and that “if the owner did everything she could have done, the video would have been too much.” When asked about Anonymous, the reaction was the same, that if the owner was running an honest business, it would not be such an issue, but that this is not the first time Rivens has done this, and that she will keep doing it. When asked about the photos circulating about Rivens, she said that it might not be necessary as it has nothing to do with what happened, but it is certainly unsettling that someone who runs a business like that also runs a business that deals with children.