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'Too trustworthy:' Family loses $58,000 to Jacksonville interior designer for work that never happened

Carol Welden and her husband agreed to pay $58,000 to Sweet Southern Pickins to decorate their new retirement home. But, they say the work never got started.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville family is out $58,000 that they paid to an interior designer to outfit their home, but they say they have nothing to show for it.

"I was just too trustworthy, and I am upset with myself for being too trustworthy," said Carol Welden.

She says a series of unfortunate and regrettable events lead her and her husband to cancel a contract with a Jacksonville businesswoman.

"I have always been too cautious about my business dealings with anyone," she told First Coast News. 

Welden agreed to pay $58,000 to Sweet Southern Pickins to decorate her and her husband's new retirement home. However, after months of back and forth, she says owner Marlena Heck failed to follow through with their contract, leaving Welden without furniture.

"I've worked hard, my husband's worked hard, and we want it to look nice and be decorated nicely," Welden explained.

Welden went to court and won a financial judgment against Heck, but hasn't received any reimbursement.

Credit: WTLV
Welden cancelled her $58,000 contract with Sweet Southern Pickins, but has not received any reimbursement from its owner.

Other complaints have been filed against Heck, who has not responded to our requests for an interview. She still advertises her business online.

Welden spent an additional $60,000 on other furniture to make up for the decor she did not get.

She received an email from Heck last month, which explained Heck was going through a divorce and a financial battle to save her home.

Welden says the money should not have been used for Heck's personal life, but Heck told Welden she plans to sell her home and will refund Welden completely.

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