Faux Pas – Avoiding the Fakes!

A few weeks ago I was selling my beads at a local bead show. And of course, when you are selling at a show, that means you are shopping too!

I found one dealer who was selling silver findings. I was looking for some unique clasps, when what to my wondering eyes appeared but Green Girl Studios’ shell clasps. It was perfect for the seashell inspired necklace I was creating. But wait, why did it only have one shell and some weird ugly loop for the other side? My beady senses were tingling. I looked around, they had the sunflower, the bird and a few others. All at quite a discounted price. I felt a little sick to my stomach to see that one of my favorite artists were knocked off and being sold right here at my local bead show. What can I say, I’m a little naive!

I took them up to the dealer and asked the origin of the clasps? Did you purchase these from the artist, I inquired? No they came from Indonesia. I explained that these were copies from a famous beadmaker called Green Girl Studios. She gave me a shrug and blank expression. I put down my tray of beads and politely said I would not be shopping with her.

So how can you avoid buying knock-off art beads when you are shopping at a bead show. It’s very simple, ask the seller. A reputable seller will know who the artist is and will probably give you some background information on the creator. Don’t commit a designer faux pas by picking up a few of the cheaper copies. It’s just not worth the measly dollars saved to know that you are cheating a family out of their bread and butter! And what a cute family behind Green Girl Studios, you can see the very real designer on her blog.

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7 Comment

  1. Lorelei
    May 16, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    OMG! I can’t believe the NERVE!! I’ll be sure to keep my eye out at the local bead expo I’m attending this weekend in Albany!
    Thanks for this helpful post Heather, I had no idea stuff like this was happening. geez Louise!

  2. Barbara Forbes-Lyons
    May 16, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    There’s a very ‘popular’ lampwork seller out of Canada with a long history of creating the designs of others in his overseas factories. Unfortunately this happens ALL the time.

  3. Heather Powers
    May 16, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    yep, people without ethics steal from artits every day to make a buck. the best thing to do is make sure we don’t help them profit from their ill deeds.

  4. Lori Anderson Designs
    May 16, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    That stinks. And you can tell right away when a bead isn’t the right one, too. But unfortunately, so many new beaders just don’t know. Grrrrr.

  5. Andrew Thornton
    May 17, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Thank you so much for writing about this!

    Green Girl Studios has had to deal with this for quite a long while and it is very frustrating. As a small family-based company, we make our livings off our designs and hard work that goes into the whimsical creations that we create. When someone knocks off our designs, they are taking food out of our bowl.

    We think that the bead world is big enough for everyone and that everyone has a beautiful point of view uniquely their own. There is no need to copy the work of others. Be inspired and make what moves you. Don’t just steal someone else’s work and try to undersell them. That is wrong!

    It’s upsetting and hurtful to know that fellow members of the beading community are ripping us off. Alas…

  6. Joy
    May 19, 2008 at 1:02 am

    Ugh, what an awful thing. I’m always on the lookout for knock offs, unfortunately they’re everywhere. When I find one, I like to blog about it, so my beading friends know what to look out for.

    Green Girl Studios creates such amazing pieces with such great quality and prices!

    What comes around goes around….

  7. Gaea
    May 19, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    That is nauseating! Thanks for the warning! I’ll be at a local bead and gem fair this weekend and will keep and eye out! My friends mother used to go into jewelry stores rack up a huge bill and then “notice” that the store carried ivory goods and give them a piece of her mind about their origin and then storm out with out the big sale vowing never to return while the store carried such an atrocity!

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