Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I feel like I need to write this morning to get some things off my chest as it's business related and all goes back to my baby, The Little Black Box.
My candle site, Whiff and Sniff Candles, has been in business since October 2005. It was my first love. I slaved away over that hot wax and yummy scent combos to make stuff for myself and all family at first. I learned a lot and remember even trying to sell my first batches - which totally sucked! Nearly 3 years later I don't have time for that business like I used to so this morning I decided to put the site for sale. The business has so much potential and I brought it so far and I know that someone could do wonders with it as it already has established traffic and customers...
Anyhow, 3 years ago when I was trying to figure out how to get it off the ground I found Amy Jagminas the old owner of The Little Black Box. She started TLBB also in October 2005 as sort of a spin off of her other website, Wickedly Chic. Wickedly Chic was like a online magazine that featured handmade stuff and readers started asking her for samples so that's when she started the site. I found out about her because I was a member of the bath and body board on Makeupalley and contacted her wanting to be in her boxes. Her business made my business grow and I was a regular in those boxes.
Come April of 2007 I get an email from Amy burnt out on the boxes wanting to sell it and I jumped at the task, purchasing the site. It was the best thing I ever did. Amy established the site following with her dream and then I took her dream and ran with it. Back in day there were only 3 sampler sites. Lemming Central, The Sampler, and The Little Black Box. These three businesses I full endorse and have even participated in with my candle site. The owners are witty, charming, and know fully well what they are doing. All three current owners are also new owners as the original owners sold the sites to us. We paid good money for the sites which were already established.
I can't tell you how many times a week I get emails from businesses I work with directing me to another fly by night sample business who has taken our business model and is now attempting to make it work for them. This week alone there's been two. They can't even be creative enough to find a different market to work in. Of course I'll even be directed to ones that take my entire html and change the colors or a few words here or there. It drives me insane! Considering that my box supports artists who value their work you'd think these businesses would get that and find a clue by not copying what others are doing. It's disgusting and unethical!! There's literally 15 other "sample" boxes on the net right now and each one has popped up after finding one of our sites and copied it almost word for word. We have red boxes, pink boxes, blue boxes, sample boxes, friendship boxes, fun boxes, box boxes, and cool boxes. Oh, and don't forget the cubes! At least the cubes thought of a word other then box - at least they were creative!!
What do YOU think about this? Am I off base? Do these businesses really know how much time and effort they need to put into a business in order to make it? I'm going on a year and a half as the new owner of the "original box" site and it's just now picking up steam because of the 12-14 hour work days I'm putting in on top of running a family. I literally laid in bed last night after sending a few choice words to another copy cat and wanted to scream because I work so hard to defend my business and come up with my own ideas and then I get directed to another copy cat.
Thankfully a few months ago I started the process to protect myself, my business and the income for my family. It's just frustrating that even when you send an email making the copy cat aware that you know they exist they send you an email back saying, tough. When does it end? When will people come up with their own ideas? Why would you want to start a business supporting artists who despise copy cats by copying someone else's business model. Thank goodness I'm not one for "outting" otherwise I'd be all over that. You guys know who I'm talking about. I urge you not to support businesses who can't think on their own. I urge you to not purchase from them. I urge you to not supply them with promo items. Show them that you won't tolerate it! I'd do it for you because I believe in you and what I do. SAY NO NOW!