GoFundMe Launched for Handmade Children's Clothing Brand Hit by Cyber Crime

GoFundMe Launched for Handmade Children's Clothing Brand Hit by Cyber Crime

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — For 14 years, Molly and Aurélien de St. André have poured their hearts into their handmade children’s clothing brand, Petit Pilou. The family-owned business recently suffered a devastating cyberattack, leaving them in dire need of support to keep their small company afloat.

This spring, a sophisticated cybercriminal intercepted their payment for a bulk fabric order, stealing $40,000 — a crushing blow for this small business. Despite months of efforts, the funds cannot be recovered, leaving Molly and Aurélien in a difficult position.

Credit: Petit Pilou

The impact of this crime extends beyond the de St. André family. The small Indian business that produced the fabric is also counting on the payment to sustain its livelihood, as they’re unable to sell the custom order to another party.

“We’ve suffered a terrible financial loss—our little petit pilou company buys the finest GOTs certified organic fabric in bulk from a trusted supplier in India (it’s impossible to get anything of this quality out of the US and that’s what makes our baby clothes so so soft and truly organic). We make these bulk purchases every 2-3 years and slowly use the fabric over that time. In making the payment in late December, our wire transfer was intercepted and we lost the total amount—$40,000–weve learned over the last few months that there is no way to retrieve it. It was a cybercrime called social engineering, and it’s become distressingly more and more common,” the business owners wrote in an Instagram post on May 10, 2024.

Petit Pilou is in the Berkshires, a rural tourist destination in western Massachusetts. Molly and Aurélien’s commitment to sustainability and ethical production has made them a cherished part of the community. In a show of solidarity, area businesses are rallying to help Petit Pilou pay for the much-needed fabric and have established a GoFundMe. Thus far, it has raised $15,827 of its $40,000 goal.

Fellow business owner Joshua Irwin, who set up the fundraiser, cautioned other small businesses, noting on the page, “Even if they say they cover cybercrime, insurance companies are shielded from covering it in many instances, even as cybercrime grows more sophisticated and prevalent. If you are a small-business owner, please look into getting special coverage!”

If you’d like to donate to the GoFundMe for Petit Pilou, click or tap here or go to https://gofund.me/f0f2a723.

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