Anyone that knows me....

also knows that I'm very innovative and come up with new sets, packaging and ideas all the time. What you may not know is why I do it.

First, like any business, you have to stay new, fresh, and on top of the market trends. Now, I confess I don't look around like I used to when I first started, as industry trends don't always directly relate to my customer base. But I do like to keep up with what is innovative.

That being said, I generally come up with ideas in the middle of the night, or while doing something else. I'm really feeling pressured lately, as being the top makeup seller on Etsy comes with a lot of great things such as getting to know so many wonderful people, but it has its down side.

Since mineral makeup in general has taken the makeup world by storm, there are literally hundreds of new companies opening daily. On Etsy it's not as bad as that, but there are many new ones each week. To be competitive on Etsy you must have a top quality product, great packaging, and superb customer service. There are many sellers there that have cheaper prices than I do, however by making my own makeup from scratch and developing each and every recipe I have, I understand the costs involved, including time. I also sell wholesale to salons and spas, so must keep my prices in range with that aspect of my business vs. the retail side.

One problem I'm running into over and over is not only resellers (people who buy pre-made makeup from a wholesaler and put their own label on it) but makeup sellers who watch what I do and copy me.

Now, the average person that isn't familiar with mineral makeup will not know the difference between my makeup and someone elses. That's understandable, as you have to actually use it to know the difference. So the sellers who are copying me are not only copying my kits, descriptions, etc, but are at times actually laying out their products in the exact same way I am. I believe this is to "fool" the customers into thinking all makeup is the same, so they will shop by price rather than another way.

I understand that is how business works. I understand there are knock-offs of things, for example designer handbags, and they are rampant and easy to get.

But that doesn't make it right.

And I thought things would be better on Etsy, as they are the online leaders in all things handmade.

But it's not. For example, not long ago I had a call out on my Etsy shop announcement for my customers to model for me. It worked out great, and I have some gorgeous models wearing my makeup on my shop photos. It's worked so well, in fact, I noted a few other sellers have followed suit and called out for their customers to model for them. This will lead to, once again, sellers copying my marketing techniques. In fact, a few have already done so.

Very sad that these supposed creative individuals cannot come up with anything on their own. They are and will copy my best ideas over and over. The good part is it pushes me to come up with even more innovative ideas. The bad part is, they just copy them. And copy. And copy.

I know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it doesn't make it right.

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