The Downside of Blogging

"The Downside of Blogging"

When we started our blog, we were so excited to share our ideas and projects and work with you. We also were so inspired by so many other amazing and wonderful people and artists and absolutely love sharing their work and stories as well. As with most blogs, it took us a while to start growing and getting a readership, but as we did it just became so exciting! We’ve made some wonderful blogging friends, and we really started to enjoy blogging and sharing with our readers.

Although, over the past year or so, we have run into some upsetting issues that we never discussed publicly because we have always said from the beginning we wanted to remain positive, uplifting, gracious and true to who we are on our matter what. We really went back and forth on whether or not to write this post, but we feel that it is time to share how we feel. We have had actual products from our shop completely replicated and used for sale and profit. We have seen photos from our parties on other people’s websites with full credit taken for them and no link or credit given back to us, when they were literally photos that we took. We have seen our diy projects used with absolutely no credit given back to us.  We try very hard to create fun and easy projects that people will love and be able to easily replicate for their parties. But the least we ask for is credit to be linked back to us. We have even re-created projects that we have found to be fun, interesting, or have been inspired by and created them in our own style. However, you will always see a disclaimer at the bottom of our post that reads “this is not our original idea, it is just the way we choose to recreate it” and credit back to the original source.

We are both stay at home moms that do Icing Designs on the side as a part time job. But between all of our orders, emails, keeping up with facebook, pinterest and our blog, it definitely seems like a full time job. We started Icing to have fun, sell our unique product, express our ideas and be part of an amazing community of artists and other bloggers. If we could inspire anyone along the way, then we feel like we have done our job. But over the past couple of months it has been hard to find the 'fun' in blogging! Our dear and amazingly creative friend Katie, {who is also a diy correspondent for some of our projects}, created the most amazing ruffled ice cream cone tutorial for a party that we did for my twins birthday this summer. We were blown away by the response from it. We were so excited that our readers love it so much; it was even pinned on Martha Stewart’s pinterest page! We have seen people starting to recreate them, which we were thrilled about because they always linked back to our tutorial. However, just recently we've seen replicas of them, one person taking credit for the idea and another shop that wanted to starting to selling them. The projects on our blog have always been intended for personal use only and not for resale and profit. 

We are sure we are not the first people that this has happened to and we are sure other bloggers have run into this problem.  We would love to have your feedback and learn how you’ve handled these situations. 

Please know that we struggled on whether or not to write this post, as we truly do just want this to be a happy place and a place for inspiration for our readers. We truly believe everyone is creative and has something special to offer, just...

{print by Emily McDowell available here }


Dear Lillie said...

I just wanted to pop in and let you know the noel sign you made for Lola's room is going to be in Better Homes and Garden's Christmas Ideas Magazine that comes out later this month! =) They photographed quite a few rooms in our home so I wasn't sure what was going to be included but I saw a proof and that was in it! So, unless something changes you will get to see it very soon! We gave them a VERY lengthy resource list of pretty much where every item in every room is from so not sure how much of that they will actually be able to include.

Also, after reading this post just thought I would mention that we loved that ruffled ice cream tutorial and linked to your post when we made them for our little ice cream stand this summer and always give people the link when they don't bother to read the post and send us an e-mail asking how to make them!

Hope you guys are doing well!

Candy and Cake said...

Wow!!! That is rude! I cannot believe the gall of some people. Blatantly steal others ideas and act as if they are their own. I am in a different field but can so relate. You start out with a dream and try to build it and they think, "I can do the same". Have even experienced this with friends and family and get no credit. Whenever I have blogged about a party I have held I always make sure to credit others ideas that have inspired me. Give credit where it is due I agree! Have enjoyed reading your blog and seeing your work!!!

Kristy {the purple pug} said...

Sigh. So disappointing that so many will do anything to get ahead. Seems to be epidemic as of late. Bummed for you, but keep up the fabulous. Your work shines and no one could ever recreate your sparkling works of art. xo

Rebecca said...

