September 8, 2010

Talk is Cheap


Sometimes talk is cheap. Sometimes you just have to do it. I am tired of hearing myself talk about how I blowing money on Etsy fees . I am not breaking up with Etsy completely, but am thinking it would be nice to have the majority of my jewelry for sale at Big Cartel where there isn't listing fees, and they don't take freakin commission on every damn sale. I will keep Etsy open and I'm thinking it would be good to have my "Favorites" there, pieces that sell well, designs that have been repeated. And save the one of a kind pieces, for Big Cartel. That's my thought.

But for now, I need to start fresh and am sick to death of looking at jewelry that has sat in the shop for months and some have up to 18 hearts, and over 500+ views. Time to clean it out. So I've discounted every item $10 and am offering free domestic shipping until Sunday Sept 12th. On Monday, I will revamp the shop and will reopen it maybe mid week. That's the plan, we'll see how it goes. Til then you can find new items listed at Big Cartel!!

I know, it looks a bit crazy that I just wrote a nice article in Stringing about selling on Etsy, and now it appears that I'm leaving but I'm not leaving! I do think that Etsy is a great place for selling handmade items, be it jewelry, or whatever.  I am thankful for where it has brought me today, and will continue selling there, I promise!

Since I am here and I'm being all honest and open about my feelings about Etsy, I have one more thing I'd like to get off my chest.  For those of you who have followed me for the past 3-4 years, supported my work- THANK YOU- from the bottom of my beady heart!!  
For those of you have started following me for inspiration, creative ideas, design ideas, vendor information, bead sellers and suppliers- THANK YOU! I am glad that you are learning something from me, and the blog- that it keeps you coming back for more.

For those of you who think it's okay to copy my design ideas from the books and magazines you've seen me in, and for those of you who follow me for your next big idea to sell on Etsy... you should know one thing. I don't think it's right.
I really really enjoy making jewelry. I mean, like REALLY love making it. I was joking last night with Kelley about my obsessive compulsive tendencies that force me to believe that I HAVE to show something new every day. That I HAVE to list, every morning, or the sky will fall if I don't. That is how much I love what I'm doing. But this is the important fact to remember.

I make jewelry.
So that I can SELL my jewelry.
So that I can BUY more beads.
So that I can MAKE more jewelry.
That's the basic bottom line.

I'm still trying to sell my wares!  I don't create jewelry so that you can get your next big idea.  I create jewelry so that I can put smiles on my customers faces when they open the little jewelry box that comes to their mailboxes.
I couldn't be more clear about my intentions. 

That's all I have to say on that topic.  Thanks for reading this far. I know wordy posts aren't generally in my repetoire. But today, I had to say it.

38 comments:

  1. I think starting a new shop with BC will be so good for you and your business. Saving on all those fees will help save more money to buy more beads and not pay the equivalent of rent in a brick & mortar store! :D

    I can only imagine how disappointing and frustrating it is to see replicas of your work in other shops, being sold as someone else's original ideas. I think in some cases, the people do not realize that copying is poor etiquette even if they did see the originals published in magazines or books. Hopefully speaking out will help nudge some folks into learning from your designs in technique or composition, but then putting their own spin on the piece to become uniquely theirs.

    my captcha word is --> folowles

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  2. Amen Sista! Get it off your chest!
    Good Luck with your sale and I hope you sell out of everything.
    Some of us could post it on our blogs.

    I love your new profile picture.

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  3. Thank you Kelley!! Yes I also am hoping that people realize that they should be putting their own spin on designs!

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  4. Hi jeannie!
    Yes! I Would love it if people would blog the sale, thanks for mentioning that!

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  5. Good luck with the BC shop. I do know what you mean about those Etsy fees. Just paid my August bill. Ouch! And I am disappointed when people do not exercise their own creative spirit. Actually disappointed is kind of a polite word for the other ones swirling about in my mind.

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  6. Well said girl!! I love your work and you inspire me daily!! Best of luck on Big Cartel! I may be joining you there soon!

    Aimée

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  7. i'm glad you are trying BC,one flat fee is very compelling.
    i'm amazed how fees can add up.
    my one and only concern with BC is how new people locate a shop, i like Etsy's search set up.

    i know you feel strongly about the copying issue(duh)..
    many artists place a little note on their shops and websites about designs belong to the artists, not to be copied without permission, etc..perhaps it's time for you to consider this option.
    it could help make a clueless person more aware that copying directly is not ok, and especially not ok with you.

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  8. Lorelei,

    I cannot imagine how frustrating it would be to have people copy your designs. You have such an amazing style and your work is so distinct. I love what you do. I confess that I am thankful that you are obsessed with creating and posting because it always gives me a thrill to see what you create.

    I truly think you should submit articles for stringing magazine & all of the other magazines that you are associated with regarding designer copying. I think it is important that consumers understand the difference between copying and getting inspiration from. I think your heartfelt explanation would be a great article about how people use the inspiration they get from magazines and designers.

    Very well said! Thanks!!! Kris

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  9. May you continue to feed the universe with new ideas and new works on a regular basis. It makes the world a more beautiful place.

