Saturday, October 06, 2012

the good the busy and the ugly

The Good
Our break away was fantastic!
My birthday was celebrated in great style (surprise flower deliveries to the hotel + candles in my restaurant dessert + cards from friends and family hidden in the overnight bag AND the complete Columbo DVD collection  = a very spoilt birthday girl!)
We have a new favourite place to stay, and a favourite room for when we next visit Bridport
The Busy
We came back to tonnes of orders (thanks shoppers!) and managed to get them all in the post yesterday - all yesterdays orders have been posted this morning (thanks to a 6am wake up call!) and once I've done a tonne of sewing this evening I will feel all-caught-up order wise.
John Lewis & RSPB both re-ordered whilst I was away (I should go away more often!) so I have a list as long as my arm to get through this weekend - which meant I decided not to go and see my sister running in her half marathon - boo :-(
*good luck sister, you'll be ace!*
 The Ugly
I spent a while yesterday getting legal advice - there is a webshop in the UK that is determined to be sneaky and is using all my ideas.  I thought I had stopped it a couple of weeks ago when I phoned and spoke with them and they removed a kit from sale but no, they have struck again. 
I asked my packaging designers to take a look (because they are a big company and know a lot about design) and they too think that the person in question is trying to get her overall look to look like mine...even the smaller details like product photos are taken with similar backgrounds, and if you were a new customer to either shop you wouldn't know which shop you were looking at  :-(
I am so sad.
And I don't understand it. 
As I said, I have taken legal advice and will be dealing with it - hopefully with a good outcome for me.
What's the etiquette on this?  name and shame?  or be more discreet and deal with it in the background?
Don't worry, I'm not too down - I'm already working on a new line (so exciting!!!) and I know she'll only ever be behind me catching the creative crumbs, but I wish she'd go away!


Julia said...

Glad you had a fab birthday, sounds like a lovely time was had and well done for the re-orders too, you business is going from strength to strength. So sad to hear thought that someone is copying your work, they say that it is flattery but this is just taking the mick. i personally would name and shame, if they have the audacity to do something like that, then you should tell us to spread the word to avoid! Hope the rest of your weekend is a good one xx

Crafty Helen said...

This is such a tricky area. I've been having a nosey around an think I may have found the 'copycat' site, and wonder if you should let us know who it is? Many of us look to the internet for inspiration, but outright copying simply isn't on. X

Anonymous said...

Your shop and items are so cute and all those who try to copy you are only some poor looser ... your way to do your job is unique as well your lovely items.
I'd really like to kno who is this bad person but probably it's more usefull for you to deal with her/him in the background, with a lawyer.
Happy to know you had a great B'day and you're back :)
All the best!

Almudena Antelo said...

Don't worry Sarah, ther is not anyone like you. XD

sassypackrat said...

I'm sorry this is happening to you. It happens to a lot of artists in the US. The copy cats are usually from South America, Asia, Australia and yes the UK. International copyright laws vary and are difficult to enforce. You have the advantage of being in the same country which may make it easier to get it stopped. Many people here will name the copy cat and their fans and friends will then shame the copy cat and get their sites shut down. It can work very well but it's a personal decision. I think trying to handle it privately first is a wise choice. There will always be people who think nothing of outright copying someone else's work rather than putting in the time to create their sad but true. I wish you the best of luck getting this resolved.

dottycookie said...

I hope you get it sorted out very soon. As a mark of solidarity I'm heading over to *your* shop right now to place the order I've been thinking about - I don't (and won't) buy my felt from anyone else!

Unknown said...

Oh I know who this is...I can't believe she is doing it is so obvious and beyond belief. I think you should name and shame Sarah, as she obviously has none herself. If I hadn't looked properly around that site the first time I came across it and seen those boxes (identical to yours) I would have bought from her. Very bad show :(

L x

Yorkshire Quilter said...

As other have said "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" but if it's the SS website,she really is taking the biscuit! It's a shame the other website has to copy quite so many of your ideas!!
Best of luck in putting a stop to it!

Anonymous said...

I follow your blog and have bought items from you, you have a lovely business, I know who this is have seen their products which are incredibly similar to your work, can't believe people can be this blatant, clearly they have no ideas of their own, i hope you manage to sort this, they should be ashamed of themselves :(

Awok's Kiter Craft (Awin) said...

