Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The original Market Bag

I want to publicly say thanks to Anda from Etsy, who did a great service to me this morning (click here for the link). It feels really great to get this recognition - I've worked hard to develop Moop and am proud of what its become. I've felt uneasy seeing many similar designs out there and its really nice to be credited for making the original Market Bag. I'm dedicated, invested, trained and motivated and have become a perfectionist since starting this small company of mine. So, you should know, when you buy a Moop bag, you're getting only the best!

I'm working hard to grow my company in a dynamic way that strives to address problems of labor within textile production through products that are beautiful, functional, extremely well made and produced in a way that I hope makes tiny steps towards making the world a better place. I still make each and every bag that comes out of here. I sew for long long hours everyday. I also research, source materials, answer emails, problem solve, photograph, design, troubleshoot, package, mail, model, manage the bookkeeping, tend house, raise a 10 year old (and a husband) (both of whom are wonderful in tending to me). I love what I do. And, as I grow, I hope to add a few employees who will also get to work in a fantastic, creative and rewarding environment. I'm so looking forward to the day I can employ other women with kids, and provide a daycare so kids can be with their moms. I was a very young (19yrs. old) single mom for the first 6 years of Parker's life and it's hard work folks. I can't wait for the time when I can help a few other people in the way so many people helped me.

So, I've edited this since my initial post this morning. Some time and some thoughtful comments have made me reconsider my feelings. I agree with you all, there's space for all of us - everyone participating together in this network of independent making needs and deserves support. This is how we'll all be able to grow as a community and maybe together we can do something more than make a few tiny steps! Sew, on we go.

13 comments:

  1. well said. i noticed the knock-offs, but thankfully quality, originality and solid design all do stand out. salut!

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  2. I've been thinking how annoying that must be for you. Well said indeed!

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  3. Great point, but I think you can also think about it in a way that you've created an original item that inspires others to mimic your method because you've discovered such a great design! I'm a big fan of competition because without it, you can never improve, or even become the best in the market (because none would exist). Obviously, your purses are the highest quality and you're sitting on the top of that mountain of "market bags". :) If you never had copy cats, I wonder if we would appreciate the quality of your bags as much as we do when we can compare them.

    There will always be copy cats and even improvements on original designs (and we hope for that and even should encourage improvement), otherwise we wouldn't be where we are today in this world of great technology and wonderful products!

    Think of yourself as a teacher to all these aspiring sewers. We all hope to turn our hobbies into a full-time business as you did. Who wouldn't want to do what they love for a living? :) :)

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  4. I saw that post this morning, and immediately thought, "Oh good... they're giving her the credit she deserves for coming up with such a fantastic product!!!"

    Yeah, something can be said for being pushed, by copycats or otherwise, creatively to come up with new ideas. But it stings when someone steals your idea. On the other side of that, it really stings to be accused of copying when you know you never intentionally copied anyone. We all have different creative processes, and it's important to remember that while you may think that your great idea of making a Pink Car Seat with Velcro straps is the first of it's kind, it's entirely possible that someone else across the world somewhere had a very similar idea. Does Etsy make it easier for hobbyist crafters to sell and create products that other people already make, yes.. I think they do. The responsibility lies, though, with the original creator to take the steps to protect their designs. Etsy can't be responsible for that, they're just a venue.

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  5. I think people copy each other because they want success - I think theblackapple girl went through the same thing.

    Just keep it in perspective, even big designers get copied - just look at ABS dresses - they copy all the red carpet dresses by the next day

    Also - just know that there is room for everyone and with success comes new ideas for you and the people you inspire :)

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  6. you are good and generous and a maker of good bags and an organizer of good birthday surprises and on

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  7. The first time that I saw this style of bag at Etsy was in your shop, and I was initially drawn into your shop through the photography. It was after your Etsy feature that I started to notice that it was becoming "a trend"; some shops who had never carried this type of bag before started doing it. And I know this, because I've been selling bags at Etsy for over a year and I've looked through the bags and purses category more than a few times.

    While there may be room for everyone, there's also room for new ideas. I will NOT make a pleated bag, simply because you're already doing it. There are a ton of other things I can do to express my creativity. I may not make as many sales, but I prefer to remain true to myself and my own style by making my own designs. Sharing my creativity comes first, money comes second. (Besides, if I were just in it for the money I'd go back to law practice in the firm.)

    P.S. Some people seem to think that this style of market bag is traditional in France. I've lived in France for ten years, and have gone to open markets in several different regions. Why haven't I seen a market bag like that over here? If anyone can prove me wrong, I'd love to see a photo :-)

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  8. Dear Moop,

    I have been drooling over your shop and your success for about 4 months now. When I first saw you shop, I thought "Wow, look at that talented group of people who live in NYC and make handbags. That's what I would love to do!" And then... I researched a little bit more. I noticed "OMG, she's only one person, she lives in E-hampton, I have been to the building where her studio is, I grew up in the Hilltowns, if she can do it, so can I!" There's no need to live in a big city to have big success, right?

    I have clicked through you sold items, I have become inspired by your success and your ability to rework and revamp your designs. I am an excellent seamstress, I just have never pushed myself enough to have it become a success. It has been my dream to have my own business, make my own products, have people purchase them and love them. In other words, Wendy, I would love your life/job. I have a very talented husband, I am only 23 years old and I have all the time I need to do this. I guess I just wanted to say, Thanks for documenting your success so well, it has made me, a girl who grew up in Chesterfield MA with no one but squirrels for neighbors, push to make her own way in the changing world. Keep it up, your bags are beautiful. I will own one someday, even though I could sew one myself. I would never make a pleated bag, I would only purchase one of yours! I wish I had bought a sage bag... *sniff* *sniff*

    enough rambling
    thanks for the inspiration, you're amazing
    Carolyn

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  9. Yes, this is one of the negative sides of etsy...I was so in your shoes a year ago. You do something really cool and original and then slowly, there are those that do similar things. And it is annoying. But the fact is, you have an awesome thing going and people will stick with you. And as long as you keep changing things up, people will continue to return and stay true to you.

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  10. i just saw this and thought that it might be of interest to you: http://laurenandemira.com/2008/0417protecting-your-creative-work/

    it sucks that your hard work is being copied by those less original than you. hopefully the quality of your work will win out over the copy-cats. good luck

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  11. Becky - well said. I agree while there is all the room in the world for more sellers, copying is not the way to go. Some say it is flattery and shows you are successful, but it is just cheating and it doesn't benefit anyone. An individual can push themselves to create a better product, and not have to be forced to go in a different direction by another copycat. Sorry for my pointed comment, but copying s simply cheating.

    You are THE bag maker on Etsy!

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  12. Hi there - I just ordered one of your Market Bags the other day... I am salivating just thinking about it! I just wanted to let you know that I was on the hunt for a great "mom's tote", as I'm no seamstress and I SO needed something new and pretty and completely awesome! So having just discovered Etsy a few months back, I decided to browse. Well, I stumbled upon a market bag that I really liked. Unfortunately (or fortunately!), I didn't bookmark it and had to search for "market bag"... and there it was: the moop Market Bag in Provencial Blue. Well, I eventually found the other bag again, but it was too late at that point: I was smitten with the moop bag! So, long-story-long, I just wanted to let you know that had it not been for the copycats, I'd have never discovered moop! By the way, I'm replying to this old post because I have just discovered your blog and am trying to read it in its entirety, from oldest post to present. You've inspired me. Best of luck, and I cannot wait to get my tote!!

    kg

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