Allow me to rabbit on for a bit….

IMG_1288You know those hand sanitizer products like Aqium and the Detol one? Who uses them? They are handy aren’t they. When you are out and about and had to change a wet nappy, you can simply give your hands a quick splash in it and know that baby isn’t going to necessarily catch yukky germs from you….

I don’t like them. In fact, I really don’t like them. I get Aqium for FREE and I still don’t like it (my mother in law works for the company, please forgive me Cathy!!! I love you!!) because the way the chemicals STING kinda turns me off. Seriously, what is IN that stuff? I’ve been taking the extra time between a nappy change and breastfeeding to wash my hands with soap, screaming hungry baby has to deal with it, like all babies have always had to do for like, ever…

Well, she doesn’t have to wait those few extra minutes for a feed or a Bonjella fix any more! Introducing, a hand sanitizer that isn’t full of chemicals that are probably more harmful than the germs they are supposed to kill – Enviromist!

It is by Nature Direct. I went to a viewing at a friend’s house just a couple of weeks ago and my order arrived today, oh my goodness, so excited.
There are NO chemicals in it! It is all made using natural stuff. “Water soluble plant extracts such as cloves, cypress, eucalyptus, mint, pine, rosemary savoury and thyme.” Hello!! Where has this stuff BEEN all of my life.

Had I known about this sooner, I could give my hands a quick spray after changing a wet tush in the car after a horrendous road trip stint and not needed to worry about germies when feeding or using foul smelling, cut stinging, chemical yukkiness from supermarket hand sanitizers.

ALSO, I am excited because I can spray the toilet seat after my son has whizzed all over it (ok, not ALL over it, but you know what I mean) for when Issy starts toilet training, and then spray again after she is finished whizzing all over it. Give it a quick wipe and buddabing buddaboom, sanitized! I can spray public toilet seats too! No chemicals!!

In an apparent over chemical using society THIS stuff is where it is at! And it has excited me. I also use Enjo, LOVE it. This fills the gaps/makes my house even more awesomely sanitized without ANY chemicals at all!

I know this is all fairly random, but I am just so chuffed I had to share it. This company deserves a good round of applause. Three cheers for Nature Direct! And also for Enjo!

Have a great weekend everyone xx Jac

* And no, this is not a paid review or anything.
** And yes, I am THAT excited about non-chemical cleaning products.

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THIS is not ok… {Part Two}

IMG_0850Ok. So. Here it is.

My creative peers. My sewing friends, my crochet and knitting friends, designers, doll makers – all of you…….What are we going to do about THIS? How are we going to use this to make our experience better?

For starters, we won’t be doing that to each other anymore. Remember – I am referring to ‘Kate’s plight. We will not allow ourselves to think it is ok to steal someone else’s awesome. We won’t look at another designer’s pretty stuff and say to ourselves “I bet I could do THAT and sell tonnes of them.” We won’t deliberately choose to copy someone else’s work.

Let me say that last sentence again: We won’t deliberately choose to COPY someone else’s work.

Here’s a little quote for us all…
“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed on imitation.” – Herman Melville
We won’t be cheap imitators. We will either get our own awesome, or we will find something else to do.

Right. That takes care of us, but what about them? What about the people who just. don’t. get it?
They will always be there – those people. Like Kate’s imitator. You can’t stop them. I know it, you know it, we’ve known all along. It’s just who, and how such people are. I can’t elaborate why they are how they are, I’m not going down that path. But who cares anyway, the simple fact is, if you are a creator or a designer or an artist etc, there will always be someone who will copy you, imitate you, rip you off.
Given that, what are we going to do to stop the pain it causes to us small business owners? Us WAHM’s? Us creative peeps? Us humble, gentle, quiet creative minds? How do we stop the hurt?

First of all – protect yourself by owning your work. Is your work your original design? Not made from a pattern? Not an imitation of someone else’s design? Copyright is automatic – so long as it is indeed, your original design. My beanies are mine. I put the pattern together = mine. So I own the copyright to them. I don’t have to put a copyright symbol or spiel on them, but I do to let others know that they are indeed mine, not an imitation, and they cannot be copied. It’s there for everyone to see, it’s clear, and it’s concise.
I suggest you start to give yourself credit for the things that you make, which if copied or ripped off, would tear your heart out, to show everyone they are YOURS. Kinda like a marking your territory, but with a little more sophistication than a dog….

