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 :)