Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I know that the concept of karma really refers to a much more expansive ideal spanning lifetimes, but most of us have adopted the idea for everyday use use. We've appropriated the word to mean a literal tit for tat exchange of good and bad fortune. I've found, particularly lately, that every time something goes well, something else smacks me down, a sort of balancing act to keep me from getting too cocky perhaps. For instance, we find a nearly perfect house to buy, we are then tortured with delays and aggravations so many that we nearly give up before we finally get said house. Sure we got an amazing deal and we paid for it mentally and physically for months.

So, I have a rather lovely weekend, things are going swimmingly. I get sales and my much looked for attention, but then I get comfortable and do a little competition searching. I usually only do this on etsy, but yesterday I searched artfire for only the second time and, annoyed. Looks like someone else I gave the barefoot sandal pattern to, is trying to sell them as well as a bracelet eerily similar to one of mine, save for the clasp idea. I'll cave on the bracelet, it was designed using a vintage pattern I have no claim to. It's only the idea of turning into a bracelet that was mine. In fact I might even have brushed that off as coincidence had it not been for the sandals. So here's the end of my rant on the subject, PERSONAL USE...that's what I wrote on the bottom of the pattern in very nice, clear language. If you're going to ignore that, which I of course have limited control over...could you at least grant me design credit, or try to ask permission. I mean, if I just sold patterns, not finished pieces, it wouldn't matter as much, but I do and that's how I make my meager yeah, stop it.

Now, a reflection: I know that many other artisans have suffered this much more than I have. So many, in more accessible mediums face the copiers and the 'might be' copiers on a daily basis. I've gone out of my way to help others learn to tat with tutorials and patterns because I believe that art should be shared and passed on, but I realize that in doing so, I put myself at a much greater risk of imitation. My experience has also been that these folks are more 'I wasn't thinking' than, ' I shall undercut her prices to steal her customers'. They appear to have been relatively innocent trespasses. Doesn't mean they're not annoying, but I don't feel so much attacked as I do tread upon.

To seal the karma balancing, I also got a nice sale yesterday. It was immediately followed by paypal putting the payment under review. Just couldn't let me get one in without a caveat could you karma. It's cool...I'm alright. I'm not really angry, annoyed maybe, but not angry. I can go with the flow and not let it get me down. Here I go on another day.


. c h o k l i t . said...

My sympathies... I had Paypal put me through the WRINGER once by reviewing a payment for several weeks, and they ultimately denied it - and it was for an in-person sale where the goods were already delivered. UGH. Fingers crossed this one goes more smoothly...

lunasmom said...

Why not license your patterns so that other people can produce them and you get a cut of the profit?

connie said...

Darn it all,
Honestly, what are people thinking of? Would anyone go to a bakery and ask for the recipe for a pastry so that instead of buying it they could make it themselves and ever dream that they would actually get that recipe?
Here you are giving away an awesome recipe that you slaved over and the person turns around and opens a bakery.
I was so excited to see you would be writing up the pattern for the barefoot sandals, since I'd like to make them and I couldn't design them for myself. Now someone has gone and spoiled it for the rest of us.
Maybe if you charged a fee for patterns of items you sell along with the very explicit line "Do not sell the finished product" you might end the problem?