Thursday, December 20, 2018

no, that's not my kit at HobbyCraft :-(


I wasn't going to post about this. I really don't love putting negative posts out there. However, I'm getting so many messages about it that it seems better to clear it up publicly.

From the HobbyCraft website

In September, a kind reader noticed a kit on the HobbyCraft website called Partridge and Pear Tree Decoration that looked a lot like my Partridge & Pear pattern from my Twelve Days Ornament series. It's slightly different, but clearly a blatant copy of my design, even down to the colors I used in my samples. I opened a dialog with the store, which is based in the UK. I was directed to a Ms. Shiers, with whom I exchanged a few emails.

Ms. Shiers indicated that, without admitting any liability, they would remove the kits from their website. Which they did. However, after that I began hearing from many UK crafters via Facebook and IG who were shopping in the HobbyCraft stores and were confused to see the kits for sale there. They took pictures and messaged me about them because they could clearly see the kits were a copy of my designs. Ironically, folks even contacted me to congratulate me on collaborating with HobbyCraft, even though my name does not appear anywhere on the kit.

From a lovely crafter in the UK

I wrote again to Ms. Shiers to ask HobbyCraft to take the kits from their stores, and I did not receive a reply. So after that, every time I heard from a kind someone who is angry/disappointed about the copycat kit, I gave them Ms. Shier's email address so they could let her know about the negative impression they were getting of the store.

I just want to make it clear that I have not collaborated with HobbyCraft to make the kit, nor have I given permission to use my design. If you were confused by the kits and would like to contact HobbyCraft about it, I suggest starting with their Facebook page.

Finally, I'd like to thank the vigilant crafters who took the trouble to take pictures and contact me so that I'd be aware of the kits. You know who you are! I appreciate your having my back.

16 comments:

  1. You should contact a lawyer.

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  2. I agree. They should get a letter from an attorney in their stocking this year.

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  3. They should be ashamed of themselves for not even replying that is just impolite and no way to conduct a business.

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  4. How infuriating! I'm so sorry about this.

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  5. I am shocked and disappointed that a commercial establishment would do this. I made three sets of number 1 for the first time this year and had so much fun doing it. I think my recipients loved them too. I will get on their FB page to complain and ask them to remove the kits. Thanks for letting us know!

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  6. Some people have no morals! Thoroughly disgusting! So sorry for all your work of love to have it so blatantly counter fitted for someone else's benefit.

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  7. You need a lawyer to send a cease and desist order.

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  8. I have enjoyed making many of your ornaments, and love your sense of artistry and color. While a case could be made that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", this goes beyond that and is indeed theft. I'm sorry. I'm sure it is hard to deal with something like this when you'd rather be doing something fun and creative. Hobby craft has received a few comments on your behalf, mine included.

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  9. Sadly, I do not know what a lawyer could do here. Who would they sue? This sort of thievery happens all the time now. It is horrible.
    I am really sad this is happening to you with your marvelous and carefully created felt gems. China steals a lot from everyone around the world, i am not blaming them outright in your case, but I have seen this before.
    I am very sorry this happened.

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  10. I posted this originally on Instagram and would like to also post it here:

    I’ve been thinking about this situation since I first read Larissa’s post yesterday. I just want to say two things: (1) Regarding the phrase ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’, no, no it isn’t. That phrase was uttered in a time long long ago when life was simpler. It’s no longer relevant in our world, and especially not in the world of art and creativity. That phrase should - in my opinion - never be used. It’s outdated, and it gives design pirates an excuse.

    (2) Regarding the ‘kit’ copy, HobbyCraft did indeed copy the image/design of Larissa’s Partridge & Pear and they did create a ‘kit’ to make the ornaments. However, Larissa provides so much more. When you purchase and follow any of Larissa’s patterns to create something for yourself, you are purchasing an instruction book that TEACHES you how to recreate her wonderful designs. You learn techniques that you may not have known before. You’re purchasing an experience. You’re gaining knowledge of craft techniques that you’ll carry with you. That’s priceless.

    When you purchase a Twelve Days Ornaments Materials Kit from me, FeltOnThe Fly (pure wool felt) or from BenzieBazaar (wool-blend felt), you’re purchasing carefully curated materials kits that include quality supplies that are worthy of your time and your handwork skills. Quite frankly, you cannot create something beautiful that will last for years from the most inexpensive felt supplies. Not only will the finished product be a disappointing version of the original, inexpensive supplies are awful to work with. They don’t feel good in your hands, they may not be toxin-free, and that inexpensive felt may even be highly flammable.

    HobbyCraft surely has stolen from Larissa. But they are not selling what Larissa sells (the patterns), and what FeltOnTheFly and BenzieBazaar offer (supplies kits): A quality crafting experience with superb design, terrific instruction, and quality materials.

    HobbyCraft should not only be ashamed and embarrassed for their part in this theft, but they should also be mortified for doing their shoppers such a great disservice.

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  11. I am sorry you are going though this!
    And to my surprise I see that penguin kit in your last picture (to the left side of your design) that looks very much like my own penguin design that I have been selling on Etsy and my own website since 2013. I wonder how many more of us designers are affected by this practice :(

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  12. Howdy! On the back of Dolce & Gabana plagiarising Jane Crowfoot's crochet designs back in September (it has just been discovered by fans of JC's work), I thought I'd pop back here to see what has happened to your complaint against Hobbycraft, for plagiarising your work. Just had a look at HobbyCraft's Facebook page - on 11 January they replied to someone stating the issue has been resolved with you. Before I spend another pound with that company, I hoped you would provide an update. Has the issue been resolved and are you satisfied with the result?

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    1. Hello, very sorry to hear of Jane Crawford’s crochet designs being taken. As for HobbyCraft, they feel they have resolved it, but I do not. I’m still pursuing it. Thanks for checking in! I’ll update on results, but it might take a while. The wheels of justice...

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  13. Okay...my boycott will remain in place until we hear otherwise from you. Such poor form by these big companies. This is the link to Hobbycraft's FB page. https://www.facebook.com/HobbycraftUK/ The post was by Melanie Marsh. Am I okay to reply to the post what you've posted here?

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    1. Hey, fizzypetal, thanks for the link! No, if you don’t mind, keep it here for now. I’m not shouting about the legal proceedings. I’d rather wait! Thanks so much for your encouragement and support.

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