    I feel pity for anyone whose soul is so empty that they must copy others in order to create.

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  10. Can I get an Amen! :)

    Best wishes with the new shop.

    I know you will do great. :)

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  11. Its all true. I love Etsy, and am glad for the community it has created. But you list EVERY day... save yourself the $$. Your loyal customers and friends will still buy from you there. Change is good.

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  12. Anonymous9/08/2010

    I'm with the others---well said!!!
    I think people will follow you to Big Cartel so go for it!
    I can drool over there as much as I can on Etsy :) No matter how much people copycat your designs, those of us know it's not yours--you have a distinct style that is all Lorelei. You can't copy that essence.
    Besides, your blog is so darn interesting!!!
    Kim (Texas)

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  13. Hey Lorelei,
    I'll post your sale on my blog.

    When I started out in this business many, many years ago a very wise and well-known jewelry designer told me something that I never forgot.
    "Even if it's not meant to be, everything is a COPY of something else, everything.

    I did not post that in my first comment because I don't know how helpful that is to you, but it has been for me.

    It would be a shame if you stopped doing what you love because of the copy cats. Don't give them power over you by letting them get to you. However I KNOW you're very PASSIONATE about jewelry.

    Happy Thoughts! Happy Thoughts!

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  14. I have been thinking about abandoning Etsy (mostly) for ArtFire. I'd never heard of Big Cartel, but I will definitely look into that now, too.

    I've been feeling frustrated by the copycats as well, lately. It seems to be an epidemic. What the heck happened to original thought?

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  15. Just keep doing what you love! It's wonderful that you love making jewelry, and that there are so many people who love your creations. Your style is your own.
    I'm sorry to hear the copy cats are still attacking you. If you know who they are, maybe you could put a low score on their etsy site, so prospective buyers would be aware.
    Regardless, keep moving forward!!

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  16. Hi Lorelei,

    I love your work! I have to agree with JeannieK that "everything is a copy of something else". So many artists complain about their designs being stolen rather than just birthing those ideas and then letting them go. I know that sounds sort of "new age-y" but I think it just wrecks your energy by trying to hold on to all your stuff. All those people that take your ideas, regardless of their intent, is probably not hurting your business or influencing your devoted fans and customers. Keep up the beautiful work...it is appreciated.
    Maggie

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  17. Thank you Lorelei for the inspiration! I hope that the vast majority of people do use your excellent design sense as a reference for color or style as a jumping off point for their own design. This is what teaching is all about. I hope you keep sharing your designs with the world. It's a better place with your creativity in it!

    Thanks again,

    Trish

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  18. I love your big cartel shop! It's wonderful! I think you will do well with those who follow you there, which I am sure we all will. You inspire me very much! You have inspired me to think outside the box! To mix things and make them fun! You have taught me a few techniques that I now use regularly! I am grateful to you for sharing these things with us and I hope to be inspiring or helpful to you as well.
    Thanks for being a friend!
    Marie

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  19. A Great blog post Lorelei. I dont know how anyone can just copy other people. If you have to copy then you flat out have no talent or are a person who steals. Just to create and let the juices flow is all the fun!!

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  20. Good luck with your new shop. I like your mantra about making jewelry to sell jewelry to make more jewelry to sell jewelry.... that's why I do it too

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  21. You said it all so well!

    Once in a while, we need to have the wordy posts to get the point across.

    Then we can go back to enjoying your photos & videos...

    I have to check out Big Cartel as well... when I have the time... right now, I need to get back to my pottery... after I post your sale on my blog...

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  22. Big Sigh. Someday, with luck, these people will get what is due them, possibly from someone who will do the same to them as they have done to you and so many other artists. Someday....

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  23. Really wise words from "littleputbooks". Something to think about - an encouragement I think.

    http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6555042&page=1

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  24. I actually didn't even know that Etsy's charges were so high. I've never sold anything there. I know it's frustrating that people copy your designs. While I may occasionally take an idea and use it, I've never copied a whole design, bead for bead. I guess in a way, it's flattery, but really, it's poor etiquette, to say the least. I'll check out Big Cartel - never heard of them.

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  25. Your work is lovely.

    I make soap and bath and body products and am on a forum with others who do the same. I've heard it said over and over again that we often come up with similar ideas simply because we live in the same society and are exposed to the same things. If you look back historically, ideas often started simultaneously in completely different regions. It is the nature of things.

    I agree that there are people who flat out copy (particularly if verbiage describing something is identical!) but there are times that people are inspired to create similar items completely independently as well.

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  26. Hi Lorelei! I've been watching your blog for a little while now and I do hope you continue to post frequently and won't let the copycats drag you down. A copycat might be able to create a close approximation of one or two of your pieces, but unless they're rich or have a massive bead stash that magically coincides with your own, they won't be able to continue for long and will probably fizzle out from lack of original ideas. If they cannot artfully combine beads on their own and don't have a good grasp on jewelry-making techniques, their endeavors won't last.

