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Last Post At This Location

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

I've gone and moved my blog. It's now here. 
Come visit for a spell.

The added bonus of being knocked off on Amazon?

Thursday, March 09, 2017

So, finally, Amazon has made it so my listings don't have the illegal knock off sellers on them anymore. But, guess what they left behind? All the negative reviews from customers who purchased from the people who knocked me off.
How awesome is that?
I didn't even see the negative reviews because on my dashboard I can't see other sellers reviews. It wasn't until I thought to link to all my great Etsy and Amazon reviews from my websites so buyers could feel more confident purchasing from me that I even saw all the negative reviews.
I couldn't even respond to any of them because I wasn't the seller.
And, after requesting multiple times for Amazon to remove the negative reviews for products I didn't make or sell and having my requests being denied because talking to Amazon support is like talking to a wall (Here's the form letter I kept getting back for every single request I made :

Message From Customer Service
Hello,

I've read the review titled "Cheap iron-on, Not silk screened. VERY stiff." for the "No Sleep Till Baby Bodysuit." I understand your concerns, but the review doesn't violate our posted guidelines, so I'm unable to remove it in its current format.

We try to encourage our customers to give their honest opinions on our products while staying within our guidelines. As a retailer we are interested in cultivating a diversity of opinion on our products. Part of that is allowing our customers to air their honest thoughts on items they have received.
and knowing from last time that to ask a lawyer to write a few paragraphs can cost nearly a grand, I decided to just remove the products with the bad reviews.
I've also limited the number of colors and styles I offer on Amazon.
Sad.

Do I sound like the woman who not only had her entire life long vinyl collection stolen by her ex but also discovered he'd uploaded a sex video of them on a porn site that got loads of thumbs down and she still has to interact with him because he's the father of their child?* Because that's what Amazon makes me feel like.

I thought I should clarify that my ex did none of these things...

First Fabric Designs

I am thinking that I will be able to print some of my own designs on a Cotton Modal blend. We shall see. I've made these 3 so far. I've printed the Portland one but only 2 yards. Am making a dress out of it for myself. Copyright 2017 Rosalee Rester.






The cost of wholesale baby clothes made in the USA.

I've made baby t-shirts for over a dozen years and this past year my main supplier, American Apparel, finally died and I must find a way to replace the baby blanks. There are two American made baby clothing manufacturers that I know of. Royal Apparel whom I've started buying our bodysuits and toddler shirts from and Spiritex which even mills their own fabric in the USA.

The wholesale cost of an American made blank is more than twice as much as the RETAIL cost of a blank made overseas. Think about that for a minute. I am purchasing blanks wholesale that cost more than double the Gerber organic bodysuits that anyone can buy.

Then, as a manufacturer, I am expected to sell it to stores for half of what they retail for. I can no longer do wholesale if I want to retail my items for under $20 so I no longer wholesale my items because I'd have to sell my bodysuits for $24-$28 a piece to make it work and this price point isn't going to fly for a generic bodysuit with a cute print on it.

It doesn't make sense to sell baby clothes unless you can offer something truly special. So, I've decided to move into designing my own fabrics and sewing them out in my shop.

It's a crazy move but after talking to Rebecca who launched Queen Bee, I've decided it's the direction I want to move in. I got a sign from the Force or God or whatever you want to call it. I found a cover stitch machine on craigslist from a guy in Vancouver. These are quite difficult to come across used. He's going to show me how to use and care for it on Friday. At the same time I sold my embroidery machine which I've used about 3 times since I bought it for 40% of the cost of the machine I need to buy. I think it's a sign.




Businesses do better when they do not affiliate themselves with a political party

I keep getting knocked for personalizing my business. It's just me running the show here and it's incredibly hard as an artist not to let one's belief system pour over into their art. But, I wanted to clarify something that people who see my site seem to believe. I do not affiliate with any party. I look at the Democratic Party and the Republican Party and see exactly the same thing.

Hypocrisy.

I have not seen very many members of either party who stand up for their constituents, whether their constituents are Catholics who abhor the thought of murdering unborn human fetuses or Evangelicals who feel they have violated their God by baking a cake for a gay couple or Vegans who abhor the thought of animals being horribly abused and then slaughtered for consumption or Millennials who would love to live on a planet with clean air, water, elephants and trees older than their parents or single moms who can't even think about the slaughtering of animals or clean air or wedding cakes for gay couples because she's just thinking about how to pay the water bill or the asshole meth addict blocking the sidewalk with his cardboard, his sleeping bag and his tarp who needs a fix or maybe an insurance plan that would cover the cost of one on one counseling and a clean bed for more than 30 days but who, for now, is screaming "JUST GO THE FUCK AROUND" at the dad who is standing there staring at him instead of pushing his plaid Maclaren stroller, that shrouds a red cheeked toddler who is wearing a thick, warm, blue and white striped fuzzy hat and grasping onto one very clean, pristine white rabbit with a floppy neck, AROUND HIS SHIT.

