Be Original – Not a Copy


Recently I saw that a friend’s beautiful metal artistry had been copied and sold as an original. Her shop creates the most stunning designs of wall decor, standing art and business signs.  She was devastated by this blatant act and contacted the individual.  To her amazement, she was told that a few changes to the original design had been made and it was now their artwork and sellable. A similar situation was repeated a few weeks ago by a friend in one of my Facebook groups.  Her original drawing and artwork was literally stolen off the net and claimed as their own.  She was able to get this resolved quickly.  In my opinion, these are desperate thieves who lack creativity of their own and stoop to robbing others of their livelihood.

These are just a few instances of artists’ hard work and imagination having been stolen.  I have an Etsy shop and noticed many ideas being duplicated and sold without compunction.  The term original is now interchangeable with enhancing, embellishing and reworking the piece to claim it as their own design. They steal the idea, make a few adjustments and then cheapen the cost to sell their replica to customers as an original.  A recent Etsy policy now allows sellers to add adornments to retail items and call it handmade. Somehow I don’t see that as “original”.  That’s a blog post for another day.

In the fiber community, it is true that there are basic knit and crochet stitches which become beautiful products.  The originality comes from taking those few stitches and creating a one of a kind masterpiece. When I sit down and design a new headband pattern,  I let my fingers work the yarn and write down each row in the event it’s a “keeper”.  It’s automatically recorded in my pattern journal, date it and sometimes draw a picture of it even though I may not market it.  But I know it’s my design for shopladylike.


A few years ago, I was contacted by a lady who wanted to buy one of my headband pattern designs pictured above and make it for all her friends. Since I don’t sell any written patterns in my shop, I declined her offer.  Yes, I was happy that she loved it so much that she wanted to make some herself. She didn’t want to buy one of the headbands, just the pattern that took me many hours and mistakes to perfect.  But I’m in the business of selling my finished products, not my designs.

I’m sure that we all have similar stories.  There’s so much elation and excitement in being an original!  Why would you want to be a copy?  I hear that being copied can be considered a form of flattery, but is it really?

12 Responses

  1. Sue Eldred says:

    Some people just don’t get it.

    Love your crocheted pieces. Your photography is wonderful.

    • ladydi says:

      I think they pretend not to get it. They just don’t want to do the hard work. Thanks for your sweet comments about our pieces. My daughter is our photographer. 🙂

  2. Rita Barakat says:

    I hate that and it happens all the time! I work very hard at trying to get my signature look, I dont want to steal anybodys look , I dont want it to look like anyone elses work either! I think its rude, if you want to pay the compliment , pay for the artist work!

    • ladydi says:

      It seems inevitable that blatant thievery goes on everyday. You just have to be aware of your art and keep it safe. It just disturbs me that these people have no conscience. Thanks for commenting.

  3. You’re so lucky to have such a talented photographer!

    It takes so much work, time and effort to making our original products. It’s such a shame that so many want blatantly steal your ideas. I’ve bought patterns and I do use some of it as a foundation to some of my products. But I do try to always give credit to where it’s due. There are so many gray areas, sometimes it’s hard to figure out where to draw the line.

    • ladydi says:

      Thanks so much for the sweet remark about my daughter’s work. She is a professional photographer and shooting our Etsy line has added so much to our products. She’s so gifted with her camera.

      I agree it is hard to draw the line sometimes because there are gray areas. We just need to keep ourselves honest and alert to these happenings. Thanks so much for your comments.

  4. I’ve wondered about this. We don’t yet have a logo to watermark our images of our jewelry. I post on Pinterest, FB, in blogs and now twitter. We are concerned that a design can be stolen but every jewelery maker will use different combinations to create. I guess real stealing is if they took one of my product posts and passed it off as their own. But would get caught when they couldnt produce the product for sale. Then the gig is up.

    • ladydi says:

      Stealing others’ product posts has happened. I’ve heard of these stories last year. We all work hard on our products and networking and it’s disconcerting when we have to worry about the bad-nicks of the world. Your jewelry is so lovely!!!!! I wish you the best of luck with your line.

  5. Darla says:

    Another great post Diana! I understand and have had my work copied multiple times. It really doesn’t feel like a compliment:) One incident infuriated my husband so much when he saw a piece that was a direct copy he walked over to talk to them. The person in the booth said she was not the owner only helping out. Probably a good thing! I try to take the highroad and focus on being an original, offering my best work and know that my creative brain will allow me to just make more 🙂

    • ladydi says:

      Thanks Darla for your comments. I can’t imagine how you and your husband felt. That was very brave of him. All we can continue to do is be as original as possible and continue to create what we love.

  6. Sharon O'Day says:

    In the past year I’ve developed a jewelry line I am about to launch, Diana. I had “worked it” in my mind for years, started collecting the stones and beads in my forays worldwide, then learned the techniques needed to create what I had in my mind. Like you with the knit and crochet stitches, I ask, “Is anything unique?” No, just the combination that comes from inspiration, hard work, invested time, hit-or-miss attempts, etc. A replica will not have the same energy as the original … but unfortunately too few people would feel–or care about–the difference. Besides, the downside of enjoying the marketing ease of the internet … is the ease of someone anyone in the world copying what we do …

    • ladydi says:

      You’re so right Sharon. We work hard to be original and create unique items and along comes someone who thinks they can do it better and sell it cheaper. It is the price we pay to have our items on the internet. I can’t wait to see your line of jewelry. I’ll bet it’s stunning! Thanks for sharing your comments.

Leave a Reply