17 October 2011

Imitation; the sincerest form of flattery...

Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery?
I am struggling with this today. 1: because I fear I have been one to imitate in the past and 2: because I am the one who has been imitated today.

Okay so when I say I have imitated before I am really referring to what I consider being inspired by others and moved to act myself. Primarily I have done this in my young blogging life where I am trying to create content that is interesting, and important to me. Often times I have been inspired by something I read or saw on anothers blog and have always linked back to that blog for reference. Is this imitation? Is it flattering?

Now as the one who was imitated I am trying to decide if I am flattered or frustrated.
As some of you may know I own an art gallery  (Silver Bridge Gallery) in the small town I call home up here in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada. Two weeks ago I started a Christmas advertising campaign called '12 Saturdays Until Christmas'...it is something I did last year and am doing again. Each week on our Facebook page I post a gift idea from within our gallery which features original art and artisan made products. Just about everything in my gallery is handmade and it is my way of featuring the artists and artisans while possibly giving someone a light bulb moment for that hard to buy for individual. I digress...

I had a customer in the gallery late last week who was from an artists collective two hours north of us. We spoke about our businesses and I expressed a desire to go north and visit her in her business. As we discussed the importance of buying handmade I spoke about my little ad campaign and how it helped draw people in last year and I hoped it would do the same this year.

Here we are! 12 more Saturdays until Christmas...Time flies, so why not get ahead of the game?
Each week for the next 12 weeks, we will provide a gift idea for all the special people in your life.
This week we will start with wonderful jewelery by Adea Chung of Billy Would Designs.

Each unique piece is handmade using recycled and reclaimed hardwood.
Rescuing exotic hardwoods from various local woodworkers and factories
where the size of the wood is no longer usable for them.
Come in and see our selection of Necklaces and Earrings.

Silver Bridge Gallery...two rooms full of beautiful things.
Shop local...Save on gas!
 Following our exchange of information, I 'liked' her business on Facebook. I then logged into Facebook last night only to see a post from her business noting '10 more Saturdays until Christmas'. Now, by no means do I own the rights to this phrase, nor the idea , but I just felt it was a little obvious, and I felt a little sting when I read it. Kinda like a 'hey that was my idea' sting, a 'give credit where credit is due' sort of sting if you will.

11 Saturdays until Christmas...still lots of time, but why not get ahead this year!
This week we will focus on Potter Antje Gagne. Antje used to live in
Port Sydney and though she has moved to the Midland/Penatang area, we still claim her as local.
Antje's pottery has a refined rustic quality about it.
She creates amazing forms which are at once beautiful and functional.
From mirrors and birdhouses to vases and trivets to pie plates and serving bowls,
Antje has something for just about anyone on your list. Come in and see her great selection today.
Silver Bridge Gallery...two rooms full of beautiful things. Shop local...Save on gas!

It is of little consequence as her business is not competition for me, nor would it serve the same clientele so at the end of the day I have decided to be flattered that my idea is so good someone else decided to use it.

But it got me thinking and wondering am I causing a sting to someone else when I use their blog post as inspiration for my thoughts or opinions? I sincerely hope not. What do you think?

BTW...only 10 more Saturdays until Christmas. Please consider supporting your local merchants this Christmas, or choose to buy handmade, either way you will affect someones bottom line...and it won't be Wall Street's.

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe she would be so obvious in "stealing" your campaign idea. I have to admit that I've never been flattered by imitation, no matter what someone has said to try to soften the blow. Copying is copying and it does sting. Especially when it's done by someone you know in your own local area. Honestly, couldn't she think of an idea of her own?

    I had discovered on Etsy last year someone who had opened a shop and was mimicking the style of bags I was making in my shop and then pricing them lower. Etsy is a place where these things happen by people of the same thinking as this woman you met. Being inspired by a blog post is simply that, inspiration. Copying for potential profit, that's a whole other ballgame.


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