Our statesmen, our governors, our representatives, our senators, depending on where their $ is coming from, claim their constituents want different things but this is simply a lie.

It is politics who make us think we all want different things.  Politicians push the belief that we are either conservative or liberal. We are either for or against abortion. We are either Christians or Not Christians. We either believe climate change is caused by humans or not. We either believe in creationism or evolution. We either believe being gay or trans or bi is that person's own business or we believe it goes against our God's wishes.

The power of the people has been diluted by the thousands of polarizing non-issues. If you look at any issue, we all want basically the exact same thing. Take abortion for instance. No one wants babies to be killed. It causes most of us to feel remorse at the thought of an innocent being abused or murdered. At the same time, it is ridiculous to think of women as carriers for unborn fetuses. Women now own their own bodies. Black people now own their bodies. No government should take away a person's ownership of their own bodies. How do we make it so women do not choose to abort? How do we help women move to a point where birth control is easily available for both men and women? Where it is free so that no one gets pregnant unless they want to get pregnant? And, if they should get pregnant, how do we make it advantageous for the woman to become a carrier and actually carry that fetus until it is a baby? If we really do care about that life inside of the woman, how do we make it spectacular for her to give birth to it? Well, we first off, honor her for her choice. We raise her up in society that she would provide this unselfish gift to another human. We provide care for her body while the fetus germinates inside of her. And, we pay her for giving our society this wonderful human life. Right? That's what we would do instead of forcing her make huge sacrifices to grow a baby that while she is carrying it, not only is she deeply shamed, if she becomes its caregiver she automatically becomes a lower member of society due to the poverty she will be forced into. She is not offered any assistance beyond being demeaned for being a single mom or worse yet, a welfare mom. Is there free daycare for single moms? Nope. Do we offer her food for her table? Fresh organic produce and fresh cuts of protein? Nope. Rather we give her only access to certain foods and so little of it that there is no way to feed your children well, especially while trying to make rent, electricity etc. We ask her to work full time, provide no child care assistance and then jail her kids because they're on the streets using and/or selling drugs.

I mean, what woman in her right mind would want to grow a fetus or keep a baby in our society?!

But this issue is so polarized that looking for ways to prevent abortion without taking away a woman's right to her own body and causing extreme duress to the mother are completely ignored.

And this isn't even the issue we should be focusing on. We should be focusing on how to have a society that raises, happy, well fed, well educated and nurtured children who can take the reigns and lead us into the next century.

We all want the same things. I have many conservative friends whom I respect. I also know that focusing on wedge issues in a yay or nay framework ends any constructive conversation.

My business isn't about politics. It's about what I morally believe. I wish that Donald Trump was a president for the people. I wish that his promises were true. I really do. I would celebrate him if he really could make it so that every American had the health care they needed. I would celebrate him if he could provide living wage jobs to all those who wanted to work.

Businesses probably do better when they do not affiliate themselves with a political party. It's true. But what about small businesses who align themselves with ideals?



Realizing the model on your front page is throwing the F@CK You Symbol

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Ah, another day at Baby Wit and having someone tell you that the child model on your homepage is throwing out a giant F@CK YOU to every visitor. You thought it was so cute, the peace symbol on her shirt and her making what you thought was a sign of peace.
So, you had to take down one of your all time favorite photos.



Protest Signs for Women's March

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I made some signs for Portland Indivisible members to print out at home and color in.

Some may find various posters offensive and I apologize in advance. It's a big group of people and none of these posters were pre-approved.

If you have ideas you'd like to see on a poster, please email me and I will do my best to come up with something that pleases you.

If you are not part of the Indivisible group but want to use these posters, please feel free. Just cut off our name. If you are interested in learning more about Portland Indivisible, join the FB or follow the Twitter.

These are 18"x24" Posters that you would then spray mount or glue with a glue stick to some poster board or the side of a cardboard box.


I made them in black and white so you can print them at home. When printing, make sure to select Tile Sheets. Then tape them together and adhere to a stiff surface.

