Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Creative Estates {a word about competition}

{disclaimer...I've learned so much from this past weekend's conference that I'm going to share things with you all week}

One of the big topics from this weekend was competition. We touched on it in the sessions and during our last late night room party with a small group of us we talked about it too. Here are a few of my takeaways {and simply my opinions and how I deal}...
  • If you are a small business owner or blogger, you WILL deal with competition & copying.
  • Don't compare yourself to others and the success that they have. Set your own goals and see how you're doing with the goals you've set, not what others in your genre are doing or the success that they have. {thanks to Megan for this one!!}
  • It's inevitable that your idea is most likely not a new one. Handmade items have been around since the beginning of time. There are very few truly original ideas.
  • Sometimes there are coincidences. I was talking with another very sweet stamped jewelry artist on our last night and she told me that a few years back she posted a new item and that same day another artist posted the same item. Just recently two HUGE stamped artists posted nearly the exact same bracelet on the exact same day. Coincidence? Absolutely! There is no way that one copied the other in this instance.
  • Sometimes things are not coincidences. Sometimes there is blatant copying of products, blog posts, item descriptions (one of the blogs I follow had someone copy/paste an entire post of hers!). It happens, but that doesn't make it right. If this happens to you, you are the one who has to choose how to respond. There are times where I've swept it under the rug because it's not worth it, and other times I've confronted it with a horrible result. You have to decide if in the end confronting someone is worth it {most times, it's NOT}. Trust in positive intentions in all instances until you no longer can. Always think about what confrontation will accomplish...in many instances it doesn't accomplish anything except for hurt feelings and a sore stomach.
  • Just because someone makes similar or the same items as you doesn't mean you can't talk to them or network with them. I met a few stamped artists this weekend {like the lovely Heather} and I'm glad I did. They were sweet and encouraging and I feel like we could be friends despite the fact that we might be competitors with each other. Some of my new friends make the same items as other people at the conference. It's OKAY! Just make sure you're making your item your own and add your personality to it. 
  • If you don't want to deal with competition, don't have a shop :) It's inevitable.
  • Keep making unique items. Try new things. It's okay to fail, many times this is a step to success.
I'm sure I'll think of more takeaways, but that's all for now. I hope if you are a shop owner or blog writer that these help you today! Just be YOU - people will love you for that and follow you/shop from you as a result. 


    1. Well put, Amy. I'm sorry I didn't get to meet you at CE. I'm sure I would have liked you! --Sarah

    2. thanks for sharing! great post & insights :)

    3. Amy, this post so resonated with me! I wish I would have been in on your conversation. I feel the exact same way that you do. Unfortunately I've found that there are very few of us that feel this way about all the topics you covered above. My thought is focus on your own business, not someone elses and stay true to you. I can make the exact same cab earrings as someone else without copying, but the way they are represented in my shop screams 'april'. Staying true to yourself allows you to create in confidence. Don't worry about a competitor's shop. Have confidence in your own and you will shine.

      And, I love that we can be friends with our friendly competition...although I have found that it takes a certain level of maturity and some shop owners are just not quite there yet regardless of their age! That's a bummer.

      Wish we would have had time to chat at Creative Estates. Sounds like I would have really loved you! Kudos to you my new found like-minded friend!

    4. I am so glad that you prepared this post!!! I missed out on a lot of the conversations, but I couldn't agree more with the sentiment you expressed.

    5. Great post, Amy! I agree with everything you wrote!

    6. I love this post, Amy! I am maturing in my own right and finally feel confident enough in my own skills and products that I can enjoy others' success without worrying that it might interfere with my own.
      Thanks for verbalizing my own thoughts.

    7. So glad you posted this! I've been thinking a lot about the conversation we all had that last night there, and it just makes me even more determined to focus on making my shop the best it can be and to not worry about what others are doing.


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