#310 Panel: What to Do When Someone Blatantly Copies You [Plagiarism Podcast]-Plagiarism and Theft in Art Show notes
8:16AM Aug 8, 2021
Welcome to Thrive by Design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you're a creative fashion or product based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing and scaling your business. So you can spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make money. You ready? Alright, let's do this.
Welcome to the thrive by design podcast, Episode 310. Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews, Chief visionary Officer of flourish and thrive Academy. And I am thrilled to be here today for a couple of reasons. Now over the years, one of the biggest hot topics that people ask is like what do you do when someone copies you or knocks you off? Like how do you deal with plagiarism? Or people blatantly copying you? So I was pitched by Alex Camacho, one of our graduates of our Momentum program about doing an episode with two of her call, I guess colleagues in the industry who are there in a plagiarism group together and they were all getting having issues with people like blatantly copying their work.
And so we came on and had Arielle Salsa, Alex Camacho and Michelle Prebich, come in and talk a little bit more about their experience with plagiarism and how they've overcome it. So before I dive in, I'm going to I will briefly introduce them. This is a long episodes, I don't want to go too in depth with their bio, but we will have the full bio in the show notes. So you can check that out over at flourishthriveacademy.com/310 or wherever the show notes are posted wherever you're listening. I also wanted to mention that I am super excited because we are opening up the waitlist for the desired brand effect book.
The tagline is How to Stand Out in a Saturated Market with a Timeless Jewelry Brand. And I would be so honored if you would get on the waitlist to preorder the book because the book is awesome. And also I'm giving away a bunch of bonuses for people who buy the book in the pre order. So I'm going I'll be announcing details on how to get your special bonuses and a little bit more information on what those bonuses are. All you have to do is head on over to Desiredbrandeffect.com and enter your name and email address and you'll be put on the waitlist right there so that you can get notified once the book gets into pre order.
The book officially gets released on November 10. And for anyone who has ever written a book or launched a book understands this, the pre orders are almost as important as what happens after the book is launched. So I really appreciate your support in this. Because I really want to be able to add you give you and add to you the most value possible when possible.
And I also wanted to mention that today's episode, because one of our momentum students is being interviewed today, one of our momentum grads, Alex Camacho, I thought I'd just offer you an invitation to explore what that program is all about. And it starts with booking a free complimentary strategy audit. So if you're interested in learning more about how we can really help you achieve your goals a lot faster, I'll keep it short and sweet like that. And get support and mentorship from my team of coaches, and our badass consultants over here.
You can head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/strategy and check out what it's all about. Basically, what we do on that strategy on it is we take a look at your goals, your goals from the next one to three years. And then once we kind of have like this big vision of what you're trying to create, then we take a look at what you're currently doing now. because inevitably, there's a lot of gaps or things that need to shift and change in order for you to set your business up in a way that is going to support those goals. And so once we kind of dial that in and identify any roadblocks, we give you a clear path forward of what needs to happen in your business to achieve the goals. If it makes sense, then we invite you to take the next step with us and invite you into one of our programs. It's not always a good fit for everyone, but we would love to talk to you. So if you're interested in exploring what that looks like, head on over to flourish thrive academy.com forward slash strategy.
Okay, so I'm going to do a brief intro of our artists today. First up we have Michelle Prebich. She is a Southern California artist and the owner of Bat in Your Belfry and she is going to be sharing her story about what happened with her And getting knocked off as an artist. Then we are then we have next up Alex Camacho. She is a graduate of our programs over here. She is the founder and designer of Acid Queen jewelry. And she is a badass. I've interviewed her several times for this podcast. And you're going to be interested to hear what she has to say about plagiarism. And then we have Arielle Salsa. And she is the founder of The Pretty Cult, which is a lifestyle company that focuses on clothing and other lifestyle products.
Now, these are very nice designers and makers and business owners, and you're going to notice and see a theme as we go through this. But the message still stands the same. This is going to be a great conversation and you are going to love what you hear. And hopefully you walk away with some practical tips on how you can protect your business and your brand. So let's dive in to today's episode with these incredible designers, makers and founders.
