Integrity in Your Craft Business


Photo Courtesy Reason4Smile

The quote above is right on: "If it is not right, do not do it. If it is not true, do not say it".

In reading these articles this morning, I learned there are MANY things I can do to improve the integrity of my business:

Like, being on time. Answering phone calls and e-mails promptly. UNDER-promising and OVER-delivering. I think it all goes back to showing respect for others (and their time and talents) and being honest with your customers, vendors, suppliers, readers, friends, family, etc.

This weekend I was reading some new-to-me blogs. I stumbled upon a free tutorial for one of my custom bag designs. It was the bag that I designed especially for the Cora Paige playground benefit. The blog owner is a craft business owner too. She posted something like , "I saw this on Etsy selling for a high price and knew I could make it myself for less than $5!" Wow.

Did she happen to give credit to the original designer of this idea? No.

Did she let her readers know that 100% of the purchase price (all of it) was donated to the Cora Paige benefit? No.

The ironic part? Her business is participaing in a benefit sale for charity this week. So I asked her how she would feel if someone stole her for-charity product idea, made it at home, took step-by-step photos, then posted it on their blog as a free tutorial.

By stealing my design and posting a free tutorial, I will sell fewer bags for charity. Less money will be donated because of her lack of integrity.

This is the first time I have ever contacted a person for copying my designs. It is not the first time this has happened, I think this was just the final straw!

We must all strive to have integrity in our businesses. Speak up for yourself too. It is so important.

P.S. - I will never look at a free tutorial in the same way. Where did this idea come from? How would the original designer feel about this? Make sure that the idea was freely given.

(Note: Her copy was NOT lovingly sewn with our signature applique stitch, just ironed on.)

2 comments

  1. That's terrible!!! So sorry you had to deal with that. I've had to deal with similar issues- product photo theft, text theft, etc. Shouldn't fellow WAHM's uplift and support each other? It happens yes, but then you get into this nasty side of the business and it makes it so frustrating and at times makes you want to throw in the towel!

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  2. Oh Sally! So sorry- i often struggle with "showing" too much on my blog- sad to think some people will "steal" your ideas ect.- We just have to pray for the best...guess that's all we can do...so sad!

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I love to hear your ideas, questions and comments! - Sally

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