I have a quick question for you and am curious to what everyone thinks...
Back story: A comment (not directed at me) was posted on a friends facebook page inquiring about the drama and anger towards people creating similar items (whether for sale or just personal use wasn't clear so I can't speak on that).
So that brings me to ask the question: Do you think it's wrong for someone to create something similar to an item already being sold?? I of course think it is wrong to create an exact duplicate of someone's work. I also think brand new original creative ideas are best but after selling awhile you start to wonder if there really are any brand new and creative ideas. Even if they aren't sold on Etsy, they could be sold on a dozen other selling venues, craft fairs, etc...
There is no need for me to admit I sell similar items to other items being sold. I have never stolen someone's work but looking at photographers pictures especially on Flikr (thanks Ciara) I have definitely been inspired by items.
Is 1 person selling a particular item enough? Can 1 person reach every buyer in the world? Would that 1 person make it to everyone's liking, workmanship, colors, etc... Enter patterns.... does 1 person write patterns the way everyone likes them written?? I know I have bought a dozen patterns that I hated the way they were written, didn't make sense or my biggest pet peeve....having all of the sizes written together with the larger sizes in parenthesis such as
" ch 3, dc in next 2 (4, 6, 8)"
Man I hate when patterns are written like that...BUT I am sure other people prefer it. So is it wrong to write a pattern for a baby cocoon when there are already a bunch for sale? Is it wrong for 10 people to sell sock monkey hat patterns?? Hmmm....my opinion on this exact example. NO, because that 1st person surely didn't create the sock monkey and then decide selling it as a hat would be a great plan.
This is weighing on my right now. I am getting ready to release a frog hat pattern. There are a lot of other frog hats and even a few patterns for sale. Do I think mine is cuter? DUH ;) Mine has 3D eyes, and additional work to make it look much more boutique, complete, and cute. I make a bear hat, so do a dozen other people. I make a stocking cap, so do a dozen other people. I have had a lot of people request an owl hat. I have designed it in my mind and just need to put it in the yarn. A dozen other people make owl hats as well. Do people care if I make them as well? Well, people selling them probably do. I have stopped looking at how many of us sell similar items and just have to trust my shoppers will be happy with my patterns and will come back.
So what is your opinion???
Do I create these items or just let people shop elsewhere?? If I have people requesting them from me it must be for a reason right??