Monday, August 15, 2011

My Heart Is Sad (Etsy Drama)

((update: since writing this post the person has gotten back to me, see bottom for response))

As we all know the reason why I started my blog "Yellow Heart Art" was for it to be an extension of my little shop of art on etsy with the same name Yellow Heart Art.

It took me a good solid 3-6 months for me to get Yellow Heart Art in order before I could even THINK of opening it up and making it official.

There was so much prep:
-designing all my graphics
-buying all my materials
-figuring out the best cost effective way to ship my items
-buying shipping materials
-come up with branding (logo design, colors, theme, feel)
-come up with product descriptions
-come up with store policies

I mean opening up an online shop is no joke. You really need to put your heart into it.
Thats why I was really disappointed this weekend when I discovered this:

What is that, you ask?

It's screen shots from mine and another etsy seller's shops. Anything that is blurred out (like their store name in their etsy banner and the copyright information) is to not give this person any traffic to their shop from my blog. Also, even though I am very upset that they blatantly stole my wording and branding I am not going to blast their etsy on my blog, that is not my goal for this blog post.

I write this blog post because there I sat at my computer a few months back before my shop was even made into an official etsy--and I made countless word documents of all my information. My product descriptions, my product titles, my shipping policies, store policies etc. And there, above, someone just took all my hard work, MY words and MY thoughts and just copied and pasted them like it was no big deal.

Now don't get me wrong, I know people use the "flag" element that I use in my branding, and I know it's not a design element that I invented, but I did make the flag work with in my branding. Now I'm going to have to believe that he/she saw my etsy branding and slightly (very slightly) "re-worked it" for use for his/her shop.

Please, if you have your own etsy shop, do NOT do this. I understand a huge factor in owning an etsy are the products you make and sell. But there is also another factor in owning an etsy: and that is letting people getting know the person who actually makes the products. If you just copy and paste someone else's thoughts you are essentially loosing yourself.

The shop owner in question does have a talent. He/she makes graphic prints as well, and I will say they are talented and do have a gift. I truly wish nothing but great success in their budding etsy shop. I just want them to have success because they were true to themselves throughout the entire process.

Sorry for this blog post, I know you're not used to this side of me, but I figured its nice to show a side of me thats not running around sporting an oversized hoodie while lip syncing "ice ice baby"

Thanks for listening and thank you to EVERYONE for the support--stay tuned! hopefully the seller will stop copying me in the future since I have contacted them.

Take care loves!

Since writing this post the shop owner did get back to me. She was very mature in her response back, she apologized for what she did and even admitted that she was wrong for doing so. She is going to update her descriptions and change her etsy banner.

I am SO happy that she was so receptive to me. When writing to her I did keep my composure and even complimented her shop (no joke, she really truly does have amazing graphic prints) She is completely new to etsy and only currently has 2 sales, so I said that I would help her out with any questions that she may have since she was so quick to apolgize and correct the problem. She even mentioned how she admired my shop and felt bad that she had done that to me.

aaaaaand I can finally exhale now! It's amazing how if you approach someone the *right* way you might be totally and completely surprised by the outcome. I was expecting her to be in denial and try to make me sound like a crazy person haha but I am really truly happy with the result. I encourage you all to keep your cool if you ever run into a problem like this--who knows the person on the other end might surprise you.


  1. That makes me so mad! I could never just take someone's copy like that. Especially on Etsy, where the whole point is for people to express their PERSONAL creativity and not just swipe someone else's creativity.

    Have you messaged them about it? If you want I will go to their house and dress up like a ghost and spook her into changing her product descriptions.

  2. Leonora,
    The way you are handling this is amazing.
    As a fellow artist it is earth shattering when someone steals your work.
    It is different when you "take" someone's idea and make it completely your own, but stealing is just no good, and what goes around comes around.
    I am so sorry you had to experience this.
    We love your work and support you 100%

  3. This is definitely a bummer, but I agree with Lindsay - you're handling it really well. Etsy is a huge community and there are bound to be copycats in all kinds of ways. The endless amount of finger pointing really turns me off to some sellers (though others are totally justified sometimes). This person might not have realized how hard you worked on these things or just didn't think anyone would notice. Either way, keep being you because you are just awesome.

  4. That's so discouraging when something like this happens. I know a lot of people have had lots of trouble on Etsy with this issue (among others).

  5. Leonora,
    I am so sorry to hear about this!!
    I can not believe that someone would so blatantly copy you!!
    I am sure that no matter what art she sells, it is not as amazing as yours and I think that this post is very classy and I agree with Annie:: You are handling it really well.
    I always think of Etsy as one big family and it saddens me every time I hear about someone doing something mean and heartless.
    I hope that it all turns out well, just keep doing your thang and keep on being amazing!!!

  6. wow.
    you are amazing to be handling the situation you're in the way you are. you go Leonora!

  7. wow! you dealth with this in such a sweet way! i feel like a lot of people would be snarky or mean but you were beyond gracious-- and offering to help the seller is so kind. :)

    muchos admiration & props to you lady!

  8. Good for you for handling this maturely and not whining about it! It's unfortunate how often this sort of thing happens, but keeping a level head and addressing the problem professionally is definitely the best way to deal with it.

  9. I am so happy for you that this person responded honestly and understandably. What a fantastic outcome to an otherwise heart-breaking situation!

    -rachel w k

  10. Leonora,

    I'm loving catching up on your blog posts this lazy Sunday, but had to call TLC and ask: "What the heck?" She had forgotten to tell me what happened. She was shocked--and sad. But we are (as always) tres impressed with your: honesty, dignity, kindness, patience, and class. This is why we positively adore you and admire your talent and your precious humor. You're calm decision to rise above the unfairness is inspiring. There are rewards for integrity. There really are. Thank you for sharing and for being such a fantastic mentor/friend/artist/business woman.

    Hugs and Smooches,


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