Hey there, it's Tracy here host of Thrive by Design. And I'm super excited to have a very interesting group of designers on the show today to talk about a topic that comes up a lot inside of our community and that is copycats and plagiarism. So I want to welcome Alex Camacho. Arielle Salsa and Michelle Prebich. Did I say your name your last name, right?
Michelle Prebich. It's a weird one.
Okay, sorry. So Prebich. Welcome to the show. So before we dive in, I love for all of you to just kind of give yourself a little introduction of who you are, and kind of a little background about your company. So Michelle, why don't you start us off?
Well, my name is Michelle Prebich. I run BatinYourBelfry. I'm the artist slash business person who does anything and everything. So you order something from me, I designed it, I package it. I took the photos, you name it. So I'm on Etsy and Instagram and when it's not a global pandemic, which is hopefully, you know, dying down here. I'm usually at Southern California like conventions and shows and things like that.
Amazing. Arielle, let's hear a little bit about you and your business.
I'm Arielle, and my brand is The Pretty Cult. I am a kind of like Michelle I do everything but I'm predominantly a clothing designer and screen printer. all my stuff is made here in LA. Everything is very inspired by Tarot, witchcraft, and rock and roll I like to say my brands for the rock and roll which um so yeah, similar I'm you know, I have a an actual web store. I'm on Instagram, all the social media and when it's not a pandemic, I also do a lot of events. I do a lot of music festivals, tattoo conventions, stuff like that. So yeah, predominantly, clothing and apparel as well as in the past year really expanded into like homeware and candles and things like that.
Amazing. And Alex, I think everyone knows Alex has been on this podcast many times.
Thank you. But my name is Alex Camacho. I'm the owner and designer of Acid Queen jewelry. Say silver is also mostly one of a kind and production work silver and gemstones and it's very much about like the metaphysical properties of the gemstones and like bringing the power within all my customers and making them feel like confident and empowered and beautiful. So um, yeah, I'm I'm in Idlewild California I was gonna say LA and I'm like I'm not there anymore. Unlike the other two you will not find me at many shows because I don't do a ton but I will be at as many as I can in the coming future. You can also find me on Instagram as the @acidqueenjewelry and acidqueenjewelry.com
Instagram as @acidqueenjewelry
We got it. Well. The show notes are good. Okay, so we got a little background about your business. Alex came to me because I know Alex very well. She was in our Momentum program for a couple of years. Her business grew too mandus Lee during that time, I'm so proud of her, because she's just a total rock star and like putting herself out there. And she came to me about this conversation about plagiarism. She said, Tracy, would you be interested in having a conversation? I know some other people who have had people rip them off just like me. And we want to start this conversation. So Alex, why don't you give us a little background about what kind of inspired this?
Yeah, so actually, I'm in an Instagram pod with other makers that we all know, within our group of community of artists. And I actually had DMed my one friend, and I was pissed off, because she had commented on this other girl's Instagram of things that like I had made before, and I like looked at all her past stuff. And I'm like, no, like, I don't make this stuff anymore. But this is how I started. And she's kind of like, taking my trajectory. And it just kind of happened previous, like a couple weeks before that someone else had blatantly stole a design that I actively sell. And I confronted them. And I'm always really nice and everything. But anyway, so I was talking to my friend, and then she's like, you know, I've been thinking about bringing up this, I've been having these conversations with a lot of other artists, in all different realms of like makers, whether it's jewelry, or clothing, design, pins, art, prints, everything. And she was like, this is like a larger issue. And I think it'll be a really good, like, great opportunity for everybody to be able to discuss it.
And by opening up this communication, and like, really bring this conversation to light, like maybe it will help other designers, it will help to bring awareness, and it will help to bring us together in a way that like, we can be more positive about it, as opposed to accusatory or anything like that. And so that's where it was born. And that was done by our friend Lindsay and she's amazing. She's amazing artists. So when her give her the credit for that, and she put it all together, she brought all of us together, and we did a week long campaign where we were speaking about all kinds of different things are different experiences. And I really think that you know, with some negative comments here, and there, it actually was so uplifting and amazing. And it really like just made me feel so solid with this community. And it you know, with all the struggles that I have with Instagram, there's so much positive that can come out of it, too. Yeah, that's really what we try to focus on with that.