    I'll admit though that I'm a little unclear on the copyright implications when jewelry pieces are published in magazines with step-by-step instructions on how they were created and what specific materials were used. (I'm not sure if these are the type of photos/articles you have published and were referring to in your post.)It wouldn't surprise me if a lot of people were guilty of copying those projects simply because with explicit instructions and lack of copyright knowledge they just don't know any better and assume they're free to replicate such works.

    You have a great knack for refreshing designs and I love visiting for inspiration and just to inject some creativity into a bland day. I'm a jewelry-maker/crafter/artist also but my work is stylistically different so you wouldn't have to worry about my being one of those copycats :)

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  27. You go, girl! You've got the built-in customer base already so I don't think it matters whether you're on Etsy or Big Cartel or...the moon! Your customers will find you!

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  28. Girl do what you need to do, I don't think you need to clarify to anyone why you have made a particular choice. just do what feels right to YOU!!!

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  29. Kathryn9/10/2010

    Let me preface this by saying that I adore your jewelry, Lorelei, and look to you for inspiration and an idea of how to put a different spin on things. You will always be one of my favorites.

    I've been reading this string of comments over the past few days and finally decided to put in my two cents, for what it's worth. I think we really have to consider Desiree's point above. I have a few different beading magazines and books in front of me right now. In each and every one of them there are very precise instructions, materials list, and exact sources for all of the materials given. Nothing is said about NOT recreating any of the pieces of jewelry. This is a very gray area in the handmade jewelry world. We subscribe to magazines, buy books, watch instructional tutorials on blogs, buy tutorials to assist us in making something, and then you are trying to tell us not to make any of them. What's that all about?!? I have made some pieces of jewelry and the idea came out of my own head, only to see it in a magazine months later. I thought I had an original idea and so did someone else. I am not sure where the the idea of copyright is headed in the jewelry world. I don't think it will ever solidify. Think about the fashion world...how many times have you seen a top notch designer whose dress costs $500 only to find a television show telling you where to buy almost the exact same thing for $75. Does that designer sue the television show? I don't think so.

    So keep up the great work, let your mind expand with new ideas, and know that people will still buy your jewelry.

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  30. it really boils down to whether or not the designer is giving CREDIT for the ideas. That's the point I'm getting at. Is it right for someone to copy a piece of jewelry from a magazine, and then list it in their online shop as being their own original idea? Is it right not to give credit where credit is due?

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  31. Kathryn9/10/2010

    Absolutely! Give credit where credit is due. If they are going to copy and then sell it without giving you credit and trying to label it their own, then that is not correct.

    Lorelei, please do not be upset with my post. I know how frustrating this can be.

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  32. I love your designs Lorelei:
    Half the fun of your blog- and other serious artists/designers like you- is how you write about how the Muses come to you, inspire you (i.e. 9/10 "My Friend Nancy"), and ultimately move through you to a finished piece of art. You stand out for your journey, process, and gorgeous work. Copycats don't compel, & don't survive.
    I ask these same copyright/copycat questions for my original music and poetry; how do you deal w/ folks who make an exercise of emulating to a T?
    But I love how you call it out; remind all to credit where credit is due. This is ethics plain & simple.
    I can only wear sterling slvr designs b/c of skin sensitivities. This is the reason I began designing my own pieces years ago. I do look at the magazines for ideas. But inspiration & copying are different animals. Thank you for thinking out loud about this!

    Tara
    http://taralinda.wordpress.com/

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  33. I will be looking forward to your article on the distinction between copying and inspiration. As a newcomer, I feel rather unwelcome here with all the anti-copying posts lately. I can understand your anger when someone copies your work element by element. It's because you're a beacon, you're big and successful, so there's bound to be those jealous and greedy enough to try to grab some of that success for themselves. But please don't lump the rest of us in there; I didn't watch your blog to steal your ideas.

    I know I'm not going to be picking up any magazines in the near future, and am going to mostly stay away from blogs. This is one way that such negative publicity harms networking and the sharing of work. It's a shame that a few individuals can ruin it for the rest of us.

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  34. well thought out and well said. I agree with everything you feel and I understand your frustation. You'll be one step ahead every time however, because you are a true original.

    jean xox

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  36. I'm not sure that I can add much beyond what others have already written. I agree that your work will stand out by those who know your style. Your work in particular involves such diverse beads and styles that I'm not sure someone could copy it completely. That being written, I can understand your frustration. I seem to recall the editors of both Stringing and BeadStyle writing a blurb about this very topic in past issues - basically it is unethical to copy someone's design and sell it as your own. Making a piece for yourself or naming the artist who gave you the inspiration is okay. I don't doubt that there could be folks looking to ride your coat tails, but others just might be clueless. I have asked sellers at craft shows about the copyrights of things like well-known designer fabric and scrapbook paper in their work and been given the answer "I don't have any idea" more than once. Perhaps educating folks is a good idea with regards to jewelry designs. It certainly couldn't hurt.

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  37. i know this is rather after the fact and maybe redundant as i did not read all the comments,
    but in looking thru some of the wikio blogs ,this morning,i found this and thought it very informative.

    http://jlhjewelry.blogspot.com/2010/09/more-on-copyrights.html

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