Shey B

Can’t Take The Heat Get Out Of The Handmade Kitchen!


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!








  1. You are right!
    I haven’t had any issues with Pinterest…yet, but I’m sure I will eventually, then I’ll direct them here!

      • Now that I’m on my computer instead of in bed on my phone (didn’t go to sleep until 2am, really), I wanted to say that I totally agree with what you’ve written. If I were motivated enough to do a “round-up” of posts, I’d put this one in there. Instead, I’ll just bookmark it because I know one day it’s going to come up for me and I’m going to need to tell somebody that “copying” cards isn’t actually “copying” them. LOL

        Then I will tell them to take their little Fiskars paper cutter arm (measures to 12 inches!) and shove it up there poo-hole. *nods* I’m a good little crafty girl.

  2. If anyone else starts selling sperm confetti on Etsy, I’ll probably stress out. Until then, sorry, but I will copy anything I cn afford to copy but can’t afford to buy. I promise to never copy and sell to others. I promise to never do a tutorial. But yeah, I will play the copycat role until I win the lottery. ;)

  3. For Pinterest, unless something is specifically a DIY tutorial (and I typically look at the link, too), then I will put it on my ‘Craftiness’ board.

    I have blogged about a recipes that I have made. 1) Because I love taking picture of food, 2) I always try to credit the original person.

    Though the same thing could be said for photography. People “copy” people all the time. We’ve had it done to us a lot. And if there is a photo I want to re-create, I try to put my own spin on it. :)

  4. AMEN. you are so truthful in your writing & that’s so refreshing to see. :) you go, Shey!

  5. How much better would the world be if more people took that last line to heart about the stupid, petty things they worry about?

  6. I. Love. You. You made me giggle the whole time I read your post because sadly I know bloggers/business owners who get so worked up over this stuff!! If people don’t want to be copied don’t bother stepping outside the house in the morning because someone is bound to like your outfit or your hair or something and might just copy you. Thanks for making my day, lol

  7. I do think it’s poor taste to write a tutorial teaching your readers how to copy a product that someone sells. But, I have to say I agree with this post. “There is nothing new under the sun”, right?
    Everything that is made and sold (and I make & sell things, so I’m talking about myself too!), is inspired by something that we saw somewhere that was made by someone else.

  8. Ashley’s comment made me laugh because I had that exact thing happen to me (someone copied the flower in my hair!) but it was *the sweetest thing ever* and made me giddy with happiness that it happened!

    The copier in question is my new sister-in-law’s sister-in-law (my sister-in-law-law? LOL). She’s Russian (as is my SIL) and loved the flower headband I wore to the rehearsal dinner so much, she bought one for the wedding (different color/ style)! She made a point to tell me how much she admired me, and specifically that she’d copied me! :-)

    “Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery” (I believe).

  9. I totally agree with you Shey. Can I just say “Ditto”?

  10. hmmmm, seems YOU have posted a tutorial on how to make something

    someone may make those and sell them and be mad.

  11. Really? I have a hard time thinking that anyone has claim to anything. Anyone would be hard pressed to come up with an idea and there not be something just like it already out there. I’ve created many projects and then after the fact find similar things out there. Did I copy, no. Inspiration and trends are all around us. Use of fabric has been so hot over the last few years! Bold fabrics and designs have inspired people to create anything and everything with fabric so why is it limited to the firsts who use it, market their wares and create with it. Chevron pattern, Pennant Banners, Painted Wall Paper, Fabric Rossetts…All over the place right! Does any one person own the rights to them. Heck no.

    I think it all comes down to attitude. People who easily offend and are easily offended will find this to be an issue. Those who are in it to inspire and be inspired will find it flattering and not worth worry. Put a positive spin on it and think of it as a compliment. And let’s face it…we all probably didn’t come up with the idea FIRST! We can all be successful here!

    And in your case, don’t you think it helped you to be competitive. It challenged you to come up with better designs, better quality product and more innovated product lines. I know you were a big success and you can’t discount the fact that maybe it was because of this.

    And this is coming from someone who sees “her” ideas all over the internet and for sale on etsy and GroopDealz. Not a big deal!

    Shey, I know you can appreciate my honest opinion because you never mince words! I assumed you wrote this post to get us all thinking! This is what I thought!

    • That’s why I said… “no one has a completely original idea”.
      I still stand by what I said. I’ve seen a lot of diy bloggers post tutorials for a product I have seen. And many times, the product and the tutorial are just too similar for coincidence. And I only get irritated when I’ve seen the product for sale first and the tutorial show up after. Of course it helps to keep one competitive and ahead of the game when they’re copied, but I will never agree when it comes
      To diy bloggers taking someone’s product and making it a tutorial. I’m not pointing fingers, but I know tutorials, many times, come from a product seen for sale that someone says “I could make that” and then a tutorial is born. If that’s going to be denied, then I’m going to call bull shit real loud.