That's amazing. So Arielle, why don't you tell us a little bit about what happened to you.
My situation was a little bit different than Alex's I've had everything. My brand is very heavy artwork rise, right? tarot cards. In addition to my own design, I do a lot of tarot cards, a lot of my own art. And I've had my first instance was a straight design exact replica. It's a slogan that's very, very popular in my brand, that I am currently actually, the process. It's almost done, I own the trademark, so you can't use that slogan. I'm down to my color combinations, I sell it on a couple of different types of products, color combos, just completely took everything I'm in. And that was my first time of really being like, Oh, wow. And the reason I found it is because a customer time to me thinking it was mine, like being nice. And giving me a shout out was like, can't wait to buy this. And I was like, that's not mine. Where did you get that? Um, so, you know, that was that one was hard. And I did go through the process of reaching out. And sadly, in that situation, that person was not very, wasn't very kind about it. And also, you know, one thing I think, maybe a lot of newer business owners don't realize is that there are things such as trademarks, and copyrights. And that's something I as myself from the beginning to now anytime I have a new idea, I do my research, always do my research, has it been done? Is there something similar?
You know, if if it has been done, at this point, I don't approach it at all. If I'm not really seeing something, you know, or maybe there's something similar. I think Alex said this, which was amazing. If you're inspired by something, you have to make sure you make three different adjustments, at least, to make it your own. And I definitely feel that I follow that as well. Um, so that was that one really sucked to be honest. And navigating that and dealing with a trademark and stuff like that. Um, and then the other kind of more ongoing thing is the Tarot arts, my Tarot art gets more and more often is just being taken and used wherever people feel. And I understand that when might be a bit confusing, because Tarot, there's so many tarot cards and so much Tarot art in the world.
However, you know posting or sharing is different than using it for monetary value. The most recent issue was I sell a lot of patches. That's kind of how my brand started how a lot of tarot patches and I guess, people don't understand that just because you buy the patch doesn't mean that you just go put it, make it into whatever and sell it as your own. Because you are selling a copyrighted piece of art. And so that's something I is really new for me. And I've had to like navigate all of my designs are copyrighted. But just kind of having that conversation. And the one person who did did that actually was I reached out to them privately. And the person was actually super receptive, apologetic, and it was like, I didn't even think of that.
She thanked me. Actually, she was like, thank you for educating me, I did something like this just didn't even cross my mind. I just saw this beautiful piece and wanted to put it on something and sell it. And I'm like, No, like, I appreciate like, it was a very positive conversation. She was like you actually she even wrote me back like a few days later, and was like, I just spent like, the past three days, like researching what copyright is, and how you can copyright and stuff like that. And I was like, that's great. You know, like, I'm not trying here. I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad about themselves or, you know, but it was really awesome that she was willing to educate No, aside from apologizing and educate herself and be a better business person by eight. She knows how to protect our own self now with copyright, but also not infringing on others.
Thank you. And Michelle, what was your experience like?
My experience? I'm very much piggybacking on Arielle on my work is copywritten. I do a lot of like, dark content inspired by the Macabre in history and things like that. And one of my more popular like subjects that I've been doing for a long time since my brand started in like 2012 is the subject of plague doctors. And they are something from history. But these are very much my drawings of them. And they are copywritten drawings, of course. So the one particular thing that has Pun intended plague to me has been my head down her heart. I do enamel pins, and I have a particular enamel pin design that's that's fairly popular and for a while was the only one up on Etsy actually have a plague doctor.
So I imagine that's why he he got a little bit of traction. This, you know, my own drawing. This guy, mostly, last year, ironically, has been ripped off and posted up on certain websites I won't name that are mostly like scam oriented shops that you just need to pay and they're up. And overseas like wholesale buying websites, I'll say that they they've been jacking like just the review photos from my Etsy and posting them up as their shops own like reviews and selling. I don't even know that people are getting the pin or they're just being scammed, but it's awful. And unfortunately, with those type of things, like it's kind of like a Hydra, you cut off one head, then you report them or whatever. And like three more pop ups. So I've been myself just trying to educate people like hey, you know, this is where you get it from. This is the original product. I have authorized distributors and sailors and shops, sailors, salespeople and shops. And, you know, that's where you can get it. And honestly, that's the best thing I can do. I can't lose too much sleep over it. Because sometimes those things are just kind of out of your control and you're just kind of deal and hopefully people learn, you know.
