Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I usually get a few customers/fans messaging me about "copycats", others vendors creating items almost identical to mine. In most cases, it's not really a copycat issue, just a matter of people ordering and using the same cool supplies that are available to all of us. We all know where to find the skeleton lady cameos and little rose accents to liven her up a bit (insert: DUH!). Scissor on a chain, they're all over. Even if you're just a browser, you've seen the same style necklaces everywhere, so there's no "copycatting" going on there.

Once that light bulb goes off in my head for something new, I always search my sales sites, like Etsy, for similar items. That way, if someone already has one just like the one I'm thinking of, I change it up so they're totally different. I like custom ordering many pieces so I can add embellishments or charms that no one will have, (until they start getting mass produced or copied). Just adding some rhinestones to someone else's design is NOT making it your own - it has to totally be different.

Lately, messages of copycatting have been much more frequent and by LOTS of different people about one particular "artist"... fans, other artists, and even some of their own "friends" and customers have all been letting me know the scoop on this person.  I posted bloody scissors necklaces almost 2 years ago... about 2 months after I did, this person did. I started blood splattering my resin settings... a month later, they did. It never bothered me much until the last couple months tons of people were noticing, most of them letting me know. They would even send me screen shots of stuff put on their Facebook page. They would mention how others were copying their "ideas"... what?! How is it you post your items months after someone else had already created it and not only claim it to be your idea but to say they copied you?!

After some detective work by a couple of pals and fellow artists, we started seeing this person copies ALL of their items from other artists! I think I've only seen one original item out of more than 100 that was actually theirs! Most came straight from Etsy's Team Horror Couture members! *SMH* As if that wasn't bad enough, they try to claim items as their own idea and mark it as copyrighted... sweetie, try researching copyright laws!

Now I wont "name and shame" because that's just kind of tacky and totally classless and I'm not trying to ruin anyone's reputation - but I will point the finger at you because you know exactly who you are. Because you have thousands of Facebook "fans" doesn't mean you've been doing it longer or are original in any way... all it means is you bugged people enough times to market your page and promised free stuff if they got more people to like your page. Check the sales numbers, check the number of hearted fans on Etsy (the ones you can't bribe people to do or pay an agency for), but most of all, check the sales dates... you didn't start making any sales until you were copying other artists' ideas.

I've been doing this a lot longer two years my shop has been open, this isn't my first go-around Etsy. And like many other Etsy members have told me about you, you are watched, judged and lies will only go so far. Growing up with a corporate lawyer taught me a few excellent tips: screen shots are taken and records are kept - dates, photos, wording, it's all saved. Keep hoping customers don't try to research the claims you make, because that's the only way you'll survive.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

So it's been awhile...

Nearly six months since my last posting - WOW! And I've had so much to say ;) We'll just start with the newest news.

First off, this November marked my shops one year anniversary *cheers*! It was a great year, I gained so much exposure over those 12 months but as busy as I was leading up to the anniversary, nothing could have prepared me for this past Holiday season! Whoa!!! So many orders came in, I was beyond excited!! Even the week after Christmas I was still pulling 9-12 sales per day... far more than my 2-4 sales per month that I was doing when I first began! And with those sales, I also gained some really cool new friends - bonus! My only regret was not getting Holiday inspired items up sooner than I did (about 2 weeks before Christmas). Now I have plenty of Santa/Gingerbread Men items to start selling in October! All in all, the holiday season was pretty damn good!

Another thing happening while my anniversary was coming up - I started working with tattoo artist and reality TV celebrity Corey Miller from Kat Von D's LA Ink - yes, I know... VERY f*cking cool!!!!! rewind about 6 months, my mom opens a vintage shop in Downtown Upland, a place she's wanted to open a shop for a very long time now. A few months go by and she starts gaining "neighborhood popularity" (and some jealousy with it) from shops also in the area (if you don't know of it, Downtown Upland is famous for it's antique, gifts and collectible shops - there's tons). One particular customer loves her shop and raves about how cool he thinks her set up is. How rustic and artistic it all looks (my mom is a pro at space designing!). So he comes in a few times over the next few months and they get to talking about tattoos. She mentions how her daughters have a few and she wants one but doesn't know what yet. He goes on to explain how important it is to find the right one and all that and she asks if he knows of anyone good - to which he says, "Well, yeah, me!" She really had no idea that the guy who dug her shop so much was actually Corey Miller! Fast forward a couple months, my uber talented artist sister ends up getting a job with Corey (whose shop is actually just around the corner from my moms) as his assistant. A month later, they're talking about cool things to put in the new gallery next to the tattoo parlor Corey has just opened up, so my sister, the genius that she is, explains how I do handmade jewelry. Long story short (I know, too late), Corey loves the idea, we get together and start pumping out gorgeous pieces using his artwork. November 19th was the opening of his gallery (Timeless Art Gallery) and we set up a whole display full of his items. In just 4 short hours, and two receipt books later, we had not only sold tons of art pieces plus a bunch of Corey's skateboard decks, but had also sold nearly every piece of jewelry and accessory I had created for him! Needless to say, he was thrilled! So now we've decided to keep the ball rolling and we're now working on an ongoing basis, I'm creating things for him every month - and loving it!! He gives me complete creative freedom and it's just amazing ♥

