Yesterday afternoon a friend of mine posted a link to another jeweler's blog. Unfortunately as is all too common in our industry someone had knocked them off. And this time it was allegedly a big store. Urban Outfitters.
This is one of the things that makes my blood boil. It's happened to me on so many occasions and it's hurts. Both financially as well as emotionally. So I'm here posting about it to support her!
I don't know this jeweler personally, but I'd seen her work on Etsy a few times in treasuries and really liked her designs.
By 5pm yesterday, it was on Huffington Post. By 6pm I'd read it on eight of my friend's Facebook pages. By 7pm it was trending on Twitter. What a great way for other designers and artists to come out and support one another.
In the design and art community there really is an issue with knock offs. While it doesn't seem to adversely affect larger companies because they just move on after the PR storm is over. It can wreak havoc on designers and small businesses. I've had it happen to me on many many occasions and it's not fun.
As consumers we need to be aware. Shopping with independent artist is a great way to support Made in the USA products and designers. Shop locally at galleries that suport made in the USA artists. Learn about the 3/50 project and how your money spent at small retailers helps out your local community better than shopping at big box stores. Show the larger corporations that ripping off designs from independent artists is not Ok. Speak with your dollars, and maybe they will hear us. Independent artists work is often cheaper and you are secure in the fact that you are helping support a person.
OK, off my soapbox now.