Friday, 6 September 2013
this quote feels very appropriate right now. it's been a tough week over here, and there have been tears and lots of soul searching and wondering why I'm doing this whole running my own business thing. there were several reasons behind this (as well as just being a bit hormonal and blah) one of which is that the lovely Miss Sarah Cake emailed me to inform me that she thought a company on Instagram had copied two of my bow tie designs. I had a look and it turns out she was very right. they had also copied several of Miss Sarah's cake topper designs, as well as several other laser cut artists work. I am not really sure how to proceed with this - I have been informed of several people in the past making items a little bit too similar to mine, but I've always kind of pushed it to one side and given them the benefit of the doubt. but this is all just too familiar and I feel I should say something, even if it just makes them aware that I am keeping an eye on them in case they feel like copying any of my other pieces!
the whole 'copying' thing in the craft world is a bit of a funny subject - when you are all small businesses it's hard to go pointing fingers, and when people make similar items around a popular theme it seems unavoidable that there will be crossover with designs that look similar even though the artists genuinely had not seen the others work. but where do you draw the line between items that may just be a coincidence, and genuine idea stealing?
I've also been struggling a lot with my productivity lately - and with feeling like the business is not moving forward fast enough and in the right directions. the last few months I've been experimenting with new (to me) techniques whilst still working with wood, and it's been really tough. I get easily disheartened when things don't work first time, or don't turn out how I imagined they would. I'm also hideously impatient, and tend to rush into things at 100mph and then realise in hindsight I went about it all wrong. one example is ordering 100 camera charms and not doing a printed out version of all of them to check how the size scaled down, and ending up with them being WAY bigger than I expected. if I'd just stopped and made a mock up I would have realised that it was going to be too big and could have altered the size before it was cut. or ordering a job lot of braided bracelets because they seemed like a bargain, and then not actually knowing what to do with them when they arrived! it's all a learning experience though right?
I'm feeling a bit more positive right now about it all - I spent Wednesday sitting in a cafe with the boy-o making plans for world domination, and that helped me get my head back on straight. I also made a list of all the reasons why I love doing this, running my own business and being self employed, so I can look at it when I'm having those unavoidable moments of self-doubt. don't get me wrong, I absolutely love what I do, and am so incredibly grateful that I get to do a job that means so much to me. but it is so hard at times, and anyone who thinks running a handmade business is all sitting there making pretty things is very wrong!
(ps. the photo at the top there is a mock up of a laser cut wood wall hanging that will be part of a new range available in October with pretty quotes on woo!)