Now, along with shop exposure, you get a few people that try to capitalize on your popularity and try recreating your own items. Yes - I had many "copycats", as childish of a word as that is - a a few that actually called themselves "friends" of mine. But it never stopped my true fans from keeping me happy! So I figured, what can I do that's along the same lines as what I'm already doing, but that no one will be able to "steal" - then I realized, original art!! Now, I'm not the best artist, that's my sister Angel, but I was able to pump out a few original pieces myself, mostly zombie stuff. So I turned to my fabulous team members of Horror Couture and started collaborating with several members, as well as other artists, using their artwork and making jewelry out of them. Now if someone tries copying these items, they'll have no choice but to 1) admit they stole the artwork and style and 2) remove their items from being sold online! So now you can find the artworks of Danny Bryant, Matt, Peppler, Trissa Tilson and many more as wearable art exclusively at Twisted M.O.M. ♥ See all the links below!

So now, it's nearly the end of the first month of 2012 - not a bad way to start the year off! Hope you all have had a wonderful one so far and I look forward to your comments :)


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Well HELLO Again!

Wow!! It's been awhile since I've been on here! SO much has gone on - lifes, deaths, new friendships, but I wont bore you with that :)

So how's everyone's summer been? Anyone do anything productive or just plain cool?!

Well I did something totally kick ass!! My hubby, Ronnie, works as a bodyguard to the stars. He's worked for Mel Gibson, Steven Speilberg, big names like that. Well this summer, Ronnie was working at the house of Robert Zemeckis out in Montecito. He's that big time director of movies like Forrest Gump, Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, all kinds of things. So his company paid for us to stay out there while he was working as his bodyguard. So yes, I spent July like the rich... on the beaches of Montecito and checking out all the sites of Santa Barbara!! It was so friggin cool!!!!!! I was 5 minutes from Oprah's house, down the street from Maria Shrivers place, it was crazy! Everyone has nothing but huge houses, street length driveways and Mercedes or Beamers!! We were there when Prince William and Kate arrived at the Polo Club over there, we got to see their helicopter like 50 feet away. I didn't know it was THEM until later that night and we were watching the news and it talked about them and showed their helicopter, I was like HEY!!!! Hahaha! I got to sit on the bench Tom Hanks sat on in Forrest Gump and hang out at the guys house(s). Yes, that was plural!! He has two HUUUUUGE ass houses on one GINORMOUS plot of land with basically a PARK as a backyard. AND he's building another house on the land... I'll have to download the photos and show you, it's like ridiculously sickening! All I kept thinking was MAN! If I had just a 100th of this mans money I would never have to work again!! Hahaha Wishful thinking!! Of course I'd STILL have to make my twisted jewelry!! But it was a way cool experience to be out there for that long! Seeing nothing but the ocean was amazing!! No smog, no ghetto people, it was definitely NOT the LA area! Hahaha!

But we had to come back to reality when the job was over. Ronnie was just filling in for the regular guy who works for him as security who was gone for the month but it was excellent while it lasted :) I'm hoping that guy quits or something so we can move out there and Ron can have it full time... that would be SAH-WEET!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hellooooo Lolita Lovers :)

It's been awhile since my last blog and I've come up with so many new items! I've gone back to using pendants for pieces but am combining them with my acrylic charms and resin... pretty awesome results so far! I've also started making some killer cell phone cases. Take a look...


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

This is the end... Are you ready??

