Another keeping it real post coming your way right now. And this… might not be pretty, because it’s a sensitive subject, but hey, when has that ever stopped me? Probably never. ;)
Let me start at the beginning.
When I owned my business it really bothered me when people copied my camera straps. And when I first started my business there was only 1 other girl who made camera strap covers and I only discovered her after I started making and selling them. I remember last year when I was accused of copying someone’s camera strap design. I literally doubled over in laughter. I COPIED HER? I seriously doubt that. You see. I can’t help but say – you all copied me! Is that arrogant to say? Maybe. But I think you’d feel the same if you were one of the originals who made a product. I mean seriously. I copied her? Phhhf! That’s a joke. Do you know how many times I have been copied? To my knowledge… over 50 times. FIFTY TIMES. By 50 different people.
After a while, the sting of being copied was no longer. I didn’t care anymore. I cared more about focusing on my business and what I needed to do. Why focus on what others are doing? That takes the focus off your business and ultimately causes you to be distracted and angry.
You know what began bothering me even more? And to this day still bothers me? When DIY bloggers take someone’s product and make a TUTORIAL out of it! Now THAT bothers me. When a business owner takes the time to design a new product to sell and then these DIY bloggers come and basically rip it off. Not just rip it off, though. But make it so that their tons of readers can then make a product just like yours themselves. Damn it I get so mad. But even now… that doesn’t sting or anger me as much. In fact it doesn’t bother me at all anymore because I don’t make camera straps anymore.
The thing I have come to realize is, people are going to do whatever the hell they want to do. So… WHY FOCUS ON IT?
What I’ve noticed a lot lately is people getting really worked up over others labeling their product on Pinterest as “DIY” or something along those lines. People are getting so angry over this. This got me thinking. Why do they care? I get how upset you must be. Truly. But seriously? It’s the freaking INTERNET! When you put your items out there, people WILL copy it. That is a fact of life. NO ONE has a completely original idea. If someone can’t afford your product, but they can sew, paint, make jewelry, cook, design printables, scrapbook, crochet, knit, paint a frame, puffy paint, churn butter, type on the computer, etc etc etc, then they will likely make a version of your product themselves. Who cares if they label it as “DIY”, “Easy to create”, “a monkey could do this”, “do”, etc. You are letting this get to you… why? Is the reason for this focus so important that it needs to be broadcasted and blogged about repeatedly, and tweeted over and over and vented about? If you’re answer is yes, please let me know why. I seriously would love to know why. I am not being an asshole. I am seriously curious.
I know that right now, money in my household is tight. I have no money to go buy things on a whim. And first and foremost that means no products from Etsy, Big Cartel, etc. As much as I love supporting all of my handmade friends, I just can’t do it. But I will say this… if I can make something I like, I will. Just because I mark something as “DO” on my Pinterest board does NOT mean I am literally going to copy your product exactly. I could use it as inspiration and put my own spin on it. If I can’t afford to pay $75 for a tote bag, but I have a bazillion yards of fabric in my sewing room, why not use that and make a bag for myself that I want to make. And I guarantee you I can make that bag for $10 not $75. I think so many people jump to conclusions. Just because it’s labeled in one of the above labels on Pinterest DOES NOT mean these people are replicating your product exactly. Pinterest is about inspiring others.
If you don’t want your stuff on Pinterest or any other web type forum, then don’t put your stuff on the internet. Because it’s a FACT of life that people will copy you. It’s what you do with it that really matters. I promise you that throwing a fit about it is not the way to go.
2 differences here. DIY bloggers taking an inspiring product from someone and then turning into a tutorial is totally different than someone just pinning your product in hopes to one day make one for themselves. The Tutorial is massively displayed to their readers. Not everyone on Pinterest has the intent to copy.
Stop focusing on what others are doing and focus on yourself!