« BREAK IT, DON'T FAKE IT { yarborough, teds} | Main | MANY THANKS { free download card design } »

Sep 10, 2009


fiona Richards

Great post - I RTd your Tweet - as I was encouraged to do by other artists. FYI I have removed my RT.
Keep up the great work!


Hi Fiona! : )
I guess this was also my intro to Twitter! even tho I only have 200 or so followers, I didn't realize how fast twitter gets! Wildfire comes to mind--!

The initial article did throw me...but then again, I am new in business, and still learning so many things. I guess that's actually one of the things that keeps me interested. Sigh. : )


Beautiful color combination!


Dear Susi

i'm a frequent reader of your blog and an admirer of your work :)
i run a samll business in wedding invitations and greeting cards (www.wiseup-weddings.com and www.wiseup-greetings.com) and i'm having the same problem... someone just copied the contents and structure of my web site...
it's very annoying and i'm not sure if i'm going to suceed in making the other person (same business in a very small country) change her website...
well, today i read this also, in Think Splendid, so I decided to share:

best regards


Brava for your candor, Susie - Thanks for sharing the story so honestly.
In the end, you have gorgeous work and obviously Redbook [ and now, it's readers ] appreciates it !

tracie stier-johnson

dear miss susy! {i like calling you miss susy} ;)

press is always a hard call. i love your advice of not jumping the gun. we get anxious to receive the press, but you're right ... we should take a bit to make sure it's the right fit and to ask the right questions.

lessons are lessons for a reason though, i suppose. love that you shared yours.

your designs are exquisite and now more have been introduced to them! ;)

have a beautiful day! ooo, and i just got to my calendar package ... i'm so loving it and wishing it were 2010 already! thank you for the sweet treats too! ;)


...you're welcome, ladies. While it's a little embarrassing to be so spastic, I do learn quick! In the future, I'm probably going to take my time a little more and ask more questions up front-- something I *always* try and remember to do...but seem to forget in the heat of the moment!

I thought my lawyer's two-pronged advice was great. He basically said not to freak out because it wasn't all bad...publicity is good. And then, he recommended the letter approach to help out with this in the future.

Common sense counts for a lot. I like that he gave me sober advice, grounded in reality...but it was still really helpful and something I could use and think about.

I'm glad my experience turned into something good. : ) I love it when people come up with new ideas for my items...guess I can't complain when a magazine does it. heh. xx s

ps. tracie-- Miss Tracie! so glad you got the package...and the goodies!


Thanks for sharing your experience and I'm glad there was a good resolution. You never know when you'll learn something valuable for your business, but this is a great example for us independent business people.

I'll have to learn how to sew to show you my 2011 pillow :)

Natalie Jost | Olive Manna

Someone told me a few years ago that having your work copied only proves you've made it as a "real" artist. :) Clearly you're past that point, but it doesn't feel good, I know. Our designs are like our children and we don't want to see them get too far away from us, vulnerable to abuse.

Thank you for posting, you remind me to stay classy when class eludes the others!


I hope they've also given you credit for the yellow botanical on the wall, it looks like it belongs to you (and your super calendar).


That is so weird, Susy, because as soon as I saw that picture, I was like, "SUSY'S IN REDBOOK!" But it was an evil impostor. So sorry that this happened - though you are right to be flattered. Your work is so beautiful!


Hey Elisabeth! Yeah... it kind of does! But I don't think that is one of mine-- It's a similar style...but all of my stuff has kind of a stencil-y, silkscreen-y look-- so I bet that's why it's close! xx s


I will have to remember that, Natalie! That is a good point!

Yes...my designs are like my babies. Guess it's true what Kierkegaard said "A loving mother teaches her child to walk alone..."

I really appreciate your feedback on the post, too. It was hard to figure out how to sort my feelings this morning. My boyfriend always tells me not to take things so personally-- business is not about feelings. And in a way, he's right. Somehow, by trying not to take this personally, I was able to help myself learn a little bit more. : )

again, thank you! xx s


oh...good catch. Actually, that one on the wall is March.



I haven't see the print edition yet. Terrified they didn't credit the work-- but hopefully, they put a little mention of my shop. sigh. it's kind of weird.