      • Of course that’s done. No ones denying it! Everything under the moon is sold so why is it a crime for DIY’ers to recreate something at a discount and share with others how they too could make and enjoy something. I for one can’t afford to shop at Anthropology, Pottery Barn, and other pricy stores but am inspired by them. So when you recreate a version of something at a huge discount then kudos to you. It’s the free market! Do you think George Forman is the only dude allowed to sell a indoor grill. Others saw ways to improve it, make it more affordable and appeal to different market and there you have it… “Options!” It’s the same thing.

        I do agree with your other reader, When it’s copied word for word and passed off as their very own that’s wrong but to share your own version in your own way is ok in my book especially when you give credit and link back to where you were inspired.

        • I wasn’t talking about big chain stores. Knock off tutorials from big chain stores to me is different. Many of those things are manufactured.
          I am talking about doing tutorials from handmade store owners. Hence the title of my post and the many mentions of the word handmade in my post.
          And most of the tutorials I have seen where the “original” idea is from a handmade store owner, do not link to anyone for credit.

          I can’t afford much of anything at Anthro or Potter Barn either. That is not what bothers me.

          Also, incase you didn’t happen to notice… I was basically telling people to get over being copied. It’s a fact of life. I also notated that no one has a completely original idea. If you want, you can continue to argue this topic with me Becca, but for most part, I could care less about copying. I was just making a statement about DIY bloggers, and not all DIY bloggers at that. I prefer to generalize instead of calling people out by name.

          And yes. Copying word for word, no matter what it is, is just plain wrong.

  12. I completely agree about Pinterest. I have things on my “crafts to make” board that are for inspiration only. I am not intending to copy and sell those items.

    As for me, it definitely irks me when someone posts one of my recipes WORD FOR WORD on their blog just because they made it themselves. If I ever make another blogger’s recipe exactly as they did, I only post a link to their recipe, never the recipe itself. If I modify the recipe, I post my modifications with a link back to the original recipe.

  13. As someone who is very new to the handmade community, I thought I’d throw myself to the lions and put my two cents out there. I sell the most unoriginal items in the handmade market- rosette headbands and necklaces. I am also guilty of pinning handmade products to my DIY board on Pinterest.

    I agree with you that if you put it out on the internet, expect people will copy it. Just because someone pins something on their DIY Board doesn’t mean they’re going to recreate it exactly.

    I can probably recreate any product I see because there are tutorials for everything online, but if I find something that someone else has created that I really like, I will support that seller and purchase from them rather than recreate it myself. However if I can’t find what I’m looking for at a price that I feel is reasonable, then you’re damn straight I’m going to do it myself. I completely understand that sellers are going to price their items at whatever price they feel appropriate, but you also have to understand that there are people who will recreate your product simply because they are not willing to pay an arm and a leg for what you’re selling and because they are perfectly capable of recreating it themselves.

    The handmade marketplace is filled with rosettes, ruffles, camera strap covers, totes, wristlets, petal pushers, yarn wreaths, hand-stamped jewelry, etc, etc, etc. Can you actually pinpoint the original creators of all of the above??

    I find it ironic that the handmade community preaches so much about inspiration, yet as soon as they inspire people, they turn around and call everyone copycats. I, for one, have felt the wrath of doing rosette necklaces and have been accused of copying ONE person. Yet, there are HUNDREDS of other people selling rosette necklaces online. It’s extremely disheartening. It’s as if the handmade marketplace is a monopoly and no one else is allowed to sell similar products as the top dogs.

    I guess there’s a lot of gray area because we’re not talking about blog content where someone steals your entries verbatim and passes it off as their own. We’re talking about people seeing a photo of something on Pinterest or anywhere else on the web and attempting to recreate it.

  14. saw some of your comments on an other blog and just wanted to come on here and say i support you!

  15. My issue is when people take my photo’s and try to pass them off as their own. They aren’t even trying to copy my stuff at that point. LOL Talk about lazy. I make lots of baked goods for people almost every day. Our one issue has been the cake pops. Everyone is making them….no one can say they stole the idea…..they can steal a design on the cake pop which is fine. However, problem is when companies like Starbuck’s now decides to make them and they taste like crap. I get people who say “oh I don’t like those I had them at starbucks” Well that’s because not only did they want to cash in on the cake pop craze but they did it badly. SO my point is — if your going to “steal”, “inspire” or what ever you want to call it — at least do it well.

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