When a China giant goes after the little guy...namely me

Lisa Lehmann

Posted on December 12 2011

Do you ever feel like you're living in a dream. Do you ever sit back and wonder, is this really happening to me?
That was me...yesterday.
I have been working non stop. Ridiculous hours. Frantic pace. The whole nine yards.
It is incredibly hard, but also terribly rewarding. Filling everyones Christmas orders, knowing the small part I might play in someones happiness Christmas morning...well...that just makes me smile.
And then it hit.
The email, or rather the Etsy convo. I get tons a day, seriously at least 20-30, so I unsuspectingly opened it up to read this:
This woman accused me of stealing a design, as well as the photos. She called me "cheeky"! The photo attached was a screen shot of MY design, with my daughters wrist on a site called Alibaba.com.
It literally took my breath away. Heart beating faster. Nauseousness building.
How can this be?
I researched and found this link to my item for sale on their site, complete with my description as well as ALL five of my photos.
Violated.
I honestly don't know what to do. I don't have the funds or the time to take much legal action. And after even more research I learned they are the LEADING e-commerce site in China. CNBC just did a report on their great "success". Yes, success at stealing designs and recreating them. Nice Alibaba. Nice.
What still stings the most, is the fact that someone would accuse me of stealing a design. A design I created almost 2 years ago. A design I loved so much I took the time to create YouTube videos on how to wear it. A design that has been successful in my shop for a long time.
I know this is asking a lot...but if you would take the time to follow the link and report the item as fraudulent...I would be ever grateful. I know you have to create an account. I know this it time consuming. I know. But if this has happened to me. It's happened to countless others.
How is the "little guy" supposed to survive? How am I supposed to build a business when my well thought out designs are swiped "just like that"? How am I ever going to succeed?
My heart is heavy today. I hurt. Thanks for listening.
~ lisa

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