This is so dissapointing! And I know it to be so true! I am a wedding vendor who makes "extremely unique" items, and chose to help a friend make her dream wedding come true by teaching her to help me assemble some complete handmade items i invented, in order to save her the cost of hiring me. only to find out her very crafty mother is now making them. I have two children, and while i do love more than anything getting to be a part of a bride's special day, I also do this because I feel like it is the gift i have been given in order to help pay for food, school, etc for my children. It's a pain. And honestly it hurts - a lot! I'm not sure what I am going to do, but you need to post a disclaimer on your site. All your hard work, and loving dedication to the craft shouldnt have to come to this! Thank you as always, for your amazing inspiration and showcasing your talent with us!

Not Just A Mommy! said...

I absolutely loved the ice cream tutorial and watched it spread like wildfire everywhere! I know the excitement of wanting to share new projects, but it kicks me in the gut when people do take it and pass it off as their own. I've had a few sites pass my photos off as their own party photos, and not only does it rob from me, they are promising something they can in no way deliver to their clients. I'm so sorry that happened to you. Unfortunately, you may have to start putting a big old watermark on your photos. I'm seeing more and more of that cropping up, at first it seemed pretentious to me, but after going through it, I totally get. I love your work and faithfully share with full credit :)

Caroline said...

I am so sorry to hear that this has happened to you. I adore the ruffle ice cream cones by the way (as I love all of your fab things). As an artisan myself it's so hard when others take ideas and claim it as their own. I also understand your reluctance to write about it (I too only ever wanted to keep my blog a positive place, but eventually - rightly or wrongly did break and wrote a post about someone ripping me off). I think that telling your bloggers about this is the right thing. It's important that people realise the damage they do when they take other people's hard work and don't give the due credit. Maybe this will help people to realise it's not right. Please don't stop inspiring us all!
C xXx

Terri said...

I am so sorry that this is happening. Unfortunately it is happening everywhere. When it happens to me I try to think of it as flattery, they loved my work and then I also think they are just a little DUMB! Of course part of me is also a little happy when they recreate it and of course it isn't as good ;)
Please don't stop doing what you do, you are both amazing and super creative. xoxo

julie - eab designs said...

Wanted to first of all thank you for all of the inspiration you share on your site. It truly is one of my favorites. Also to encourage you to continue to strive ahead even when faced with the adversity of others taking credit for your work. Sadly, this happens often and I am always amazed how others can take credit for what is not theirs. Unfortunately, I have been faced with the same problems and it never gets easier when you discover someone claiming your photos as their own, or your work. As much as I dislike to, I've begun to place my business name on all photos I post which has helped somewhat. Wishing you continued success with your blog and please know that others appreciate your original content!

Cindy Lyles said...

Let me preface by saying I'm sorry this happened to you. It happens to all the greats, regardless of industry.

I believe giving credit is something that is learned - I think it was Einstein that said something along the lines of 'the secret of creativity is knowing how to hide your sources'.

In today's techno era Einstein's quote is almost impossible, and it is my opinion that hiding sources is in poor form - showing the world 'hey, this is where I learned this!' is a sign of maturity and confidence. Sure having one's idea borne from the soul and shared on another's blog is heartwarming; but the same feeling (to me) is found when I share ideas I have incorporated from others into my own work - and link whatever it is to that artist's work - that's building - and building is how we evolve and grow.

Building and growing leads to bigger and better things. Problem is the takers don't get this, and as usual, hinder growth. This makes the greats less likely to share. That's when we all lose.

Again, sorry this happened to you.

Linda said...

It is plagiarism and can be punishable by law. To steal and pass of (the ideas or words of another) as one's own or to use (another's production) without crediting the source is plagiarism.