Make sure to wear boots and kick some ass with your sassy, nasty self.

Just click on the link below the image to download.

 Trump Demeans Women Poster

TRUMP DEMEANS WOMEN POSTER




DEPORT TRUMP POSTER


RESIST FIST POSTER


HUMANS ARE NOT ILLEGAL POSTER 

WE SHALL OVERCOMB POSTER



PORTLAND INDIVISIBLE POSTER


NOT MY PRESIDENT POSTER


GRABS HER POSTER


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The Amazon Platform Facilitates Piracy and Has Nearly Put Me Out Of Business

Sunday, December 04, 2016

I make art, I license art, I come up with funny sayings, pop culture references and print them all on baby and toddler clothing. I've been doing this since 2003. I have sold them on Amazon since 2008.

A couple of years ago Amazon changed their image guidelines from a 400 x 400 pixel image to a 1000 x 1000 pixel image with no watermarks allowed.

"MAIN images must show the actual product (not a graphic or illustration), and must NOT show excluded accessories, props that may confuse the customer, text that is not part of the product, or logos/watermarks/inset images."

Sales information is publicly available on amazon.com. That means anyone can see what items are the best sellers.

Because of their open marketplace, any seller can nab a listing and claim they are selling that same item.

These three things make it really easy for pirates to take other seller's best selling listings and make tons of money by claiming to sell the same product at lower prices.

I've worked really hard on all my listings with keywords, product descriptions, branding. Each Product ID in amazon earns juice depending on how much the item has sold and the reviews it's garnered. I've sold a lot of my baby clothes online and built up juice on my ASINs and positive reviews.

Because Amazon is an open marketplace, anyone can resell anything. I love this but Amazon does not protect its manufacturers. In fact, it has cultivated a platform that helps pirates hijack small businesses. There is no protection offered to the actual manufacturers.

I understand people copying my art, phrases and ideas. It's just part of doing business but when pirates are actually able to hijack my listings because they undercut me and therefore win the buy box and then they ship out cheap knockoffs under my trademarked brand, this is a different level of theft.

Not only are they stealing my art and ideas, they are taking my actual listings so that buyers no longer see my store unless they click the "see other sellers" link.

When someone comes to my listing and adds it to their cart they assume they are going to receive a Babywit branded shirt instead of some shitty copy. Here is a great example of what I'm talking about.


A knockoff is added automatically to their cart without them even knowing it.

**Update, 12/5 they've moved me back to win the buy box on all my listings and the pirates have been relegated to the Other Sellers Box. Huge win for me but nearly all my best selling shirts still have pirates offering deals below mine. Just spoke with Kohel Haver and he has agreed to become my legal representative in this matter.

From my end, I started noticing a downward trend on the sale of my products a couple of years ago but assumed it was just competition and a natural trend with so many other options available in the market. But, the downward trend continued. I was struggling along on maybe 3 orders a day...an 80% drop in my orders. My daughter suggested that perhaps no one wanted my designs anymore. Maybe I needed to figure out something new to do with my time besides coming up with new designs.

I began to think that perhaps she was correct.

Last month I noticed there were some people selling my designs and I filed copyright infringement against them but I had no idea the extent of what was going on. Black Friday came and went with absolutely no spike in sales. This was weird. I began to look into my listings and was shocked to find multiple other sellers offering my own shirts USING MY OWN LISTINGS below my pricing. I don't resell my shirts to other sellers so they had to all be knockoffs.

After making multiple calls and emails into amazon and every morning logging copyright and trademark infringements on their website,  the same issue continues to destroy my brand. Check out the form I fill out each morning.


If a thief is shut down, they can just reopen a new store, there is simply no way to shut down these thieves because they come back like cockroaches and unless Amazon decides to offer my brand a blanket of protection (which they could easily do with the flick of a switch) no matter how many times I report a violation, it doesn't really do much. My brand is so infiltrated with other sellers pirating my brand that the amazon customer rep told me that unless their legal department offered protection of my brand on their platform there was little I could do.

It gets worse.

Because these sellers are offering knock-offs of my own products on amazon at below my pricing it has had a major impact on my own website sales.

Then there is the negative impact on my brand because all these customers who are ordering from these pirates think they are receiving a Baby Wit shirt and so Baby Wit is a place to avoid because they sell cheap shirts with crappy printing on it.

It's been devastating to my business and my family.

Check out my cart with an illegally reproduced Baby Wit shirt from 7 different sellers.



