>This isn’t a business blog. I don’t have one for my company, though I really should. And I will. It’s on the list of thirty million things I plan to accomplish in 2011. This isn’t a blog about my kids, either. That’s not something I plan to do in 2011 (or ever). It’s a blog about my life, and my life encompasses those things and more, so you’ll have to bear with the utter lack of theme around here. I write about whatever’s fresh on my mind usually, so that could honestly be just about anything. Today it happens to be about my job.
If you follow me on Twitter (I’m @clippo…but I’m sure you know that) you’ll know that I regularly (and loudly) stand up for causes in which I believe. One such cause is the importance of supporting handmade goods. Now, this blog is too small to even touch upon all the issues I have with the home/handmade industry, but today I’ve got a bee in my bonnet and I want to address it.
A few months ago, a lovely self-labelled “Mompreneur” from Toronto contacted me for information about Clippo products. She was interested in putting our products in her diaper cakes and had heard great things about our Pant Clippos in particular. The Pant Clippo is my baby. It’s not rocket science, it’s not gonna change the world, but it’s a smart little invention and I take great pride in knowing we offered it first. It’s simple: it’s a repurposed Mitten Clippo that attaches to a waistband to pull it in and snug up pants. It’s indisposable around my house. I was happy to send this fellow business woman some samples of our products. She asked how she could place an order, asked for pricing, and never contacted me again.
Wanna know why?
Because she has decided to copy the products we offer and started a company of her own.
Now. I get it. The market is huge and we all borrow ideas, make them our own and carve our niche, right? Right. But the difference is that most of us have the tact and decency not to ask for free samples and rip a person off blatantly. Thankfully her products are not a) aesthetically pleasing, b) as functional or c) at all comparable to ours but the fact remains that in her company bio she claims she and her business partner invented these products to fill a void in the market. Now come on. That’s like all these silly hair clip companies claiming they weren’t able to find anything that worked in their daughter’s hair anywhere. Really? Because all you need to do is open your eyes and there are about fifty thousand hair clip companies offering non-slip clips out there. If you didn’t invent it, don’t claim that you did. It’s silly. It diminishes the work we all do.
So what did I do? I called her on it. I tweeted her & I emailed her directly, telling her I think it’s despicable behaviour to pretend to work to support other mom-owned businesses and then (poorly) rip them off.
It’s this kind of behaviour that needs to be addressed and called forward. If you have the cojones to rip someone off, at least be honest about it. At least make something your own, give credit where it’s due and show some tact.
And if you can’t manage tact when you attempt to undermine the work I do, be prepared to hear from me.