The Aussie Ceramics Girls Are Fighting Over A $125 Strawberry Mug

sopha dopha strawberry mug tiktok drama shelby sherritt

Want more Junkee in your life? Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you always know where to find us.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so enthralled in TikTok drama as I have the Sopha Dopha and Shelby Sherritt strawberry mug gate. I’ve already devoted 12 hours going back and forth between the videos, watching other users dissect them, and seeing which side people are taking. And yes, this is all over a strawberry mug. 

If your TikTok For You Page has been anything like mine this morning, it’s probably flooded with videos about this goddamn mug. I’m also certain that you’ve been annoying everyone you know about it. It’s okay, I have too. If not, you’re in for a real treat. 

Whether you need someone to go through all the drama because your friends stopped listening or if you need some context, let me take you through it all. 

Sopha Dopha Posts Christmas Haul Video, Including Infamous Strawberry Mug

Back in December Sopha Dopha, popular TikTok influencer and recent TikTok Awards nominee, posted a Christmas haul of different gifts she’d gotten for her friends and family. Seems innocent enough, right? Wrong. 

In her video, Sopha pulls out a really cute double-handled strawberry mug that she says she got at a Finder Keepers Market (from Shelby’s previous video it was a market in Sydney that ran from the 8th to the 10th of December, 2023). Sopha starts off by saying “how cute is this mug right? I actually think it’s like a kid sippy cup which is silly cause it’s ceramic”. She claims that at first she didn’t realise the mug had two handles nor did she ask how much it was. She then says  “I fucking look at the eftpos machine. $125. Look how small this mug is?” 

I must admit, I did gasp when I heard it was $125. Not because I don’t think it’s a beautiful hand-painted mug worthy of the price but because I get my mugs from op-shops or Kmart and the thought of spending $125 on a mug in this economy makes me shiver. 

I do, however, heavily relate to Sopha saying there was no way she could say that she didn’t want the mug anymore. I too get anxious when buying things and have been in situations where I’ve paid for things I didn’t want simply because I can’t say no to people. I once bought a tiny bowl that I didn’t really want from a market for $110. It smashed the next day. 

Anyways, things didn’t kick off until yesterday when Sopha found out that the mug’s creator, Shelby Sherritt, made a video in response. Cue drama.

Shelby Sherritt Responds, And The World Is Never The Same 

In a now-deleted video, Shelby Sherritt, who has two million TikTok followers, stitched Sopha’s video saying that it was her mug and she was the one who served Sopha at the Finders Keepers market. 

Shelby says sarcastically, “thank you so so much for supporting my small business, it means so so much”. Yikes. She then goes on to explain how she spends “hours and hours” making the mugs and that she hand paints “every single one”. “That’s not including how much money goes towards tax … GST, how much outgoings I have or my supplies that have also increased in value … it also includes my staff’s wages”, Shelby says. Shelby adds that she recognised Sopha, congratulated her on her TikTok Awards nomination and that the market organisers were excited that she was coming.  

Later in the video, Shelby calls out Sopha for lying about how the pair interacted saying that Shelby did tell Sopha that the price was on the bottom of the mug and that she didn’t have to purchase anything from the store. Shelby claims that Sopha picked up “a number of pieces” and looked at their prices. She ended the video by offering Sopha a full return and refund of the mug so she can find “someone else who will really really love and appreciate that mug”. 

Another user downloaded Shelby’s response so you can see the full video below.

In Shelby’s defence, you can tell she’s passionate about her business and about the mugs she creates. Especially the double-handed ones as Shelby says they are part of a collection made for people with different needs who might need to hold a mug with two hands. 

I can’t even imagine the burden it would be to run a ceramic business that you hand-paint yourself. I do understand Shelby’s reaction because it would be disheartening to see someone else talk about your business in a way you don’t like. However, Sopha doesn’t say anything bad about the mug (in fact she calls it “really cute”) nor does she say Shelby was rude or a bad business owner. In saying that, because of the reach and platform Sopha has, others might not want to buy from Shelby’s store if they think it’s overpriced. But people wouldn’t have known it was from Shelby if she didn’t make a video responding to it. 

See how it gets confusing? This is why mug gate has split TikTok in half. 

Sopha Responds To Shelby’s Response 

Sopha caught wind of Shelby’s video after people were commenting “Why would you lie to harm a small business?” on one of her other videos. Naturally, Sopha made a response video to Shelby’s response video. Ah, the circle of life.

She says that she swears “On my mum’s life I did not touch any items. I looked at all the items and I remember talking to a girl who had long dark brunette hair”, insinuating that she didn’t speak to Shelby but someone else at the stall. Sopha claims she didn’t realise the mug had two handles nor does she even think it was even Shelby’s stall to begin with. “Why would I lie about this? Why would I make a TikTok saying I had no idea what the price was when I knew the price?” Good question. 

In the video, Sopha reiterates that in her original video she never said the price wasn’t worth it and that she was never “talked through” the price or the Strawberry collection or why the mug had two handles. “I’m sick of people using my name to get views for shit when it’s not true”, she says. 

TikTok Is Divided Over Mug Gate

I never thought one of the biggest Australian TikTok dramas of the year would be over a strawberry ceramic mug but here we are. Not only have the original videos had millions of views but people have been making their own videos putting their two cents in. 

Literally me this morning. 

It’s even reached international users who are trying to decipher what’s going on. I can only imagine them watching people with thick Australian accents fight over a mug. We are simple people but we have fun. 

This user has fully broken down the whole situation of whether Sopha knew the mug had two handles and who she might have been speaking to. True investigative journalism right here. 

In my opinion, $125 for a mug is wild and I probably wouldn’t spend that much on it but I’m sure there are people out there that would. What I will say is that if the strawberry mug is for people with disabilities, why is it so expensive? Probably not the most accessible thing. At the same time I understand why Shelby would be upset but I doubt many people would’ve known it was her mug if she didn’t make a video about it. 

At the end of the day, Sopha may be in the position of being able to pay more than other people who are severely struggling with even buying groceries or paying their rent. Perspective, people.

I just can’t get over how much this strawberry mug has taken over my life.

Ky is a proud Kamilaroi and Dharug person and writer at Junkee. Follow them on Instagram or on X.

Image: TikTok