I have not been the best blogger lately. Tis The Season at Shabbyfufu and I have been literally swamped under with packing and shipping, the usual amount of custom orders and the like. For all of our website customers reading this post, I am extremely grateful for your continued support of my endeavors, that of the artists who also sell their work on Shabbyfufu, and for the truly wonderful emails. I think that I have posted these thanks before....but I wanted to do so again, especially in light of the Thanksgiving Holiday that will be upon us next week. Thank you and HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!
We are entering into our Tenth Year of business on the internet in a few short weeks. Because of the longevity of Shabbyfufu, I am often asked for advice or commentary on a variety of topics relating to the business of selling on the web. A lot has changed over the course of the ten on line years that I have been at it, some for the good and some...not so much. For instance, my website is totally html based, and was a real learning experience back when it was first designed...and oftentimes can create a nightmare of issues when something goes astray with the html. Nowadays, anyone can have a website and just put in their product with some photos and away they go on the road to sales! This has allowed for a plethora of shops, which I know has been a blessing to many stay at home women who are creative and need an outlet in which to sell their wares. There truly is room for all on the internet, however.....some of the things that I have seen or are brought to my attention are a prescription for trouble. I attribute Shabbyfufu's sucess to many things. First and foremost, as a spillover from the way that I live my life, I conduct my business with dignity and grace. I strive to treat all of our customers with the value that they deserve. I maintain a strict set of business ethics, with honesty and integrity at the forefront. I never copy other people's ideas, and work hard to come up with new products that I feel the customers of Shabbyfufu will enjoy.
Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case with a few sellers out there...which is often brought to my attention by one of our customers. With the blowup proportion of the internet, it's become easy pickings for others to steal an idea...and then put it out there for sale. Mind you, I do not mind at all giving inspiration! I was an art teacher for a time. I have been a contributing writer for Romantic Country Magazine and currently for Romantic Homes Magazine. I have a wonderful long term relationship with the girls who also sell on Shabbyfufu, and have helped them with their business goals. Along the way I have helped a few others as well....some have been users or players, but I feel that "what goes around, comes around", and that's okay. I do not mind (and am flattered actually) if you are inspired by one of my ideas (or one of my artists, past or present) to create something for yourself.
But to outright copy an idea for SALE is not ethical, it's unscrupulous, not to mention illegal! You may gain some immediate satisfaction and notoriety perhaps, but in the end you will be found out. I have seen it happen before, and if you desire to run an honest business and stay there for the long haul......then copying what you see on another website, in a magazine, Flickr or Etsy is not the way to accomplish long term success.
I hope that the couple of copiers that I have been told about who are imitating my style~
read this and reconsider what they are doing, and I will be be respectful in not calling them out publicly here. That being said....I was trying to catch up a bit with some of my blog friends last night, and read on Melissa of Adored Before's blog. She has allowed me to post this excerpt.....below:
"The fact is that most people can spot a fraud. People know when someone is not genuine. If you are in the business of taking someone else's ideas and claiming them as your own, know that there are people out there who are aware of your practice and you have undoubtedly not only lost their business, but their respect."
This subject apparently needs to be addressed every now and then. Please feel free to use any part of this to post on your blog, and link back to me.
PLEASE NOTE: After a few very thought provoking comments have been left, I want to point out that this post was written in the spirit of staying genuine for the long haul. It is not directed towards anyone specifically who has left a comment and has had their work compromised, I write only from and about my own experiences. This topic always seems to touch a nerve when put out there, wherever it may be.