Secondly – Don’t look for it. Don’t search for rip offs of your work. You don’t need to, so why do it? If you are actively looking for something, you are bound to find something that either validates your fear, or satisfies it. I deliberately keep my nose out of other Facebook or Etsy crocheter’s business as best I can – that way I am less influenced by their work (and less likely to inadvertently imitate it) and less likely to find something I don’t want to see. I have browsed pages and found some very suspicious goings on in the past, but seeing as I will always give people the benefit of the doubt, I put it down to a high likelihood of coincidence. After all, there’s similar, and then there is blatantly ripped off. We are only concerning ourselves with this remember.

So what about when you are made aware of someone ripping you off? Well, the first thing we are going to do, is remember this – “Imitation is the highest form of flattery.” I know we have heard it a thousand times before, but our anger and grief overrides our understanding. How dare someone steal my idea like that to make money? It makes us feel violated. And we either lash out, or crumble. WE are going to do neither. We are going to be calm. We are going to take a deep breath, and turn the screen in front of us off. We’ll take a minute to remember how amazing WE are. How much we have achieved. How much we are adored for WHO we are, not what we are. We’ll ask a trusted friend their rational impression of the situation for some perspective – choose someone who can be frank and unbiased.
Has someone, without reasonable doubt, stolen from you just like someone stole from Kate? This is what you can do:

Block them from your Facebook page.
Check.
Don’t look at their Facebook page anymore.
Check.
** IF they have breached copyright – Write a short, calm, and in no way passive aggressive email to them. State your business name, and tell them that the design that they are selling is your copyrighted property and it is unlawful for them to pass it off as their own. Tell them to stop. And that’s it.
Then – continue being your own kind of awesome.

Leave it, and carry on. Laugh at how ridiculous it is that someone would see the desire to rip you off instead of come up with their own awesomeness. You don’t need to get worked up. You don’t have to be hurt, if you don’t want to be. You can carry on as you always have before. I’ll help you do it, I promise.

“No man was ever great by imitation” – Samuel Johnson.

Besides, such people are only in it for the money, really. I don’t know about you, but spending six hours designing a crochet beanie style doesn’t really rake in the millions… It makes my heart sing, not my wallet fat. And that’s precisely why I enjoy it so much.

Maya Angelou had it SO right when she said “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”

We are all going to do what WE love doing, forget those that imitate awesomeness, and do it so well that they can’t take their eyes off US – we won’t lower ourselves to the level of the ripper-offer-ers! (I could think of a better word than ‘ripper-offer-ers’, but I don’t want to.)

Now, I am going to step off this soapbox. I am going to continue on, being my own kind of awesome, and supporting all others who choose to do the same.

Jac xx

Psst… Owl mobile raffle tickets nearly all gone… only a few left!

 

THIS is not ok… {Part One}

There is something going on that needs to stop. Now.
There are humble people being ripped apart by a certain issue and I am going to address it, once and for all, so we can stop the pain it causes.

Because I’m sick to death of people thinking it’s ok to walk all over others. And I know a lot of other people are too.

The following is an actual experience of a very good friend of mine. This very account is what tipped my tolerance over the edge. I think, if you are a humble creative person like me, you’ll understand why this action to be taken…

My friend (let’s call her Kate) hand sews a very cute product. She began making them by following a free-to-use pattern, which is available to anyone resourceful enough to find it. Over many hours, days, weeks, and months of experience, she has developed her product beyond the constraints of the original pattern by using her own unique talent and creativity. Making her product ‘original’ to her business. Her Facebook business.

A woman bought one of Kate’s creations. A short time later, this woman began making the product, the exact same way that Kate does and selling them via Facebook. She became a supplier to another Facebook page which offers a range of products made by other handmaidens.
This woman also copied, word for word, Kate’s ‘About/info’ section from her Facebook Page, swapping only the word ‘I’ for ‘We’.
This woman even named the product she copied from Kate the same as what Kate had been calling them for years.
Kate, tried to rise above the hurt this caused her by evolving her product further.
A week or two later, the woman has copied Kate, again.

THIS is not ok. To do THIS, is NOT OK.

