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{Copy Cats} Stolen Designs

Why the grumpy face you ask? I can only think that he must be responding to my stress level these days. The holiday rush of Christmas orders, the long lines at the post office & the overwhelmingly sad and staggering recent events in the news are enough to make me a bit on edge. But add a large, South Korean company stealing KLTworks designs and it’s enough to make me a little bonkers with frustration. I’ll be honest, after events this last Friday, I didn’t even want to say anything about this issue because it really didn’t seem that important in comparison and I didn’t want to add to the stream of bad news. But I know I need to say something – so here it goes…
There is a large, South Korean company called The Jany that seems to be making a habit of stealing independent designers and small shop’s designs. I found out on Thursday from a favorite blogger and KLTworks supporter that while she was looking up some Seventy Tree designs that had been stolen by this company, she found that my kitty tee was ripped off. 

Wow, she wasn’t kidding. This favorite KLTworks design was one of the first drawings I had screen printed on tees back in 2007. It’s actually a drawing of our cat Kiki. As I scrolled down the page, I noticed that my owl and rabbit drawings were also stolen! It’s hard to make sense as to why large companies feel the need to steal from smaller designers. I’m sure if they put their heads together someone within their company could come up with some interesting ideas, wouldn’t you think? It’s an integrity issue that is all to common. The internet is an amazing place- I love all of the opportunities that it brings, but it’s also is a breeding ground for situations like this to happen. 

While spending some time on The Jany website a few things were clear. They are very vague about contact information and I could easily find at least eight other designers that had their designs ripped off.  The list of designers that The Jany has stolen from is getting longer …

While companies overseas are more difficult to work with and abide by different copyright laws than we do in the US, there are some things that we as designers and owners of small shops can do to make a difference. Some of the artists I mentioned are keeping in contact  and supporting one another in efforts to putting a stop to this company’s stealing. By working together we can hopefully get The Jany’s attention. A “cease and desist” letter is in the process of being drafted as well. Social networking is proving to be extremely beneficial too. In the short time after Stacie (Gingiber) posted her blog post on this subject, she noticed that The Jany had removed her design (the red fox plush) from their site!

Here a few things you can do to help if you are interested:

Write to The Jany directly and complain about their business practices. Their email is enhelp@thejany.co.kr

Utilize the power of social media and share this story everywhere so our chances of getting our products removed from this site increase.

Write a review on their website– you can post it under the stolen design while mentioning that the design is stolen. *update 12/18- it appears that The Jany has made it a bit difficult to leave feedback due to the number of people that commented (thank you for your efforts). Apparently you need to make up a password now. 

Things like this happen all of the time, I know. A little different situation happened to me a few years ago- it leaves a person feeling helpless and violated. It’s so wonderful to have a network of fellow designers, and social media savvy friends at times like these. If you are an independent designer with a small shop, you might want to keep an eye on this company. Thanks so much for your support! It truly means the world to me.  -Kristin

* (12/20/12) Just a quick update: Everyone that wrote to The Jany, re-posted our photos, tweeted, blogged, or pinned-  please take a minute to give yourself a high five or a pat on the back-  anything that gives you a warm feeling. Hopefully you received a response letter from The Jany today. Because of all our collective efforts, they are now pulling all of the stolen designs from their sites & stopping production of the products in question. They were polite & understanding in their response to the feedback. I am still waiting for my letter & will update when I know more. Thank you, thank you from every part of my heart. I ‘m overwhelmed with gratitude & amazement. Social media is truly amazing… 

{Inspiration} Butterscotch & Beesting…

When I first saw these photos, I was immediately smitten. Then my eyes honed in on that hat! It really resonated with me. I could completely picture it on Sayer & was pleased when he said he liked it….

Yep, you guessed it, I ordered him the Betty Butterscotch “Bobblescotch” hat from Butterscotch & Beesting in  a heartbeat. But I have to say, the whole shop was so much fun to cruise through! I’m also in love with these pillows. Camilla Westergaard is one talented lady with such an imaginative vision. Not surprisingly, her blog is just as inspiring… 

Last week, the three of us headed out to one of my favorite spots for a little picnic (& a mini photoshoot). Here are some of my favorite shots of the day that just happen to include the very fun “Bobblescotch” hat. 

I thought the hat was so perfect for Sayer- it totally fits his personality. He got a such a kick out the little ball on the top (& so did we). I also really love how it looked with the new rooster & kitty tees! 

Happy weekend everyone!

Butterscotch & Beesting links: 

{Inspiration} balloons, a kitty, & a boy…

Last year I wrote a blog post about my love of the movie The Red Balloon. The post was written as a documentation of my first year blogging & the new banner my friend Chantale made for me using a Red Balloon inspired photo I took of Sayer on his birthday. The movie served as inspiration again for this recent photo shoot for the new klt:works kitty tee that I did with Sayer. Incidentally, the kitty on the tee is actually our kitty. I used a picture of her from when she was kitten (before Sayer was born) as reference- she was my first klt:works muse.

As always, things have been busy with lots of new products filling the shop – namely, lots of new kid’s apparel. Sayer is finished with pre-school for the summer & coming up with fun activities is at the forefront of my mind. It’s a total bonus that  I can put a new tee on him & head out on an adventure- with the camera in hand. It fits the philosophy & aesthetic of klt:works well to have real life snippets represented in the collection. Plus, (as I’ve mentioned before I know) I love taking photos of him. 

This was a fun Sunday for Sayer & I a few weeks ago. Our little downtown is nearly a ghost town on Sundays- 75% of it is closed. So after a trip to the party store, we headed downtown to explore. I always love the textures, colors & history in the alleys. I’ve gone through a handful of the doors we pass by over my lifetime. I grew up in this town. I left for college & graduate school – but then ended up back here. I’ve worked, watched movies, eaten at restaurants & shopped here for over 30 years. Weird to think really. Needless to say, I know it well & it’s fun to see it through Sayer’s eyes- better yet to document it. 

Thanks to all of you that stop by this blog now & then to read & see my thoughts. I really do appreciate it  & I’m constantly amazed at how many wonderful people that  I have met here. I look forward to another year of blogging!  Hope you are having a great weekend! 

** new blue kitty tee pictured : here