One Reason it’s so Tough Being Indie, or Why Retail Sucks the Big One

Image from Yahoo News

http://shine.yahoo.com/work-money/were-ripping-off-indie-artists-cheap-tchotchke-habit-202500409.html

As many of you know, I own and operate a handmade jewelry/art business as well as write and work full-time as a medic. Since I started writing again, my jewelry biz has been on mini-hiatus. But there’s another reason why I started getting frustrated with the business. Any small business has an uphill battle, indie author no less, but THIS is a big problem that discouraged me too. Large corporations have been ripping off indie artists’ ideas for years. Over a year ago, some of my jewelry designs, very unique designs, popped up on a Chinese wholesale site. Most of these sites supply large retail chains. Hell, they didn’t even bother to Photoshop the images a little. I recognized my hand holding an earring for size/color comparison! MY OWN FREAKING HAND!!!!

Foreign counties like China don’t have copyright laws like the US, so they’ll rip ideas right off the net. Then big retail stores will see those ‘new’ designs, love them, stock from the wholesalers, and end up undercutting the prices of the indie artists–with cheaply made, mass-produced products rather than higher quality, handmade art. Thereby destroying that one of a kind art and the income of the artist because most people would ‘rather pay a few bucks for the same thing that’ll probably break in a few months’.

It makes me sick, and it’s a huge reason why I rarely shop retail any more. I prefer to buy unique items from craft fairs. Generally, I only buy retail if it’s something I can’t buy from an indie artist. Of course, my family complains that it makes me hard to buy for because there’s usually nothing I want/need anymore. :o)

Just my PSA rant for the day.


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