I asked Amazon what would happen if I just turned off all my listings. Would it remove all my products from their platform? They said nope, because other sellers are offering this exact item then it would remain even after I deleted them from my account.

Amazon Policy :Detail Page Ownership and Image Restrictions: When a detail page is created, it becomes a permanent catalog page on Amazon.com that will remain even if the creator's inventory sells out. Additionally, when you add your copyrighted image to a detail page, you grant Amazon and its affiliates a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right to exercise all rights of publicity over the material.

I am now in the process of finding legal help to draft a letter to Amazon but a resolution could take a long while. I am going to ask them to blanket my brand or remove all my listings so no other sellers have access to them or I will have to seek a legal resolution. They don't really leave me any other options.

But getting all this done will take time. Time I don't have as my business is in its death throes. I am sitting here watch the most income generating part of the year pass me on by.

I've just been forced to add to my own listings a buyer's beware message. This can only hurt my brand even more because who wants to read when buying baby clothes that they could be purchasing a cheap imitation. Ugh.

And, for Amazon.com, do they really want to be known as the platform that sells cheap imitations? Who wants to shop on a platform where they might unknowingly receive a knockoff in the mail every time they place an order? You would think a company powered by Amazon AWS would be able to fix this issue.

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Today is Election Day and I'm wearing white

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Isn't it odd that there has never even been a female on the ballot for President? I cannot adequately express how I feel today but what I feel runs deep.

I received this email in my inbox today and I wondered how Trump and his supporters could take all of his behaviors, reverse them upon his opponent and morph them into something so hideous as to simply become ridiculous. I know the crazies fall on both sides but this is just so far out there I had to repost.

Name: Glenn Canady
Email: glenn1964@aol.com
Telephone:

Comment: I saw your site today -  babywit.com

Please say a prayer right now that Donald Trump wins so all of Hillary's crimes are prosecuted!  Pray for the eyes of the people to be opened and for Hillary to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!  Pray all evil FBI and Justice department personnel are exposed!

If Hillary is elected it will be WW3 with Russia.  She's a sick twisted pedophile who has ripped off America and sold our nation to the highest bidder!  If you want to see justice done then vote Trump so he can put her in jail!  Also spread this article around everywhere and tell your friends to do the same!  Hillary must be stopped NOW!  Only the ignorant or evil will vote for this witch.

I'm giving out prizes to every single person who views and shares this important information on Hillary Clinton and her pedophile connections!

Clinton Pedophiole Scandal Exposed!
http://www.stewwebb.com/2016/11/07/clinton-pedophile-scandal-exposed-u-s-republic-brink/

Hillary Clinton raped Cathy Obrien as a child!
https://youtu.be/hVolqxZpaaE


Donald Trump Tells America the Truth!
https://youtu.be/WzCqYTTxh38


Just email me at glenn@nsearch.com if you share the video for your prizes!

If you also want my free ebook showing a system making me an extra $200 a day whiile only taking 8 minutes of my time email me at glenn@crankmoney.com  with "show me the money" in the subject or download the ebook free at
http://www.crankmoney.com

Glenn Canady

PS - If you don't want to receive my messages with uncensored news and easy tips for making extra money at home, just email me the entire message you got to glenn@crankmoney.com with REMOVE in the subject and I will remove you.

To get uncensored news such as natural cures for all diseases join
http://www.project.nsearch.com

Thank you!

I wanted to childishly write back "No you're the puppet. PUPPET" but I knew any response was futile.

An aunt I've never met has been posting conspiracy theories about the Clinton's that run along these same lines. Trump supporters are not just for Trump, they believe Hillary Clinton is a pure villain, a she devil. She cites Sean Hannity and FOX news as her sources. I find Trump morally repugnant but I don't see him as the devil incarnate.

I believe that because of how corporations are set up and the lack of controls in place, that they only can care about bottom lines. And, in the process of growing their coffers for their shareholders, are destroying our planet. Let's get some financial reforms in place and have the 1% pay their fair share.

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Magento 2.1.2 A Quidk How To Guilde On Custom Theming for The Novice

Monday, November 07, 2016

I know not many folks out there are interested in this but I thought I would write down what I've discovered along my journey because I kept wishing there was a dummy guide out there for folks who are starting out in Magento 2 that may lack a developer background.

I have a rudimentary understanding of HTML and CSS, mostly just looking up elements online and then hacking some already developed code to make something work the way I want. I have no javascript or php background and have never written a command line to my server.

