Now back to Socrates and how a recent discovery stopped me in my tracks. This discovery left me angry, violated and helpless.
Perhaps this reflection can help to channel the frustration we creatives feel with such situations occur and to educate consumers. I will begin with the background story.
Betty Ottesen Sewing, later to be branded as HipNotions Tool Belts, went online in 2010. I had been preparing my first design to launch way before that date. I had to learn the workings of the internet and computer which could just as well been a foreign language! The first design was launched and soon I was working with other professionals all over the United States via the the internet. Hundreds of tool belts were sewn and test marketed. Of the thousands sewn by me, five designs were selected for manufacturing. Hiring fairly paid and highly skilled American workers was important to me. It is not so profitable but doable. Finding a professional sewing manufacturer was a challenge. I had to discontinue the first manufacturer who soon fell short of quality construction. There are many steps and extra start up costs before production even begins. Lots of unpaid time on my 10 year journey to manufacturing.
So imagine finding one of my manufactured designs for sale on Amazon by a foreign company last week. They had been at it since 2017. They did not bother to change one stitch, pocket or story about their copycat design! They do not mention the fabric content. Their retail is my cost. It is hard to compete with offshoring. Yes I tried to contact Amazon. It seems they are not interested in stopping copycats or promoting American made products or at least show casing them. So buyers be ware if you value quality and American jobs. Check the source. If the product looks identical to the more expensive product, it is most likely a copycat. American made products are more expensive due to the labor costs and quality construction and materials.
I can not teach anything to anyone but I hope this will help you to think about all artists, their skills, knowledge,creativity and perseverance in bringing a new product to market. Thanks for your consideration.