Affectively, she has trampled all over Kate’s business. Dear, sweet Kate, who actually wouldn’t hurt a fly, who is a beautiful, one woman show, hand stitching her heart and soul into the gorgeous original creative concept that she has developed from her own talent and creativity.
This woman has no creative concept of her own. No idea what pain she has caused to Kate’s creative esteem. No sense of decency.
She couldn’t even come up with her own blurb for goodness sake!

This has ripped Kate’s heart out.
Receiving a wall post from a complete stranger asking about an apparent wholesale agreement on her product, only to find out the stranger had accidentally mistaken her for the other woman was another blow.

It hurts. How dare she steal Kate’s heart like that. Her hard work. Her pride. Her soul.

How. Dare. She. TRAMPLE all over a sweet, hard working, gentle woman. Deliberately.

THIS is not ok.
And it’s time we didn’t do this to each other anymore.
It’s time to understand just what it takes to lay your heart out creatively, which is what ALL crafty, arty, creative people do EVERY time they create and share.
It’s time to understand the difference between creating from the heart to share – and making something to make money.

This is my message to this woman and women like her:
GET YOUR OWN AWESOME.
Don’t steal someone else’s.
Don’t rip off a design from someone like Kate.

Get your own ideas. Use what you see to inspire your business, not build it! Tweak things your own way. Give things your own signature.
YOU KNOW if you are ripping someone off. You know when you are deliberately using someone else’s idea to make money, get attention, grow recognition. YOU ARE ACCOUNTABLE. Stop before you even start.
You know what you can do? Buy patterns. Seek free to use patterns. And do the rest of the work yourself. Get your own awesome.

And For all of the people who have been hurt, and for all of the people who are afraid of being targeted like Kate was, wait for my next blog post. I have advice. I have experienced advice.

In the meantime, I’m going to be so bold as to tell you what we are not going to do…
We are not going to go jumping to conclusions and crying ‘thief’ at every person that APPEARS to be making something that someone else does.
We are not going to get accusatory.
And we are not going to worry that this post is about when someone is bullied by false accusations of the above. That is an entirely different kettle of fish altogether and I am not going to deal with any victimising.
Let’s stay on topic please. We can discuss the other issue at another time – because I know that it too, needs to stop.

It’s time we respected each other.

THIS has to stop.

** Be aware, Trolls unwelcome here. **

I’m on a mission, and I need your help.

Are you a creative type? Do you dream things and then make them? Do you share these creations with others? Do you have your own personal creative flair? Are you a crafter? A designer? An artist? Does how your creativity is received by others give you joy? Validate your efforts? Make you feel awesome?

Ok, I need you guys. I need you to read this. And I need your experiences…

Have you ever had an experience where someone STOLE your creativity?

I’m talking: You make something your way, even if you used a pattern or template etc, and someone else came along, saw your way, and starting doing it your way too? So that it even looks like yours and people have actually mistaken them for you? Or clearly studied your technique/originality and ripped it off? Has someone ever started their own business base on your entire business and you know for absolute certain this person deliberately ripped YOU off?

Copyright is clear. I have written about it before. But what about when a friend, is all like “Oh wow that is so cute, how did you make that?” “What, it’s easy? No I could never do that, you are so clever. So just a bit of glue and this from that supplier and you do this with it and that’s how you edit your photos?” ” Oh so you just buy patterns from Etsy and make them and then people buy them?” “Oh wow, but you are so clever. I wish I was clever like you…” etc and then weeks later out of no where a new Facebook page pops up, perky as ever, with the exact same items as yours (with perhaps a few minor differences so it could be argued that no actual copying was done) and your friend is all like “Oh I thought I’d have a go and make my ‘own‘ too.”
Maybe even just a fan from your page? Maybe someone you did a market with once? Maybe someone BOUGHT one of your items, studied it, and then started making and selling their own right next to you on Facebook? And then continues to watch your page and even starts photographing them the same way too?

Yes? How’d you feel about it?
Did your toes feel a little sore? Maybe very sore? Feel cheesed off? Tell me. Share it with me. Tell me what happened and how it made you feel. Be as anonymous as you like, but be honest, open and distinct.

This is not about me. This is about too many of my friends being heartbroken. Being hurt. Being ripped apart by the above…

Email me jacinta_0508@hotmai.com or reply here. Understand that I moderate everything you comment here before I approve it for publication… You can reply here and request I don’t publish it if you like. I’ll happily oblige.

Thank you. As I said, I am on a mission, and I do need your help.

Jac xx