There are plenty of online guides on how create your custom theme directory but after that the Magento 2 Front End Developer Guide assumes you have a firm grasp on concepts and skips over basic steps. Also, there are a lot of annoying bugs in Magento 2.1 that take a lot of time to muddle through finding fixes.

I just updated to the latest release of 2.1.2 but it's taken me about a month of working in a 2.1.0 store to just get it set up with my products in it.

Because Magento 2 is so new, are some fairly annoying bugs in 2.1, some of them set me back a bit until I was gifted with answers to them on magento stack exchange and github.
These included:
  • attributes with multiple options that could be selected were not updating when products were selected in mass and one tried to mass update their attributes.
  • email templates not loading or saving. Turned out to be to separate issues, one a bug in the code and the other a permissions issue. 
  • the logo in the email header not being uploaded and you have to jerry rig it by uploading it to a folder mentioned in the source code. 
  • Still searching as to why some of my attributes in the drop down lists will not show up in the order listed in the defined attribute and 
  • why clearing my static cache causes all my symlinks to break and files to disappear. 
Also there were the user error stuff like when grey lines began running through all my images when I switched between the blank theme and my custom theme because the database somehow got confused and couldn't find the watermark image.

Or some irritating usage stuff like you have to create fake associated products in order to be able to select and associate already existing simple products to a configurable. Another was getting the "cannot gather stats! Warning! stat(): stat failed" message when you delete an image in a product that is apparently being used by an associated product (I think....that's what's going on) and this lovely warning makes your product inaccessible.

Something to note is odd things will happen if the permissions were not set properly so this is always something to check up on with your host (mine is nexcess and they are great at responding to support requests) to see if that might be the issue.

I've built out custom spreadsheets, figured out why the imports weren't working (some things to make sure of...configurables products go at the end, the images do not need paths and to get your products to associate you have to make sure the entire of list of configurable_variations is in there properly.)

Now, I'm ready to start building out my own theme but how the heck do I even start. The files structure is intimidating and for a newbie.

If you want a custom theme (I've based mine off the parent Magento Blank theme. I've seen doc advising against basing it off the Luma theme and I can't remember exactly the reasons but when I read it I decided to just go with the Blank) you will find the design/app folder that hold the frontend and adminhtml folders and this is where you will create folders that will hold your custom themes.

There is a Magento Folder inside there but if you've used composer for your install, it will be empty and you will find these files in a folder titled vendor/magento. In here you will find module folders and also a folder called theme-frontend-blank. If you go into the theme-frontend-blank.folder you will find repeats of these module folders for the magento blank theme.

You will not want to edit these files but you will be duplicating the structure of these folders and files you want to alter from the theme-frontend-blank or from the module folders a level above (depending on where you find the file you need. I tend to look for the files I need in my custom folder, then the blank theme and then the module folder a level above) to your custom theme when you want to overwrite the parent theme.

Again creating your theme directory is well documented across the Internet and I found this guide easy to follow. It's when you want to start changing things like button colors or how about just removing that magento bug line or the footer links....then, you've got to go searching to find what file that bug line is referenced and what block it resides in etc.

Apparently, each footer link, the privacy policy, the search, the advanced search and the contact link all reside in different blocks, in different module folders. You could go into each block, in each module and comment out that reference line. This fix was suggested by others but involved editing files in the vendor folder that could be overwritten during updates and seemed inefficient. I found the easiest way was to turn each block off in the default.xml files in your custom theme folder.

There are a ton of folders as each module has it's own layouts, blocks, css, js, html,  less etc files. It's a bitch to wade through and the only way I've found it's best to just download the site and do file searches for whatever is referenced in the dev hints paths (turn those on if you are looking for something) or in the source code (although this can be misleading as it will reference static files which you don't want to edit as those are created from the compiled less and will disappear etc as I have learned) using a text editor like sublime.

I am now taking a crash course (thank you udemy) in less (I quite like it as it uses variables and calculations to produce CSS) to try and what should be the simplest of adjustments to my theme. I just read this note on the magentostackexchange which is quite helpful. I'm about to try it so I will return to update on whether it works or not.

On a side note, I once met Magento Guru Alan Storm for coffee as he lives in Portland Oregon. I was needing my site overhauled. He gently informed me that my project might be too small for him. I'm laughing about that now. He developed something called Commerce Bug but it's way beyond my comprehension level that I imagine I won't be purchasing that for a year or two.


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