Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Create Don't Copy

I didn't sleep very well last night. I was tossing and turning and having strange dreams. I am so passionate about small businesses and seeing them grow and develop and when I hear things are not going so well, it does upset me! Now as you know me and have read my blog over the years, you will know this post is of a different flavour. I love all things pretty and beautiful and this post is not so. 

To copy means to 'make a similar or identical version of or to reproduce'. It also means 'to imitate the style or behaviour of'.

This week I have talked with three small NZ business owners about how they have been copied. As in out rightly copied. Interestingly this has come up after I came across someone copying me who started up on Instagram last Friday. 

So this blog has come about in perfect timing. It is time to share my thoughts.

I know all too well the feeling of being copied. To have your ideas, designs and many hours of work and research whipped from under you by someone else taking them and making them their own. Some of you will remember MilliRose, my first handmade business which I started in 2010. I made button hair accessories with beautiful fabrics. This was in the day before you could buy cover buttons in NZ. MilliRose was very popular and became successful and turned over a very good profit. But the sad day came after selling an order to a customer, I realised that she had decided she would start up selling exactly the same hair accessories, even packaging them in the exact same way! 

What did I feel? I felt that feeling deep inside like a kick in my stomach as I felt like she had stolen from me. Something I had spent hour upon hour developing and branding and making my own.

You see often paired with a creative spirit is a sensitive soul. The two personality traits go hand in hand. To find yourself copied can make you left feeling hurt, upset, frustrated, angry and unfairly treated. What to do with these feelings? 

Do stop and breath. Do share with someone else you can talk to. Do allow yourself time to feel upset. Do hold onto your dream. Do keep working on your ideas. Do keep posting and selling. Do advertise that you are the original! Do add a 'founding date' on your social media site and website. Do watermark your photos. Do keep being you, the creator!

Don't 'react' in your frustration and send an angry email. Don't allow your dream to be stolen. Don't let your creating spirit be crushed. Don't be afraid to seek legal advice. And most importantly don't stop creating!

Be aware that when you have created something amazing and it is seen to be selling well, there may be someone who decides to make the wrong decision to go ahead and copy you.

There are two types of people in the creating world, the creators and the copiers. Copiers will come in fast and aggressively. They will move fast on social media and in their other selling platforms as they ride on your skirt tails. They are not the ones putting in all the thought, sweat and tears and many hours of thinking and researching that you do. Just be aware and as Keren from KP Designs said beautifully this week on her Instagram page  

'#saveoriginality'. Always try and find the original creator. 

Let's keep it positive online with comments. If you would like to talk to me more about this blog, please email me

I am always here to support the creators

Becky x

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