Yeah, so I want to ask you guys because Alex said something in the initial interview, or the initial interview, the kind of recap of what was going on, because about a difference kind of between copying, and plagiarism versus like being inspired by something. So what are your guys's thoughts and you guys can just choose who goes first here if anyone has anything to say, Oh, yeah, go for it. Okay, so
I was gonna say, in reference to what Arielle was talking about with the the rule of three, and I don't even I'm sure I heard it somewhere. But I also thought that I came up with it. You know, and it's been a philosophy that I actually have hold on to you since I started, and I was listening to a podcast yesterday with this graphic artist, and he's worked with a lot of different companies. And he referenced his book called Steal Like An Artist. I have not read it. So but he was talking about, like, the premise of the book. And what it is about is basically like, how are you inspired by an artist, or as an artist by other artists, and then you use that as inspiration, but you don't steal that exact design. And it kind of plays within that idea of the rule of three, like when I would buy I started with found object jewelry, I would get like charms from downtown LA, all this different stuff. And I was like, let's say I have like a snake charm, you know, like, I would have to drill the hole at the top, you know, change the orientation, cut this thing off, like, I had to do three things to make it my own, so that even if someone got that same charm and did the same thing, that it wouldn't be maybe the same three things that I did, or it would be differentiated. And so I think the whole premise is like, you can take inspiration from so many different places. But the important part is that you're always putting an aspect of yourself into it, because that's what makes true art. That's what makes authentic art. And I think that I'm well I'm so honored to be surrounded by so many authentic artists, because it's like, it blows my mind how much creativity like everybody has. And I think that if we're always trying to, like play with that rule of like, you know, make it your own, put a part of yourself into it, that we will always as artists be able to avoid blatantly stealing from somebody, you know, even if it's by accident, you know. So that's my,
That's super powerful. And I love the conversation about inspiration. Because, you know, if you're making it your own, by doing the changes are the three things that like really make it your own. But it's really like Robin and I used to say that's when we start to Flourish and Thrive like a circle is a circle is a circle is a circle, like every circle was invented, the wheel was invented, like so long ago, and you don't own a circle, like just because you make jewelry with a circle circular element doesn't mean that that that someone ripped you off, it's your interpretation of the circle. Right? So in how you make it your own. Michelle and Arielle, do you have anything else to add to that?
At the end of the day, everyone has this unique filter and perspective to life, I'm going to go off, you'd mentioned a snake charm. Let's the subject of a snake. How I execute a drawing of a snake is going to be different from how Arielle may execute a drawing or interpretation of a snake versus Alex like, there's just because as you say, a circle is a circle. You can be inspired, and flood yourself with images of inspiration, like you know, just because something inspires you and makes you want to draw that subject doesn't mean you're plagiarizing it because it's your own filter. But if you're straight up copying linework that's that's a different problem. So that's, that, to me is like plagiarism versus inspiration.
I totally agree. I have a funny one because I make a lot of all black clothing. And at the end of the day everyone has made, there's so many all black clothing brands. And I've actually gotten to the point for me to make sure that I'm not even subconsciously, you know, I'm seeing images, and I don't realize that I'm inspired and then I make something and it looks very similar that I don't even follow accounts sometimes that are within the same aesthetic or similar because I don't want to be accidentally too closely inspired to something because some of what I do you know, anyone there's so many black dresses in the world, you know.
But similar, as Michelle said, like the tarot art. Part of the reason I loved her art so much is because everyone has their own interpretation. If all four of us made our own lovers card, every single one is going to be different. No, even though it's the same subject, because we all are inspired differently, or that card has a different meaning to us entirely. So I do think there's nothing wrong with being inspired by other people. And it's what keeps us like fed in a sense as artists. But also I try not to be too precious with my art. A direct ripoff is a direct ripoff, but I try not to be too precious with it because I'm like at the end of the day. It's just art. It's my, my you know how I feel about it. And if someone else is inspired by that great of course, please don't direct rip off but if I'm being you know, inspiring you that's awesome. Just be mindful.