After starting our Etsy team Horror Couture, one member really stood out to me. She was friendly, super sweet and totally active in promoting the team and fellow members. She posted on Facebook and started blog features for each of our members. So I thought, "Who's going to feature her and brag about her stuff? Surely she can't do it herself!" (And don't call me Shirley, hehe! Let's see if any of you get that one) So, it's up to me to let you know what an amazing artist ZombieHolocaust is!!

"Not your grandmother's cake topper shop" is the tagline for her Etsy store... and boy is that accurate! Here you'll find everything from ghoulishly fantastic zombie keychains and earrings to the best of the best wedding cake toppers! Everything with a dark coolness to them...

Here's a tidbit about this phenomenal artist... right from the Zombies' mouth:
"I'm Christen, a 25 year old girl with a crazy little boy and an awesome hubby who also happens to be my best friend. I love to read and watch movies. I enjoy the macabre, weird and unexpected, Tea and basically anything with sugar. I am crazy for zombies at the moment, and Emilie Autumn and Abney Park have been filling my personal airwaves as of late.
I love to create all kinds of things, including but not limited to Sculpting, painting, sewing, and drawing. I LOOOVE to do custom things, because there is something just wonderful about helping someones vision come to life, I really get to know my customers this way too which makes the creation even better because I feel like I'm doing it for a friend. So check out the shop and feel free to ask for custom items as I may just be able to make it happen! "

Finding out all about her is a must so I suggest you find her immediately on Etsy (http://zombieholocaust.etsy.com/) or follow her blog (http://zombieholocaustmusings.blogspot.com/) and seep into the mind of a true Zombie lover!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Back to the Horror...

I'm always on the look out for crazy, out-there horror flicks. Blood, guts and gore make me happy... when it's fake! I've seen a few sites that show real-life photos of death and odd murders, it was interesting. Seeing someones head cracked open by a helicopter propeller and brains splattered (literally) everywhere is not my idea of entertainment but it IS fascinating to me. So much, that when I first started college, I was taking courses to become a crime scene investigator. It wasn't until about two weeks into my first class that I realized it wasn't just adult corpses I would have to work with, but children also... and that's just something my heart couldn't handle. More power to any woman out there that can do it, but it wasn't for me. So, I stuck to looking at death photos and examining those. It used to be so interesting to me.

I came across a story about a couples 16 year old daughter who stole their corvette and sped off to her death. Apparently, photos of the crime scene were leaked and some truly heartless person sent them to the family in the most horrific fashion - email, with a message that was titled "Look at me Daddy, I'm still alive" or something along those lines. Now even if you HATE and I mean really, really have a deep hatred for someone, which is pretty hard to do, NO parent should be emailed photos of their daughter's mangled, bloody body! The family was trying to get the photos removed from the Internet and were suing the police department for letting the photos get out. Then I saw other related stories about the family and how they were not well liked in their community, there were some shady things going on with the dads business, the daughter was in trouble alot, real rebellious but didn't have many friends. The story intrigued me so of course, with my twisted mind, I started searching for these photos. That was the last time I ever wanted to see real life death photos. This poor girl, ugh, I can't even describe it, just thinking about it makes my eyes well up. It was just beyond horrific! Then I realized, THESE were the photos that were sent to her father, to her mother, and probably even seen by her sister and brother - with the cruelest note you could think of. I was sick! No matter what this family had done, nothing could excuse that kind of vicious act when they had already endured so much pain! That was the first time I felt like I had intruded on someones life... and I felt horrible.

My husband on the other hand has a far stronger stomach than I. He can take just about anything. A Portuguese documentary about Three Men & a Hammer was his latest search (and hard to find) but even that I couldn't watch. For any of you that don't know what that is, it's the title they gave a video of these two young men in Russia who beat a man to death with a hammer and some other tools including an ice pick. Not an enemy or someone they hated, just some poor guy who had the unfortunate timing of riding his bike home down the same street they happened to be on that day. They recorded everything on their phones, including other acts of torture on animals and such. They were finally busted and brought to trial. I never saw the actual video of the murder, it was something I knew I couldn't handle, but from what my husband tells me, it was pretty brutal. Not something I want burned into my head forever.

Now I think I've seen pretty much the worst of the worst, but I know there is more out there that my mind can not even comprehend or would even think to look for. So tell me, what is the worst thing you've ever seen on the Internet? I may or may not look them up, but I'm sure my hubby will - unless it has to do with children or animals, neither of us can handle that!