Teen Mom Jenelle Evans is ‘bad for business’ as designer had 'no idea' about star's sordid past before working together

TEEN Mom Jenelle Evans is “bad for business,” as a bag designer had “no idea” about the star’s sordid past before working together. 

Jenelle, 29, turned to TiKTok to promote Rock and Leather Bags, a company that sells repurposed luxury bags and helps bring awareness to mental health issues in the military. 

After Jenelle posted the video, the business owner, Erika Newman, received backlash and learned of her sordid past, including when the fired reality star wished death on a soldier. 

When Erika asked Jenelle to take the video down and return the bag, which retails for $1,000, she refused, causing a social media fight. 

In an exclusive interview with The Sun, Erika revealed her experience working with the former Teen Mom 2 star. 

She said: “We sent Jenelle a bag because she was one of the few influencers who reached back out to us when we still had a tiny following. 

“We thought people could separate what her husband had done from her promoting us because he was in no way involved.”

Erika added of the video: “We had absolutely no idea about the video that surfaced of her wishing death on a soldier until after she promoted us and many people sent it to us. 

“After seeing that, we reached out to Jenelle for comment and she basically said she has nothing against the military. It still didn’t sit right with us. 

“The biggest issue was people being more concerned about working with her than what our message was about and that was a huge problem.”

Erika admitted that while she did get sales from the post, she also “got many messages from people stating they loved what we were about, but wouldn’t purchase from us because we were associated with her.”

She said that she understood why Jenelle refused to return the bag, as it was sent to her as a gift. 

But the Rock and Leather Bags owner, whose products could also be found on Instagram, added: “She didn’t hold up her end of the deal because she agreed to an Instagram post and never posted. 

“She also took over a week to post it after we sent it to her and messaged her multiple times asking her to post it.”

During their social media war, Jenelle claimed the company wanted her to return the bag because she refused to be friends with Erika. 

She explained: “After she posted it I asked her if we could be friends before I was made aware of the video because I was hoping to work on other things with her.

 “I knew she got a lot of hate so I wanted to be someone in her life that would be there for her no strings attached.”

Jenelle has had trouble keeping gigs in the past. 

She was fired from Teen Mom 2 in 2019 when her husband David Eason admitted to shooting and killing the family’s dog after the pooch nipped at their daughter Ensley. 

David was fired a year prior for social media comments. 

Jenelle was let go from the podcast Girl S**t after her past was revealed, as two of her co-hosts confirmed her firing with The Sun. 

Various Instagram companies have also stopped partnerships with Jenelle. 

Erika said of other companies who consider working with the influencer: “I would say Jenelle in general is bad for business. Other influencers have lost deals by just being associated with her. We weren’t aware she was bad for business until it was too late. 

“My advice is do your research and don’t be so quick to work with someone just because they have a blue check mark.”

Erika added of her company: “We are a small business that originally started out with an idea to make luxury handbags more appealing with a touch of rock n roll because that is my personal style. 

“Once we became more aware of soldiers in my husband’s company and others as well having issues with having their mental health problems heard, we knew something needed to change. Soldiers are dying more by suicide than in combat. 

“No one talks about it in the military either because you’re looked at as ‘weak’ or in other ways you’ll get in trouble or lose your security clearance. We bring awareness by speaking about it on social media as well as naming every bag after a soldier who lost their battle to 22 a day or domestic violence.”

On April 13, Jenelle posted a video “unboxing fan mail.”

She said as she opened the package: “This is from Hawaii. It’s from a local girl who makes purses. I cannot wait to unbox this and show you!

“She makes a unique type of bag. Check it out! Check out that strap! So cute! I’m going to tag her below, you guys got to check out her Instagram.”

Jenelle showed off The Vanessa, an authentic Louis Vuitton bag complete with black fringe, braiding and a flower-embellished strap.

Erika posted a video on TikTok responding to a fan complaining about the company’s association with Jenelle. 

She said in the video: “At this point, we’re no longer going to be associated with Jenelle, we don’t hate her, we don’t have anything against her, but I wasn’t aware of the video until someone sent it to me after Jenelle posted the video on her TikTok. 

“That’s not really what our values are. We’re a veteran-based company. My husband is in the military, he’s active duty. That really hurts what was said. We do apologize for getting that impression out that we support that. We’re all about mental health and domestic violence awareness.”

In 2015, a video emerged of Jenelle screaming at her ex-fiance and baby daddy Nathan Griffith's brother Noah, who is a soldier. 

She appeared to say in the video: “I would have hoped you would have died in combat.

“I wish he f**king died. I heard your best friend got killed in the war, guess what?”

Jenelle responded by claiming she was set up by the person who posted the video. 

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