We need to get together soon! I miss you. And your new purse. Even tho I haven't met your purse yet.


Sounds like you handled yourself beautifully and yes, I can see why some legal advice would be required. Your design, but used in not the way you had probably intended. A curly one indeed. Cool, calm and collected - and possibly flattered - but yes, your rights as an artist do need to be protected.


It's hard to be graceful under pressure! Even the best compliments can seem like insults if the delivery doesn't feel right. Glad your work is being promoted and love the business tutorial spin you included!


Wow, it's hard to handle a situation like that calmly! Thanks for the excellent advice :)


Totally...and I am definitely someone with a tiny amount of self control!! There are so many ups and downs when you're trying to sell things you made yourself...It's easy take it personally, rather than to step outside for a minute, breathe, and think.

I'm learning how-- but it's definitely something I need to re-program...not exactly natural for me! : )


Oddly enough, I was reading my Redbook this past weekend when I saw the tutorial design, and thought, 'That looks a lot like SuzyJack*!' I then assumed (wrongly!) that they had permission from you to use that particular design. I believe they did give you credit, but it's a sad day when big corporations think they can step on the little gal. From one owner of a small business to another- Good Luck!

Account Deleted

Sus, while is is fantastic to see your work appreciated and "out there" I can totally understand the panic that must ensue....especially thinking "will they give me credit?"I am glad it worked out sweetie and sending a huge hug your way my friend!


Really? Wow. It's so interesting to hear an actual reader response. They *sort* of had permission...they didn't tell me what they were going to do...they asked me for a sample of the desk cal for a "stationery inspired stencil story"...which I didn't think meant this type of thing. Truthfully, I did feel pretty used. But, am now determined to take it in stride and do things differently in the future.

Totally know what you mean about the little gal. They probably wouldn't have dared to do this with Kate Spade, Orla Kiely, Jonathan Adler... just a guess.


I know... I was totally panicky. While they gave me credit, it was not exactly the kind of credit one dreams of...and seeing the calendar literally sliced and diced kind of shocked me...especially because it's a How To on lifting and essentially duplicating someone's intellectual, proprietary, property. It still kind of confuses me that this seemed okay.

I could sure use one of your famous hugs, m'dear! I love you!

fiona Richards

Hi Susy - nice to meet you now!
Over the years I have been annoyed at Martha for exposing all our design secrets in her little crafty tutorials(tho I love her to bits). Its frustrating when she is teaching our customers how to produce our products.
The thing is, for all they knew at Redbook, you could be launching a line of stencils next month and they just scooped you. Or they just gave your competitor the heads up on a new product idea.
That was what irked me.
You handled it perfectly - yes you did!
Best, Fiona


I thought it might be... so sorry that you have all of this on your plate!


Thanks so much!...well, I'm taking it in stride. I think the photos they took look great...and anyway, it was nice to be able to use them here! : )


Hello dearie! I can't believe how much restraint and composure you've maintained. I don't think I or many of us could have done the same. While I appreciate publications who inspire us to think of new uses for everyday objects (not that your work is "everyday")... couldn't they have created the project using copyright-free stock or at the very least checked to be sure that you were okay with having your work sliced/diced/and replicated?!
Anyhow... all of this is just to say that you are amazing, inspiring, and nothing is going to change that! We've got your back. ; )


Oh, Ez...your kind words mean so much to me. Thank you so much for offering your point of view. Knowing someone like you thinks I'm not nuts is very calming :)

I agree. I certainly didn't see this usage for the 2010 calendar (which hasn't even reached its year yet)...it's a little strange to get choppy slicey dicey with a brand new calendar. haha.

You are also inspiring. Daily! I can't tell you how much it helps to hear your kind words. Thank you so much for being so supportive and kind. ps i hope to see you sometime soon! i have a housewarming gift to give you! xx s


It was nothing dear Susy! No need for thanks. I think your perspective on the whole situation is refreshing and I will be attempting to recall it should such an occasion ever occur for me.
I hope we can meet up soon too! Housewarming gift?!!! Eek! You are too good!
Have a fabulous upcoming week hun.


so beau-tabulous!

The comments to this entry are closed.