In the face of competition.

(SH) it happens. I have competition.

A little piece of my story:

 

 

Pothies have been around for a long time and the pattern has been gifted to but-a few. Many of us have been branded “Pothy Pirates” and it will never end, they are a great product and many are beyond immunity to wanting a slice of the Pothy action – you’d be daft not to!

I knew my ‘competitors’ existed; I’ve been in touch with them, right at the beginning, offering a hand of craftsmanship. I didn’t feel threaten, in fact, the complete opposite. I am of the firm belief that it’s a good thing.; the more Pothies in the world the more folk with warm feet. The world has to be a better place for that – right? Right.

 

So I let it go, they’re on the other side of the world, setting up a social enterprise, for goodness sake this is utterly fabulous work. Mean time I get on with creating my website, my brand, my colour ranges, based on my clients and my own personal love of the aesthetic.

 

 

Then they day comes when I recognise a photo of mine that had been re-incarnated on ”their’ social media, my interest peaked and my curiosity heightened I had to go looking (doh!), where upon the enormity of the pirating became very apparent. Colours and colour ways, designs and photo ideas.

Ho- Hum (or words to that affect).

 

 

SO here’s the thing. After a few weeks of ranting to friends and loved ones, of walking many a long walk, of looking at it from lots of different perspectives, I came to realise that it’s completely brilliant! I am so grateful. It’s made me understand in a way that I have never done before just how much I love my job, my customers and making Pothies.

They are so tied up in me and me in them that I have finally really stepped UP and IN to my business and my creativity. Nothing like a kick up the backside is there?!

It’s time to become more visible, vulnerable, time to get out of my own way. Pull up my socks and walk my talk. Because I am me and this is mine.

Pothies come though my heart and my soul, I create slippers for people that I have grown to know and love, that share their stories with me (for which I have a deep appreciation) and together we make the world a cosier place.

Only I can do that in my way, my customers love me for what I bring to the Pothy workbench and in this I rest assured.

 

 

I have often been told that curating a small business is like being in therapy, every day. There are many things that you’d really rather not face, some which you just have to find the grit and determination to carry on trekking though, but then it’s balanced with all the good stuff that ‘adds the cream’ and the sheer joy of life. It’s true, who would’ve thought that learning to make Pothies would have entailed marketing, algorithms, accountancy, GDPR, email campaigns, profit and loss, stock checks, websites, branding, instagram grids, …woa – the list is enormous and still growing as is my skill set.

 

 

It also means that I get to work at home all day, my children see slippers being made in every shade and size, they understand that making by hand is a valuable commodity in this digital age. I get to have a massive wool stash and carve out a life of creativity and colour, which is so intrinsically me.

 

One of my life values is of honesty and integrity, and upon reflection my heart ached (for what I felt to be) the dishonesty of the piracy. In my book taking stuff without asking is not cool – I drum it into my kids daily. As a creative spirit, I understand that we are inspired by others, of course, but you can’t just copy someones stuff and pass it off as your own!

*hangs head in exasperation/clearly not over it/still a ways to go*.

I am deepening my robustness, I growing a little further – and I am delighted by the work I’ve been able to do as a result.

 

 

To my Pothy Pirates, thank you, you have gifted me the greatest of insights and I really do wish you the best in your ventures. Thank you for loving my work so much, I would like to point out that you too have amazing ideas, trust yourselves and follow your creativity. We’re all in this together.

 

For anyone out there going through the same thing (as I’m sure there are many) my words of advice would be:

  • Roll your sleeves up, identify your feelings and let them guide you into your action or non-action.
  • Take your time.
  • You are your business’s strength and you are the only one who can see what it is that needs to be done.
  • Seek help/words of wisdom for perspective.
  • Have courage, offer yourself some loving kindness and generosity of spirit.
  • Try not to get distracted (too much) by the drama of the situation.

I have faith in you, you will turn this around

Warmly,

Belinda. x

 

I would love to hear your stories or thoughts on anything that has been stirred-up for you in this post? As always you can leave me a message, email me or write a comment in the box below.

Thank you so very much x

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Responses to In the face of competition.

  1. Brooke 29 September, 2018 at 3:25 am #

    Wow that’s really enough to make your blood boil… especially your photos being used by others that clearly cannot compare to you.
    But by doing so they are only heading for a downfall….. they absolutely cannot re create what they are showing using your photos….. so customers will not get anything like what they’ve seen and expected to receive….. they won’t get the love, care, and the true meaning of your stunning handmade beauty’s nor the personalised gorgeous colour chats, the pure beautiful wool, the soles will not last (whatever they are using for that I can’t hazzard a guess) and certainly won’t be done on the wood stove 🤣 and will no doubt fall apart in a few months.
    You are absolutely unique… that can never be copied… no matter what they do…. I would send a warning about using your photos but I’m sure you’ve done that already.
    I would love to see a small little pothies original label stitched on our slippers…. that would be awesome.
    My mother’s favourite quote was always
    “ imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”
    Be proud…. it means you are the best at what you do and who you are…. these slipper theives will always come and go but you will remain as always true to yourself and your incredible talent…
    So thank you from all of us pothie addicted slipper wearers, everyday when I put mine on I think of you… I wonder what Belinda is up to today….
    now I don’t know but I’ve never thought like that before about the clothes I wear or the shoes on my feet😘
    We are all as invested in you as such a beautiful creative giving woman as you are in creating our gorgeous slippers for us and we love you so very much for it😍
    I’m impressed you’ve become so famous 🤣 can I have a autographed pair of slippers please 🤣

  2. Belinda 29 September, 2018 at 7:57 am #

    Dearest Brooke,
    thank you ever so much for your kind support and sweet words. I love making your slippers for you and that’s funny that you think of me when you put yours on – brilliant.
    As you say – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – (mums are good aren’t they?) – I’m taking that and moving on…
    Love to you,
    Belinda x

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