What is Plagiarism? 9n.d.) Retrieved September 3, 2012, from

People, like yourselves, know it is happening, but feel powerless as to how to go about stopping it. And in this day and age, with the Internet access, it happens more frequently than people think.

I'm sorry this is happening to you. You really do have fun and cute ideas. Even if you put a disclaimer in your blogs about not copying the ideas without permission or crediting your site, you'd still have to take the time to keep an eye out for wrongdoers and want to go after them for not obeying.

Icing Designs said...

We want to thank you all for your comments. Again, we really struggled on whether or not to write this. Thank you for all of your support, we are going to move on and continue to share with our readers and hope you will share more with us too!! xoxo

Betsy Eves - said...

This has happened to all of us. It is unfortunate. But as soon as you hit that "publish" button on your blog... your idea is out there for the entire world to see. Not everyone has the same high standards, morals and values.

As a blogger, my philosophy is this: I created so that others can enjoy and be happy. My readers happiness is, in turn, my happiness.

If someone takes my idea, giving credit or not, and makes it them self, recreates it... I'm okay with that. It means they loved my idea enough to try it and make it their own. Yes, would I love the credit back... of course. But to be honest, it's just as flattering even if they don't say where they got the idea. Inspiration comes in all forms and places and I'm happy to be able to inspire others to create.

I'm sorry you're feeling like your ideas and creativity aren't being recognized properly... it's never a good feeling. But remember.... for those few who put a sour taste in your mouth there are hundreds of others who are sweet and loving and supportive and caring. <3 Focus on them and forget about the rest.

<3 Betsy

Modern Frills said...

I am so sorry this has happened to you. It is happened to me ... other shops have even used pictures of my own daughter in their shops while trying to sell my designs. It is so very frustrating.

I am a huge fan of your blog and love every bit of your party and diy inspiration. You are both so very talented!

Don't let the haters get you down!!!


Loralee Lewis said...

Melissa and Kellie,

Love you two! Sometimes it seems that everyone plagarizes my collections. My clients email me daily with links to Etsy store owners who have copied my designs. I ask myself, "What would a smart business woman do?" I then have my office manager send a forceful cease and desist letter from my lawyer. Get one and send it with no apologies! Detail in it what the person needs to do for you to be okay with their post, listing, etc. Let them know you mean business. If they do not comply, do not be afraid to act upon the letter. Even though your blog is not for profit, stealing your ideas effects your shop sales which in turn loses you money. After I do that, I put my head down and work harder, because there will always be copiers, it never ends - but the quicker I work, the harder it is for them to catch up! And the one thing a plagiarist can't duplicate is my work ethic and desire to create something authentic!
All my love and support,
Loralee Lewis

JĂșlia Herzog said...

It's always so frustrating to discover people's bad side... as Kristy said above, it seems to be the new way to do things nowadays, doing whatever you can to get ahead without considering all the effort someone else put into what you're copying. Well guys, I really hope you don't feel so let down to the point of not keeping your wonderful work up! You make me smile with every post and always inspire me :) Thanks so much and keep on rocking!

Jennifer said...

I'm a bit behind on reading my blogs, I was catching up today, scrolling through most of them quickly but this one stopped me short. My sister and I (also stay at home moms with a small business) are experiencing the same thing.

We had an individual (posing as a customer) contact us from our website inquiring about specific details on our product. About 4 months later she launched her own store with, you guessed it, our exact product but just an ever so slight change in the design to make it legal. Her website wasn't even original, she stole most of our copy and posed it as her own.

It's infuriating. It's unfair. It's maddening. Of course it doesn't stop there, every move we make she copies.

We have taken turns talking each other off the ledge, wanting to hire an attorney etc. But the reality is that it will rob us of so much of our energy that we should be putting back into our business. That's not saying it's off the table for the future but for now we are just focusing on working harder and smarter.

I am so sorry this is happening to you. I love your blog, love your ideas and tweet your links often! I wish the best for you and your fabulous business.

The Cupcake Tower

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