I hang out on an internet board for people who sew and craft a lot. It is a board full of very creative, talented women. One of them owns an Etsy shop where she sells her patterns. Patterns she has spent time creating from scratch, using her own creative mind. I own one of these patterns and have loved it.
However, what I have learned from following her time on Etsy is that it is very easy for someone to buy your pattern, take it, trace it, and then resell it as their own.
This is what has happened to my friend B.
The other day, she stumbled across a blog where someone was making a wallet. She thought “Wow! How cool! She’s reviewing my wallet pattern!” And then realized…it wasn’t her pattern this blogger was reviewing, but someone else. Someone who actually bought B’s wallet pattern then announced the next day that she was designing and testing out a wallet pattern. That is now for sale on Etsy as well – for $4 more than B’s wallet pattern.
Now, did my friend immediately jump on this woman’s back and yell “Thief!”?
No. Instead, she procured the other woman’s pattern to see if it was similar. She didn’t want to jump to conclusions and falsely accuse somone of something she didn’t actually do.
However, once she printed out the pattern pieces and read things, it was obvious to her that this woman did indeed steal from her. Several of the pattern pieces are identical. Wording is almost verbatim, including capitalizations of certain words and punctuation.
B emailed this woman, who of course denied everything – and then blogged about how “some other Etsy seller is all up in arms about stealing her pattern.” But “that people who know her know she didn’t steal anything”, and is defending herself via her somewhat popular blog. (not exact quotes.)
There is really nothing my friend can do about this. Etsy has been contacted, but there isn’t much that can be done.
My friend B. has spent the past several months building up her business after her husband – a veteran – was diagnosed with cancer and was unable to go back to the job he was doing. B is not creating patterns just for the fun of it, but so she can help supplement their income and stay at home with her daughters.
Now, I could out the other woman, link up to her blog and Etsy cart, but I won’t. As someone else in our group stated – why give her all that traffic? Why give someone who’s done something negative all sorts of attention? Where will that get us? Nowhere.
Instead, go check out B’s Etsy store, Birdiful Stitches – maybe buy a pattern or two, or suggest her shop to someone who sews. She has patterns for girls clothing, luggage tags, camera accessories, e-reader accesories and other such things. Let’s turn this negative moment in her life into something positive!