Coco Chanel once said, "If you want to be original, be ready to be copied."
Is that when you know you've made it? Your idea/design gets recreated over and over most of the time for LESS than what you charge. How do we "be original" with copy cats around every corner? This is the every day struggle.
Is there a chance someone has the same idea as you? YES.
So here are the questions to ask yourself...
Why do we make?
Money. Creativity. Meaning. People. Influence.
Some of my favorite tees either have a strong message, or they're descriptive of me and what I stand for. As for my brand, it comes from my love of Texas and Hispanic culture. With Sweet Texas Treasures I aim to stay in my own lane through originality and all around the SAME aesthetic. The things I love and am passionate about. A treasure only found here... until it's copied. With that being said I take pride in ALL the brands I carry in my boutique and it kills me when I see them being copied by others. I have even had customers walk in wearing a vinyl copy of a tee I sell in my store. Could this customer afford it at $38? I don't know. But what I do know is I supported a local Texas maker, an original designer, and it was a slap in the face to me that this person took it upon herself to remake the exact design through her di-cut machine.
So aesthetic doesn't have to be limited to design, maybe it's your photography? Your instagram feed? Your color scheme? This makes us who we are, CONSISTENCY.
Ask yourself: What do you and your brand stand for?
Does it all align within the same realm?
You can't claim to be a religious brand then have innuendos about drinking all day. Not saying a Christian can't drink, but it can be confusing to a customer.
"So the brand means this but they say this..." ?
What makes an original design?
Maybe it's the font. Maybe it's the color combination of the font on that particular shirt. I myself can not say that I am the original serape state maker, but this I do know... The designs become original when they're turned into a collection, a collection of the same color scheme, made from original fabrics that no one else has. So here we are again, we stay in our own lane, make our designs based on our aesthetic.
So why am I doing this?
As a maker and store owner, I aim to support the original designers of awesome sh!t. If we stand by each other as consumers and don't BUY in to the copy cats, therefore they won't survive. The copy cats, literally, follow a trend of what's currently selling, even if it has nothing to do with their brand then hop on to the next trend. And why? $$$$$ The fast dollar of a trend. These people aren't in it for the long haul. The best part about us makers? By the time someone has copied us, we've sold enough of our original designs to the people that know and love us and we've moved on to the next big thing for our BRAND.
So what do we do?
We research. We search hashtags. We look up instagram feeds. We educate ourselves.
We support the originals, the die hards, the moms that slave racking their brains day and night of how to be original to support their brand and their family.