Friday, May 18, 2012

I Feel So Violated

Almost 3 years ago now, I sold a spoon pendant to a girl outside of the Dinosaur BBQ as I was on my way to the 'Party in the Park' in downtown Rochester. I remember thinking about what good fortune I had to sell a necklace before I even got to my destination. And this girl was head over heals impressed with her pendant. I even remember exactly what pendant it was because I had just made it a few days before and had a feeling it would go fast.

Me at a Dead show back in 2009. This is how I sold pendants
back in the day.

This girl has taken it upon herself to steal my idea and start making spoon pendants.  I have known about it for quite a while. Every so often someone would come up to my booth at a show and ask if I worked with her or if I knew her. I was kind of disappointed then, but I figured that if she was not doing craft shows then it was no biggie for me. Live and let live.

2008: First pendants ever made.  If you see me at a craft show, I am
Most likely wearing the one on the left. 

Things changed this past weekend while at the Lilac Fest. One of her friends stopped at my booth and told me that she was accepted to a pretty big local show that I was rejected to this year, but was accepted into last year. This totally broke my heart. I gotta say, I felt a little threatened. Hell, I quit my full time job with benefits and a 401k to do what I love. And it seemed when I found out about her doing this local show, that my world was crashing down around me. I felt angry, sad, depressed, defeated, oh and did I mention angry?
 I have seen her work, and to be honest, if I knew nothing of craftsmanship and had never seen spoon pendants before, I would think they were the coolest thing since sliced bread. And that brings me to another thing that irks me.  She sells her pendants for $5-$15 more that mine!
All I can say is that I know my pendants are better quality, original and fair priced. Hopefully customers will realize the same. And hopefully there is not a downpour the weekend of her festival, It would just be a shame ;) 


  1. Aw! That sucks, Erin! :(
    Well, I know your pendants are quality, original, and fair priced too! I wrote some back-dated blog posts earlier today and talked you up a bit in them! Mom loves her pendant I gave her for Mother's Day and I'm wearing my new one today!

  2. Oh, dear Sunshyne... It sounds like you are allowing this to feel like a personal threat or offense because she copied 'your' craft and is competing with you in 'your' territory.

    I would like to point out that this is very common in any creative field, that a great idea is admired and copied. Also, this woman is not doing anything illegal, unless you patented your ideas and designs. You don't legally have dibs on certain areas or shows.

    So, I'm wondering, is it possible to reframe this so that you don't feel badly?

    The other crafter obviously admired your work enough to copy it. And so now instead of having a total corner on the market, you have a little healthy competition. If your items are better quality for a lower price, then you are well positioned. Let's toast to your continued success! :)

    1. I do feel like it's a personal offence because she DID copy my craft. Obviously I wont let it get me down, on the contrary, it's already making my creative juices bubble up. This morning I came up with an amazing new idea, so for all I know, this was just the push I needed to excel. I have never been one of those people who pretends that things are perfect when they are not. I experience my feelings, then get past it and move on. This is part of the process.
      Also, just because something is not necessarily illegal, does not make it morally right.

  3. That sucks. Your best strategy is to use this time to challenge yourself to do something she can't. Find a technique, material, or subject matter you can add to what you are doing and she can't easily copy. This talk, put some of that in perspective for me:

  4. This is the test! You will rise above this feeling!

    I was inspired by a man who makes animal figurines last year. I tried to make some just like his after I bought a few. The experiment was short lived. I envied his work and the way people flocked to it. Your true self will show in all of your work no matter what. It's healthy to want to be as awesome as the artists who inspire you. The spoons are a medium that many people will use. Your style will shyne through!!!! I promise!

    People have done the copy cat thing with my beads too, this is how people learn. You have a gift. People that want your spoons will respect this. They will come to you.

    I understand, the competition blows :( It will not be the last time someone goes after the medium/ the spoons. I can't wait to see you blow them out of the water!