Hate people like that... And in the end, they will make as we are the 'wrong side' one...

They have no ethics... And can call them zero minded...

Hopefully you will get this matter solves.. We are by your side... Always support you...

**what a great holiday you have... Hopefully i'll get those too... :)

Anonymous said...

I think nameing and shaming would also reflects badly on Paper and String. Building your company to a professional level, but then not dealing with these situations in the same manner would be a shame.

Also someone mentioned about the boxes, but I would like to note that tutorials to make them are all over the web, and are older than both websites, so don't know how either party can claim copyright on them? But then legal copyright on design is very tricky and complicated.

Anonymous said...

The previous comment quoted..
"But then legal copyright on design is very tricky and complicated".
It's compicated if you are dealing with a global brand as a previous comment stated laws change from country to country..that's how lawyers make money but a blatant copy of a design, brand identity and packaging is pretty straight forward in UK law. Defending it as the copier...thats the expensive and tricky bit.
With backing from your design company and the national retailer you supply (do they know?) behind you if I was the copier I would be pooping my knickers.

Kris said...

I've just had a nose around and found the 'copy cat' and oh my gosh it is so blatant! Her kits look like she's just bought yours and put them on her website! She clearly wants to be you but let's face it, she's never going to be in John Lewis or making for the RSPB. Like you said she'll only ever be scratching around for your creative crumbs! Let a solicitor deal with her and dont you give her a second thought!

Anne-Marie said...

Very tricky, this gut reaction would be name and shame, but I think you are bigger than that....ignore her, leave her to the lawyer to deal with, and carry on in your own ORIGINAL way...but I'll be extra careful when I'm ordering, lol.

Stripes and Stars said...

My god, do these people have no shame. Ive just seen the said kits. Looks to me like she cant think of a design herself and just copies off others. The christmas trees look just like yours, and everything else is in the same style. We all know who she is, so dont name and shame, it just brings you down to her level. Thats not what Paper and String is about. Have you tried to contact her. Mmm seems like she has rhino skin - nothing will get through. Good luck, I love your stuff and have followed you for ages. loving the hotel, might have to give that ago (minus the kids!)...xxxx

Anonymous said...

OMG!! Call the police!!
Someone made a green felt triangle with stuffing in the middle just like mine!! And OMG they called it a Christmas Tree just like mine too!!!

butterflyblossom said...

I know the temptation is to name and shame but as others have said I think keep your professional head and leave it to the lawyers. I found her stuff relatively easily too and it is apparent that her items are a copy of yours but she does also have a lot of other items that are different. Having such fab stuff does leave you open to copying and I know I would be gutted if someone copied my stuff exactly. It's a very competitive industry and we all use each other's things for inspiration and build on ideas but you would hope people don't directly copy. Good luck with sorting it out! X

Anonymous said...

This is a very tricky one.

I have had a look because I knew who you were thinking of and they are similar but it is really the packaging that makes them look like yours. However, polka dots are not really unique and have been used by lots of companies.

It is obvious this person is copying your work and not really trying to make their kits their own or unique.

I did email you a while back when you first showed us on your blog the new kits for John Lewis and then the other person ,within a few days, had kits which looked the same.

I wish you well with this but I personally would not name and shame.

Di x

Hannah said...

She has clearly also taken this pattern for one of her owl kits... hope you get this resolved!

Jen said...

yeah, i think i've found the copycat, also recognised some of her designs from other blogs i follow too, i'm sorry for you, it feels so unjust to be copied!! Xx

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! I've just found the copycat site and I can't believe it. She should be ashamed of herself. Don't forget our good friend karma, though, he always wins! Keep going with your lovely designs and good luck with getting this sorted out. xxx

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does the copycat's Christmas tree look a bit evil?

LOVE Felts said...

Hi Sarah, If it's the company that I think it is, I'm suprised they have been allowed to get away with it for this long. I'm thinking it's the one I emailed you about a while ago. What makes me laugh even more is the fact that this other company had a right old rant on facebook from somebody copying one of their designs. They need to remember how that made them feel, and that was only one item where as it seems to be everything you do within days/weeks it appears on their site. I for one will definately be a loyal customer to yourself. Your customer service is second to none and has been in all the years I've been using you. Good luck with pursuing this case, keep your chin up and just look at how far you've come, I mean not many people can say they supply John Lewis amongst others, you deserve to have all this support. Love K