You Know What They Say About Imitation

I hope you know by now that I am a loyal supporter of local business. I have built more than one, I frequent many and I support them all. I believe small businesses make our towns and cities stronger in many, many ways.  So imagine my surprise when another local business starting incorporating my product line into their business as if it were their own.

It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I can see the truth in that. I didn’t think much of it when they started offering lip balms and whipped shea body butter in brown containers with kraft labels. I didn’t think it was cool but whatever.  They crossed the line, though, when they introduced a flower shaped lavender bath fizz with lavender flowers on top. A few days later I was talking to another small business owner when they told me, this same shop is purchasing a duplicate item that they offer from one their former assistants.

Out of respect for the business, I emailed them and asked them to consider creating their own versions of products that have become synonymous with my shop and other local businesses.  I have yet to hear a reply.  Additionally, over Christmas they took to Twitter and bashed another local business because they didn’t hand make their products, somehow implying that if it isn’t made here it isn’t local enough.  I replied to their post by saying that all business supports our community and local businesses should be working together.  Competition can be healthy when done with respect and ethical practices. I am not sure how I said this in 140 characters but I did and as expected I never heard back from that one either.

I am happy to be someone’s inspiration but please take that inspiration and create your own niche. That is the entrepreneurial way. That is why I am supporting Eilise and Fizzy Bella Boutique (like her on Facebook if you haven’t already). Eilise came to me with her ideas of where she wants to take HER shop. Fizz is her inspiration but she will taking her shop on its own journey.  I respect her for that. I encouraged her to use the flower shape for the fizzes, so don’t be alarmed when you see them in her shop. She does this with my blessing.  Notice the difference? She asked. Simple concept I know.

So, yes, I guess imitation is the sincerest form a flattery.  When used as inspiration that is. But using another person’s ideas instead of your own creativity, not so much.  I have purposefully not named the offending shop in this post so as to not draw attention to them. Just be aware when shopping downtown that if you buy a flower shaped fizz in any other shop than Fizzy Bella (or authorized local shops like Rainbow’s End – I am not sure of Eilise’s plan for wholesaling), you are supporting a local business that does not support other local businesses.

Please comment to show your support. Maybe we can help this business find their own way.  To comment, simply click here or on the title of the post and the comment section will be at the bottom of the page.  Thank you!