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Copycats everywhere!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Apparently even original art is not protected. My friend Jennifer has been making these monster shirts for over two years! She came up with the faces, the way they were applied to the shirt...everything and now these two women are copying her technique and selling them on Etsy. If they actually had come up with their own monster faces or designs or application it wouldn't be so bad but both of them had purchased monster shirts from Jennifer and the faces are way to similiar in design to have sprung up on their own. Etsy asked only that they remove the faces that were exact duplicates! One lady didn't even do that!

It wouldn't be so pissy if Jennifer had a bigger company but she is a one woman sewing operation that does this all at home while taking care of two kids. Here is Jennifer's story. And, if you feel angry enough about it please do write to Etsy and tell them their site shouldn't be a place of copycats to distribute their stolen ideas...

http://www.dishyduds.blogspot.com/

But, I have seen it over and over again and have come to expect it. I see Egg and Avocado copying Ashor's closet and NewSkool Designs. The Retrobaby has copied text, keywords, transfer and ideas from my site and others (even forgetting to remove the violated company's name!) They now buy the same exact transfers that I used to purchase from Bang-on, a company that was selling me transfers that did not have license. I removed their collection entirely from my site and moved into creating my own.
It hurts because they are a link farm owned by some guy name Ray who lives on an estate in Florida who runs 60 other linkfarm websites and who doesn't give a shit about anything but making $.
BUT, here is the one thing I have learned...this competition either takes you down or makes you stronger and one must always expected it. I never doubted it would happen to babywit cause the barriers to entrance to making t-shirts is nill. And, you always have to be mixing it up. So, you do and then they can't because there are some original places competitors are unwilling or unable to follow you. And, this in the end, determines your longevity.

I have got to stop calling everyone guys and dudes

Monday, December 18, 2006

I am always saying things like see you later guys or see you dudes at noon or i'll call you guys later and it is almost inevitably women that I am speaking to. I don't know what my problem is and it has been something I have been working on now for over a year.
I felt particularily bad about my misuse of the word when I was speaking to a couple of lovely transgender ladies in my business class and about doing some contract work on my garage. I ended the conversation with"I will call definetly call you guys later" and felt a sudden chill in the air cause they were definitely NOT very much not guys. I could have hit myself in the face and wanted to apologize but just felt that would make things even worse so I left class. I thought about calling them, chasing them down in their truck to explain that I meant no offense and hadn't thought about their sex UNTIL I called them guys. Now I can't stop thinking about it.
These terms are wiped from my vocabulary now. Really. Nixed. Gone.

Losing customers is soo easy to do

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Some dude called in wanting to buy just the transfers as we didn't have the size he needed in the adult shirts. I said, hey no problem and because you are buying more than 5 we'll even give you a discount. He asked about a discount on buying the shirts outright and I told him I could give him a discount if he purchased a certain amount.
Then I got this note from him:

That's OK- I bought the transfers from you for $8.00 and there is a place a mile from my house that can put them on $ 5.00 WALMART T-shirts for $3.00 per transfer using a commerical heater making the total cost $16.00 per shirt.

That made me kind of queasy thinking about our design that stood against Walmart, corporations, big business, etc going right onto a sweatshop made tee. He was paying retail less for that shirt than we paid for ours wholesale. I simply could not stand the idea of our designs going on these tees. I know I am being picky. I know I shouldn't really care. So, I tried educating. Dude, can you like put them on something else cause we hate walmart a whole lot because they are evil. Can you consider putting them on a different tee? Or buying used tees? Either that or we are going to have to refund you your $.

He called my employee and went off on her on how we the vendor should be catering to him the customer. How I had seriously bad business policy etc etc and then hung up on her.

Then he wrote me this note:

On second thought, I've decide to cancel the order. I really don't appreciate having a vendor dictate to me (a ccustomer) where I can buy my T-shirts when I'm giving them business regardless of their politcal views. Your transfers would NOT have ended up on a T-sirt that had WALMART stamped on the tag. More than likely they would have been Fruit of the Loom or some other brand name or do something against grapes, apples and oranges too? Your in the buisness to retail to the public and when you start discriminating against your customer base simply because of where they shop then you should quit being a retailer and become a lawyer, politician or an activist.

And I wrote to him that the entire point of not working for someone else was that I got to decide what my business policy was and if I didn't want my designs ending up on shirts made in a sweatshop then I didn't have to. And maybe, just maybe I can someday grow up to be a good business owner AND an activist.

PS I do admit that it is DAMN hard to find a t-shirt not made in a sweatshop these days and it is awfully demanding that I even make such a request but this is the whole reason we don't just sell the transfers. We sell a transfer on a shirt. You know? If someone can't afford to buy our shirts because they work for Walmart we do have seconds that we can offer at a huge discount and we will work with you to get you a shirt made outside of a sweatshop for a reasonable price.

Letter to my daughter from Santa

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dear Ava,
I received your letter last night and wanted to write you back. Your mom and dad have told me how hard you have been working at:
1) not waking your mom up at night even when you are scared,
2) standing up for someone when you see that they are being treated unfairly (e.g. yelled at or teased),
3) sharing toys with your friends,
4) and comforting someone when they are sad.
These are all really good things and you are doing a very good job!
Because you are doing such a good job I wanted to bring you some things on your list but you have requested all princess things. I love the princesses. They are so good and kind. You are like a princess! But, I must tell you that I cannot bring you anything with the name Disney on it. You must tell your mom, grandparents and aunts to stop buying anything with the name Disney on it. Most of the princess stuff you see nowadays is made by a company called Disney and is run by a man who treats his elves very badly. He locks them in a factory and makes them work every day of the week. They have to work 12 to 16 hour shifts. They have to make princess stuff from morning time till after you go to bed! He doesn't give them time for lunch and he doesn't pay them enough so the elves can buy food for their families. So, we in the north pole are boycotting Disney even though we love the princesses. We think that the man who is making all the Disney stuff is very bad and every time your mom buys something with the word Disney on it she is giving the bad man money. So again, tell her to stop.
But, you have been very good and do expect to see some extraordinary princess stuff under the tree from me! It just won't have the word Disney on it. And remember to tell your mom NOT to buy anymore Disney stuff!
Love,
Santa and the elves