Yeah. 100% I think it's really funny if you're listening to this audio. You're not seeing this, but we're all wearing black right now. kind of funny if I was wearing like hot pink or something and very clear. Um, okay, so earlier, you all kind of mentioned like how you reach out to someone, like, let's say you suspect someone's kind of copying you. What's some advice that you would give people to like actually, like authentically reach out in a way that doesn't put them on the spot. And I want to give you some context here. When I first started my jewelry line, or like in the earlier days, so this is probably like about five or six years in, I was still living in San Francisco, I landed this account called the Sundance catalog. And I got a cease and desist letter from a maker who said that I copied their work because that Sundance picked up a piece of my jewelry that looked like theirs. But it was a theme that was kind of happening in time, like, Indian architecture was really popular. And it was a huge trend that was going on. And so I designed this marquees ring, a designer accused me of ripping theirs off, I never even heard of this person before. And they're trying to like sue me for doing nothing happened. Like it never went anywhere. Because in the note, they said that they were going to notify the the Sundance catalog, and I was kind of like, this is a new account, like I need to make sure that they know that I'm legit, Sundance and to do anything, they're like, this happens to us all the time. People think they're ripped off all the time. Like you're good, don't worry about it. And we continue to very long relationship after that with many, many designs and stuff like that. But so like when you're reaching out to someone like what what's your process for kind of doing that? If you are, what has it been if you suspect you're being kind of ripped off? Or you might have the best way to
I'm gonna be super honest, I've done it the wrong way. And I've done it the right way.
Okay, let's hear the wrong way
And the right I'll be honest about the wrong way. And the wrong way is blasting them on social media don't do it. Reaction been hurt. We in in for the exam, the context of this on this was the direct direct rip off. Okay, so naturally, I was very hurt, I was very reactionary. And I did reach out and I just said, This is my design, I would appreciate it if you took it down. All items with this design need to be removed, I do have a trademark and process. As you can see, I've had this design I gave him the date that my design came out that it uh, however, in the wrong way of doing it, I did not wait for the response because I was so upset, I put it on story and I said, I tagged and said this person is ripping me off. And naturally the followers went to the page. I do not recommend that. Even though your followers love you and think that they are defending you. The bad part of it is it comes off unintentional or not as bullying and obviously never ever advocate for bullying. So I as upset and as horrible if they give you a horrible email and rude response back. Never ever boss them. Never ever do it. So that was the bad way. The good way was I private message. I came in with a very nice tone. And I just said you know I so appreciate I went the other way kind of killed them with kindness. I said, I'm so appreciative that you were inspired by my Tarot design to make what you did out of it. However, the issue lies that these are copyrighted designs, and you did not make the item for personal use. You made it for your company and you're selling it and monetizing off of it and tagging me so it almost looks like a collab that I signed off on it, but I'm not making any money. I don't know about it. Unfortunately, this is infringing on the copyright laws, and I would appreciate it if you take it down. And that was met naturally with a much better response. My third one is I went the nice way. And they refused to respond to me. So I was giving it some time. Thankfully, Instagram took down but it was and but had they not I would have had I would have had to have a lawyer reach out. So I've had all three, all three variants on that one.
Alex or Michelle, do you have anything else that any experience with this or having
So I've had many conversations like this from the very beginning to now. And they've been different conversations conversations where I realized that I'm making something super similar to somebody else. Totally unknowing. And then I reached out to them and I was like, I don't know what to do, like, do you think this is okay? Are you okay with this bah blah. And I was also met with somebody who's not very nice. You know, like, that was that situation? I've had many situations where I've reached out to people, always private, always, like, non accusatory, listen, this is a business, this is what I do I understand you may have been inspired by me. Or maybe you don't know of me, but this is this design. I made it this date, you know, here's my documentation. But unfortunately, unlike both area, Arielle, Michelle, I can't copyright a lot of my stuff. And this was an issue and a discussion that came up within that week that we're in the comment section.
