Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Please Don't Buy Counterfeit

I have decided to take a few moments and address a subject that came up on a Facebook post recently. I choose NEVER to post things of controversial nature on FB because I prefer to keep my page light, fun and artsy. I believe that the arguing back and forth on social media threads solve nothing and just adds negativity and chaos to our lives, at least to mine. I do however feel that the subject of counterfeit merchandise really needs to be brought up.

There are many websites out there selling counterfeit goods. There are many people out there buying these goods for personal use. There are many people out there buying, promoting and even reselling these goods to make a profit.
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Here is my perspective of these sites for what it's worth. It has greatly affected my income as I'm sure it has with many of us in the craft industry. It not only affects me but it affects every single person at the company that we artists license with. Warehouse workers, accounting departments, sales people working on commission, all trying to support families, are affected by this. The small indendent stores that we love so much and struggle to keep their doors open every day are affected by these websites. These stores are all over the world. We have watched so many of our favorite stores close down. These sites play a major role in their demise. Please reread that sentence. It's important.

I have been aware of these sites but not of all the promoting on YouTube and other sites until recently. Apparently YouTube has been shutting down the channels of people who use and promote products from these counterfeit sites.  From craft products to Lois Vuitton handbags to household items, these goods are sold at extremely cheap prices and I might add, made with cheap materials. Some people seem to be very upset that their friends or just crafty people that they follow are having their channels removed from YouTube. They as do the people whose channels have been removed, ask why the videos are just not removed. It is in the terms of agreement that you cannot promote counterfeit merchandise on the YouTube site. It states it has the right to pull down channels that violate this policy. Do we honestly think they have the time or inclination to sift through people's videos when they get thousands of requests, weekly to pull these down? Of course not, that is a ridiculous assumption. Some of the people I've been reading about did not know they were doing anything wrong. I understand that. In YouTube as with any social media site, it is the subscriber's responsibility to know what they are posting. Responsibility....a word that is taken far too lightly these days.

I watched a video that a girl posted about her channel being shut down. She very flippantly said she didn't care if the merchandise was counterfeit, it was cheaper and that's all she cared about. Her  videos in which she promoted her "hauls" got the most views and she worked hard to get those views. Yes she worked hard but she made money essentially from stolen goods. That's what these businesses are doing, stealing other people's art. Drawings that come out of my head and my heart are copied exactly from my product line and sold unbranded on websites known to sell fake goods. How can you tell they're fake? They are very cheap...you know the saying, too good to be true? They are sold in generic packaging with no brand and the descriptions are very vague, ie...girl stamp.

I work very hard in this industry. Yes, I have a lot of fun, but I am still up at the crack of dawn working on designs, making samples and kitting for classes on a daily basis. This a job to me. I work like everyone else and to have my art stolen from me is like getting punched in the stomach. It hurts. I have spent a lot of time thinking if I want to continue doing what I do because of that hurt. It's difficult for me to accept that this is just the way the world is today, as I watch shopping sites making millions and putting hard working people out of jobs. Because friends, that is the big picture. It is putting people out of work. These sites have the potential to destroy industries. All because some people think this is ok to buy this stuff.

For those that continue to justify their purchases because it's cheaper, let me break it down for you. I am pulling these numbers from my head, but let's say a stamp cost $1- $2 to make in China. Someone can buy that stamp and sell it on one of these sites for $2 - $3 and make a nice profit, right? Now, someone from the US or anywhere else for that matter buys those stamps at those prices and promotes and sells them on YouTube, Facebook and shopping sites and they make a nice profit. Remember, these are stolen designs. Now the rightful company has the stamps made in China for $1 - $2, has to design packaging, ship them here, market them, sell them to retailers for $3 -$4 all the while paying fair American wages unlike China where they are originally made. Oh yes, the retailers....Michaels, a giant, has to pay their employees and still make a profit. How about those small independent stores that we all know and love? Yes, they need to support their families too. And lets not forget about the many people out there selling online out of their garage to add to their income. This is why things are marked up. We have to pay a lot of people! Can you see how theses sites have the potential to destroy businesses?

It just makes me sad. Copying another's artwork, manufacturing and selling that artwork/product is a crime. Counterfeit merchandise being promoted on any reputable site is usually against their policy. Please don't buy counterfeit. Don't keep these people in business. I am getting tired of getting punched in the stomach daily.

And for those of you that buy the real thing, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love doing what I do because of you! You continue to inspire me with your talent and amaze me with your stories!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Goodbye Summer!



