Sort of a personal post here...
I came across another "designer" that had an extremely similar product to one of my own. So much that I no longer questioned whether they were simply "inspired" by my work or whether they were flat out stealing. And it led me to a few thoughts that I would like to share.
When you purchase from Two Seaside Babes, you're not supporting a giant business or a rich CEO. You're supporting a single mom trying to raise her 2 children. You're putting food on the table. Clothes on my kids backs. Paying the bills. We don't go on fancy vacations. And dress in brand name clothes. Or drive a luxury vehicle. We make do each and every month. We have amazing customers, fans, and supporters to thank for that. We will always be grateful to each and every one of you for bringing us to this point and pushing us forward.
Competition is inevitable. I'm not naive to this. However, I'm not naive about the methods some will go to in taking the easy road in life, and the harm that it can cause.
When someone steals/borrows/is inspired by an idea, a product, a photo, or any such work from an artist, an artisan, or a designer, they're stealing just more than that actual item. They are stealing customers away from that business. They are stealing sales away from them. They are stealing food. And clothes. And the ability to pay the bills.
So, as an artist, an artisan, or a designer, think twice about where you inspiration comes from. And if you get a twinge of guilt from feeling like maybe your product is too similar, then it is. Stealing from your competitors is not only creating more competition for the designer you stole from, but also for yourself.
For those who have been the "inspiration" for others, remember, great artists, artisans, and designers will always be one step away ahead of those that copy, steal, imitate, and cheat. Never rest on your laurels. Never get discouraged. And always be the innovator!