Of course, there's always a contrarian and I actually private message this person on my own because I wanted to explain my experience, it's like, well, as a graphic designer, or as someone who makes something that's like printing or clothing, like there's certain things that you can copyright as a person who makes 40 like, I mean, 80 to 91 of a kind pieces of jewelry a month, in addition to pieces that, I don't know, if they're gonna work out, I don't know, you know, like, there's so much risk with me copywriting my stuff, monetary wise, that it's not worth it for me as a business to do that. So it's like, from my end, I don't have as much recourse, but that's why these conversations are really important.
And so most of the time when I have reached out these people have been super nice. And like, I didn't even know I'm super sorry, I'll sell this one. And then I won't make it again, not a big deal. And then some people, like I said, I've been like, you know, I've had one person that says, why would even copy your jewelry, it's not even that cool. So like, you know, and here's the thing is, like, I have to at the end of the day, just like Arielle, I have to say, you know, it's art. And I started off making one of a kind jewelry to protect myself in this way. Because no one can do as many pieces as I do looking exactly in the same realm, because that's what I do, you know, so it's having these conversations, all of these things, and just kind of, you know, working through every situation as it comes in the best way possible, having as much light and love and support as you can. And if someone is a jerk to you, they don't deserve your time anyways, you know, so it's like, we just have to always lead with kindness. And I think these conversations will get easier, but the more we discuss them as artists, then I think those things get less scary for other people, too, you know.
Thank you and Michelle, do you have anything else to add to that?
I mean, it's cathartic to talk about our, you know, was I think, as a group, we all agree that that that Artists Against Plagiarism group was kind of a nice like, Okay, I'm not the only one or this has happened. How do you deal with this? How do you talk about it? How do you educate these people who don't seem to understand and it's healthy to talk about those types of things and kind of vent and release as an artist. I will say I had one interesting experience. a year or two ago, I stumbled across. Somebody had done string art of one of my Plague doctor, paintings I had done like they, it was very interesting. Like, they took string and made it from nails back to back the art. And I'm like, wow, that's exactly my painting. And I kindly reached out to them, like, Hi, I don't know if you know, and they said, Oh, my friends got it off of, I think they said Pinterest or something. This image, didn't know where it came from thought it was public domain. It's not like, That's mine. And they were very lucky to
They have printed it out?
And then made art where they made this string art. Yeah. And they said they'd made one for themselves and for their friend for birthday, and they asked permission, can I still give this gift to my friend for their birthday? No, that's it. And I'm like, yeah, that's fine. And they're like, can I send you one? So they actually made one for me and sent me one. I thought that was really nice. It could have been a bad experience. But it was actually a really sweet experience like that. I'll end on that positive note. It was it was nice. I think.
Yeah, I just this just like reminded me of that, like I was on. I did this live stream with Cosmopolitan, like you're a couple years ago, like, right when Facebook Live kind of started as a thing. And there were a bunch of like, Cosmo, like, skews very young. And like their users are young. So it's like a lot of young people and I was like, sketching engagement rings, like, live there. And this one girl, she said to me later, she's like, Oh my gosh, I'm so excited to like, be here. I had my boyfriend like copy one. Wait, what can you do? I was like, Well, you know that this is that's like against the law, but I'm flattered, I guess I don't know, at the end of the day, I mean, like, what are you gonna do, it's like, the attorney fees would cost more than it would to actually like, get like paid for the ring. So a certain place you have to get. And so this brings me back to kind of what Alex said, you know, you can't copyright all your pieces like officially do it. Because there is something out there. Like if you once you put work out into the world, you own that copyright. But in order, I think what you were speaking about is having it registered because it costs a lot of money to have it registered.