As Labor Day approaches I suppose it's time to say goodbye to summer. Although in real life, our sandals and shorts will stay for awhile, in the craft world, most of us are pulling out our fall and Halloween goodies. I thought I'd sign off summer with one of Jennifer Snyder's wonderful cards. She is the queen of layered dresses, yep, she was the first to bring this beautiful effect into my little paper doll world. This background is kept simple with a modeling paste stencil to make the dress the star of the show. She dressed the Camille doll in the Paper Doll collection from Photo Play Paper. The 6x6 pads create the perfect scaled clothes, don't they? The crisp white and blue gingham is the perfect Labor Day outfit before putting back in the closet until spring. Bring on the leaves and pumpkins!

Goodbye Summer!



As Labor Day approaches I suppose it's time to say goodbye to summer. Although in real life, our sandals and shorts will stay for awhile, in the craft world, most of us are pulling out our fall and Halloween goodies. I thought I'd sign off summer with one of Jennifer Snyder's wonderful cards. She is the queen of layered dresses, yep, she was the first to bring this beautiful effect into my little paper doll world. This background is kept simple with a modeling paste stencil to make the dress the star of the show. She dressed the Camille doll in the Paper Doll collection from Photo Play Paper. The 6x6 pads create the perfect scaled clothes, don't they? The crisp white and blue gingham is the perfect Labor Day outfit before putting back in the closet until spring. Bring on the leaves and pumpkins!

Friday, August 19, 2016

More Foil Fun!


 
I just loved working with the beautiful foils and rub-on adhesives from Prima Marketing. Pam Bray used the various patterns in her background of her gorgeous project. You can read about it here on her blog. Instead of using an entire pattern on my girls' dresses, I used just a hint of foil on patterned paper. I wanted it to look like it was worn off. The mesh patterns worked beautiful with the sea themed paper, French Riviera by Frank Garcia. Of course I had to try a bit of glass glitter on a sea star adhesive. It worked beautifully. Such easy products to use to enhance the paper dolls in your life!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Foil Fun!



Jennifer's fabulously layered dress using several paper patterns and the gold tone Prima foils. Works wonderful with those gold doilies!
Just a little peek under that skirt!

Doreen used a gold foil mesh that looks oh so nautical with Frank Garcia's French Riviera paper collection. This tray is just stunning!

An aquamarine foil starfish is the prettiest touch on this tag.



Awww, the end of summer is approaching. As I put away all my beachy, sandy, summery, craft products, I can't help but be sad. But it's time to make room for all the fall and holiday goodies arriving at my door daily, isn't it?
The  design team did a fun little project to say goodbye to summer. We used the Prima ocean hued foils and Christine Adolph rub-on adhesives to create some fun paper doll projects. I thought they'd be a wonderful accent for the dolls' clothes and of course to use in the backgrounds goes without saying!
From background patterns to words, to seashells, the rub-ons add a magical touch to any creation and are so easy to use, And should I say affordable? Yes, totally affordable!
First up is Jennifer's beautiful tag. She's the master at layering the dresses and did a fabulous job using my papers from the 6x6 Baby pad from last summer.
Doreen chose Frank Garcia's French Riviera paper for her gorgeous projects. Love the neutral hues with just a pop of color!
Stay tuned for Pam's project and oh, yeah, mine!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Nautical Fun with Pam Bray


 
Oh how I love these projects from design team member Pam Bray. Even though we are getting glimpses of new products depicting fall and holiday, summer is still here in full force! Pam used the Nautical Bliss paper collection from Photo Play Paper for her darling box and card. These are great ways to use up all your leftover stickers and paper scraps as you sit in the air conditioned studio to beat the heat!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Super Cute Star Box with Jennifer Snyder

Don't ya just love a cute star project  around this time of the year? It's doubly cute with the addition of a couple of paper dolls from the Paper Doll paper collection from Photo Play Paper. I love how Jennifer blends this collection so beautifully with the Nautical Bliss paper!









Product List:
Photo Play Paper - Julie Nutting - Paper Dolls Collection 6x13 Adhesive chipboard PD2157
Photo Play Paper - Julie Nutting - Paper Dolls Collection-12x12 paper Cuteness PD2194
Photo Play Paper - Julie Nutting - Paper Dolls Collection -12x12 Let's Play Paper Dolls Cards...
Photo Play Paper - Julie Nutting - Paper Dolls Collection Pack 12x12 PD2199
Photo Play Paper - Julie Nutting - Nautical Bliss Collection -12x12 Nautical Stripe NB2240
Photo Play Paper - Julie Nutting - Nautical Bliss Collection -Element Stickers12x12 NB2244
Photo Play Paper - Julie Nutting - Nautical Bliss Collection Pack NB2246
Martha Stewart Punch - Doily Lace Edge
LaceTrim
Paper Mache Box
ribbon
Floral Berries
shells and flowers from stash