Yeah, I was talking about yeah, because that's why Instagram is such an amazing tool, because it's basically like documentation of our stuff. And when we produce it, so like, for instance, there was one item, or when this whole discussion started with Lindsey, and I was talking to her about this artist, and I was like, No, she's like, making stuff that I'm like, let me show you as seriously, I sat for like, 10 minutes on my Instagram going back to like the beginning, which is like, like, 10 years ago. And I'm like, I sent a screenshot. I'm like, do you see I'm just like, oh, okay, like, I totally see what what you're talking about. But that's why I love Instagram, and why not only is it a tool for me to share stuff, but it's documentation, living documentation of like, my progression and my stuff. And when I've made it, and when I'm working on it, and all that different stuff. So it's super important to,
I think that's great. I want to know, like, what do you guys doing, like now to protect yourself from getting ripped off again? Or like, what are some actions or measures that you would recommend for other artists, because artists, designers, makers, whatever it might be, because like Alex said, it's a lot easier and more cost effective to copyright a piece of art that you're reproducing over and over again, on a painting or a T shirt or, or clothing or whatever it might be, that it is to copyright one of a kind jewelry, that's just like cost prohibitive, it's not going to happen. So what are some recommendations that you would give to people listening to this to protect themselves and their intellectual property?
Um, I mean, I really don't have a lot of tips to be honest, because at the end of the day, someone could still steal from me. And, you know, if it was a large company, I don't like there, I'm sure there's certain ways that I have to deal with it and things like that. But I think that just being you know, luckily, I have an amazing following. I'm amazing customer base, every single one of these instances, I have been notified by one of them. So it is you know, so I think that just really making a strong community, with the people who follow you so that they want to protect you and like educate you just as much as like, you want to do the same for them. And then I think just for me, personally, I would just say you have to handle every situation as it comes. And just have a super open mind open heart and be able to confront the situation when it needs to be confronted. Always be nice, and you know, be open to what the other person says, but also be strong and and really, like Be confident behind the work that you're producing. So that's my advice.
I love that. Michelle Arielle, do you have anything
I would say for a business owner who's maybe more in my, my field than Alex's copywriting do do do it. go the right way. If you're able to, I will say thankfully, copyright is much more cost effective than trademark. Trademarks are very expensive. But I understand that is not an option for a lot of people. But for copywriting, they actually do allow you to do up to 10 images under one filing fee. So a lot of people don't know that. I learned that. So when I started doing online, so if that's something that you're able to do, it just really will protect you and make you feel a little and you'll sleep a little easier at night just knowing you have that official paperwork from the government to protect you should you ever need to unfortunately, you know, contact someone or get a lawyer. I also know that if any one listening runs Google ads, and Google actually will allow you to submit your paperwork. They can't control Google Images, because that's just there would be no way. However, if you are somehow involved with Google ads, you can submit paperwork I just learned this like last week. And if another company like some of these more scam ones, try and upload, it will automatically trigger and it won't allow them. So there are the ways to protect yourself if you have, if you have a type of business where you're able to do that, you know, like illustrations, or you do, you're the first one to literally think of something, you'd be surprised and you're searching and nobody has that idea. Or you've never seen it, you can copyright it. Um, our friend Lindsey did that actually shows these rod collars, and nobody had it, like in the color combos, nothing, and she was able to copyright it. Um, so yeah, and like Alex said, Instagram is great for that paper trail. That physical proof but those dates you know, if you ever if you ever need it, so.
Yeah, I would just basically like, what are they I was selling because I do prints and illustration based things that are, you can easily copyright like in bulk or single images. Definitely do that. Especially if it's like something that's near and dear to your brand. Please do that. It will save you like so much sleep. Yeah, I mean, I'm still learning as I go. Actually, I feel like I just learned a lot from Arielle right now. I don't know if I have much else to add to that. But um, do your homework, um, you know, but they help keep you protected.
Do your research, I love it, do your homework, do your research. I love it. Any final words of advice to I guess the best way to put it is because like you're all experienced designers and makers. You've been doing this for a long time. So I know that when people are starting out in any industry, right, they're looking for inspiration and grasping at straws. Like any any final words of advice to people who are feeling inspired by others to help them keep their, their designs or their process clean. So they're not accidentally ripping someone off.
Um, you know, I think I was talking to my husband about this the other day, and I was like, you know, I'm about to this podcast and all this stuff. And we're talking about it. And I was, you know, I used to look at other jewelry designers. And when I was in metal smithing classes and everything, I would try to remake things that I had seen, but it was more to like test my skill level and to test like, where I was, like, let's see if I can do this. And looking back, I wish I would have had the foresight to reach out to those designers, if I had the option to just be like, hey, like, you might not ever see this again, or like ever before. But can I like just try and like remake your design is like a, you know, a sample or whatever.
Because what if I did put it on Instagram, and someone saw that, and then their heart, you know, they freak out because somebody is copying them, or something like that. So I think that, um, you know, if you want to, like try something out, or you want to whatever it is just for you, I think that's totally fine in the exploration of inspiration. But I think that there's a huge difference of when you start to try to make money off of something. And the first thing that I always do if I have a new idea, like with my crystal ball necklace, I looked high and low, when I first designed that does somebody have something like this, and you know what they didn't, and I made it and I love it. And I still saw it to this day, it's been a very long time. And I did the research and made sure that it did not exist. And I think that just like a combination of doing your research, if you're going to make money off something, it has to be your own, put a little bit of yourself into everything you do. And I think that you'll stay on the right path. And if you ever do have a question of someone that you're inspired by, just reach out to them, because I guarantee they're super nice and super helpful. And they're going to be like so honored that you're inspired by them if you have a question about something, too. So that's my final thoughts.
In regards to advice for people for starting out. Um, you had mentioned, funnily enough, Alex about wanting to, like, use somebody else's work as as a learning tool. And I think that's, that's really interesting and makes me think back to I took like one art class in college. And they made us like, copy one of the Masters like you had to mimic one of their paintings, it was an assignment. It's not like you were going to sell it and make money off of it. But I think it's a very good tool that like if something inspires you, you can use that as a tool. But the minute you start making money off of something that's not yours, that's the problem. So you want to find your voice, and it takes time to find your voice. And some of the best advice I was ever given was from a professor who said don't expect anything the first five years of whatever you're doing, it takes time, dedication, and your journey will change you what you think might have been your artistic voice might be something very different in a few years. And it's just just go with it and explore. That's all I could really say.
That's definitely true. Well, I want to thank you all for being here. Where can everyone find you Michelle? You want go first.
Yes, you can find me on Instagram @batinyourbelfry or Etsy baton, your BatinYourBelfry.etsy.com Yeah, that's where you find me. that's where you find me.
I'm on Instagram, good old TikTok, Facebook, all of that. And the website, everything is just at The Pretty Cult and ThePrettyCult.com
And same for me, you can pretty much find me anywhere. AcidQueenJewelry and acidqueenjewelry.com and thank you so much for letting us discuss this topic today.
You're so welcome. I'm glad that you brought it for me like it. I love it when people pitch me ideas. So if you're listening, and you want to pitch me an idea, pitch it because usually I'll say yes. Thank you ladies.
Thank you so much for watching the show today. If you enjoyed what you heard today, make sure that you like this video, and in the comments below, share with me your biggest takeaway that is huge. Plus, I would also love to invite you to take the next step with your jewelry or product business. If you're struggling to kind of get reach the right audience and get out there and or scale your sales online and off building a strong multi channel business. I would love to invite you to apply for a free strategy audit. On that audit, we're going to take a look at the goals that you have for your business. So we'll cast a really big vision for the next three years, take a look at what it is that you're trying to create in your business, then we are going to take a look at what you're currently doing and identify what's going on and what is supporting that and what is not supporting that.
One of the things that I've noticed with the thousands of jewelry designers that I've supported over the years, is a lot of times they keep trying different things. And they're trying to get traction in their business, but they don't understand where the gaps are, where the problems are in their business that are preventing them from actually reaching those goals. So the objective of this strategy audit is to take a look at your current strategy and help you identify what needs to shift and change in order for you to kind of reach those big goals that you're trying to achieve. So once we do that, we're going to identify what needs to happen in order for you to reach those goals to move forward. And if it makes sense, we'll invite you to join us in one of our programs. And if that sounds good, and you'd like to learn more, head on over to flourish thrive academy.com forward slash strategy for more info today. Thanks so much. This is Tracy signing off. Until next time,