AIBU or have I just been extremely naive?

(184 Posts)
ClittyClittyGangBang Mon 07-Jul-14 22:57:07

I have NC'd for this, think I might get flamed.

I sell handmade crafts and soaps, vintage bits and pieces and the odd piece of retro furniture. There are some shabby chic in there as well. I also sell chalk paint. At the moment I am based out of my garage and my kitchen and had been looking at a property for a while.

Moving into a shop will also mean my sister can have an outlet for her dressmaking and haberdashery bits that she sells.

Anyhow, a retail shop close to us became vacant months ago but no one was interested as it had been a really dodgy takeaway. We viewed and worked out that we could afford the rent between the two of us. The only problem was the refitting of the shop, so I approached a builder who I know personally for a quote for a strip out of the kitchen and counter and obligatory fish tank.

Anyhow, he was quite taken up with what we wanted to do. He listened to what we wanted and then gave us a quote which was a little higher than we had expected. We then approached the letting agent, imagine our surprise from being the only person interested to the shop had suddenly been rented out earlier that day. A change of usage notice was posted on the door, so I guessed it was going to be a shop of some kind.

Roll on a few months, and guess who is starting up a business in there selling all of the above? The builder's wife. Guess what she is selling? Exactly the same stock as we were going to have, she is on FB posting about all of her "vintage stock". Guess how they have done the decor? Exactly to our specification.

Am I right to be devastated or AIBU and this is just how people do "business"?

amy83firsttimer Mon 07-Jul-14 22:59:32

YANBU!!! Ridiculous behaviour.

choccyp1g Mon 07-Jul-14 23:03:03

They have done you a favour. In a few months it'll go broke and you can move into the ready fitted shop without having to pay for the work.

funkypigeon Mon 07-Jul-14 23:03:24

I'd be fuming! Bloody cheek...YANBU

STOPwiththehahaheheloling Mon 07-Jul-14 23:05:07

Sorry if i am misunderstanding but are you thinking this woman decided to set up a vintage craft type business on the basis of hearing that you were doing it? confused

To be fair- those type of business are everywherr at the minute so it's likely she was already doing it .

ClittyClittyGangBang Mon 07-Jul-14 23:05:14

I am trying to be a grown up about it, I know that there are lots of other shops etc., out there doing the same thing. But in our specific location there was no one, it was perfect.

I feel like I have been given them an entire business on a plate. No wonder she bought some of my stock ("for the living room") she said. No, I think not, I now think she took it to copy the design.

FFF x

ClittyClittyGangBang Mon 07-Jul-14 23:05:42

Sorry, meant to be FFS....

ImperialBlether Mon 07-Jul-14 23:05:59

Well, get yourself on FB and make a few comments!

ClittyClittyGangBang Mon 07-Jul-14 23:08:10

No, she wasn't doing it, in actual fact when she came to my house she was telling about the interviews she has been going on. She was asking questions and I never dreamt it was because she was trying to set up behind my back.

I know there are lots of shops like this out there, it is the level of deceit that has upset me...

LadySybilLikesCake Mon 07-Jul-14 23:08:37

Well, competition is good so maybe you need to find an empty shop a few doors down and undercut them.

wowfudge Mon 07-Jul-14 23:11:59

Keep the moral high ground OP and continue to work on building your business. I believe in karma and something will bite her on the bum before long. Why don't you look at adding another string to your bow with some workshops where you show a small group of paying customers how to make something for Christmas or something along those lines.

Be aware of the competition but follow your own business plan.

wowfudge Mon 07-Jul-14 23:13:59

Don't undercut them LadySybil - charge more for something better/different/with perceived added value!

Preciousbane Mon 07-Jul-14 23:15:14

A shabby chic type vintage nice bits and bobs has just shut down in my local town. Rents are ridiculous on the high street, keep doing what your doing and good luck.

LadySybilLikesCake Mon 07-Jul-14 23:16:50

Making dining room tables out of salvaged wood is easy. There's instructions on pinterest. wowfudge has the right plan, just keep working on it. The type of business she has is ten a penny (sorry). You need something to make yours stand out from the crowd. Then you open a shop next door to hers and undercut her wink

As your sister can make dresses, how about getting her to make some quilts/pillows in the mean time? Stock for your shop. Patchwork quilts are piss easy to make.

greeneggsandjam Mon 07-Jul-14 23:17:50

How awful. I would also look into adding a little more to what you offer like workshops with tea and cake that your sister can also help you run. I would imagine that as you have more knowledge in the area than she does you will be the more successful in the long run. What a terrible pair of people they are though.

lougle Mon 07-Jul-14 23:18:54

I hope she has the safety assessments to hand on each of her handmade soaps -it's a legal requirement in the UK....

ClittyClittyGangBang Mon 07-Jul-14 23:22:00

She has just put some pics up of her "stock" and layout, I am struggling to maintain the moral high ground.

I have a couple of white painted large welsh dressers in my home, I use them to take my stock and displays pictures for my internet sales and sales pictures. When he came here to drop of his quote he took a picture of them with his mobile "to help him visualise what we were trying to achieve". He then asked me to email the picture as "he deleted the picture".

They have just posted a pic of her "first" visual display". It is a copy of my photo. Even down to the stacks of soap, the gift cards, the plaques etc., You get the gist.

They are quite a "high standing" couple locally, if I start saying things on FB it only makes me look like a bitch, totally unprofessional. I actually don't recreate anything that other people make and sell locally, just out of respect for their hard work. In return they don't make anything similar to what I make and sell. We all still make a living, although she has now approached them asking if she can sell their items in the shop, and she is asking if they can make things that are basically what I make.

I am really struggling to bite my tongue.

LadySybilLikesCake Mon 07-Jul-14 23:26:21

Ah, I'm pretty sure you're legally allowed to ask her to remove that image, breach of your copyright.

Photographs which take time and expertise (so not family shots) are covered under copyright legislation. She's breaching your intellectual (copyright) to the image by using it without your consent. This also covers any picture you've taken yourself and emailed to her husband.

ImperialBlether Mon 07-Jul-14 23:27:57

Don't bite your tongue!

Say, "Oh, that's the photo of my dresser, isn't it? I remember your husband taking the photo the day he was giving me a quote for your shop. He said he needed to visualise what we were going to achieve. Don't you remember? It was the day you decided to open a shop doing exactly what I'd planned. You do realise you don't own the copyright to that photo, don't you?"

wowfudge Mon 07-Jul-14 23:32:31

Okay - it's tough to take in and process the deceit, but you are the better person OP. Ignore and carry on with your hard work. Do you take commissions, do home consultations, etc? Start doing them for a fee which is subtracted from the purchase price of anything subsequently purchased. If she is just a copycat she won't have the ideas or the vision needed.

Now you've posted some more I'm thinking the husband is the brains behind this and there will come a point where she either loses interest or can't hack it and it'll come crashing down.

SavoyCabbage Mon 07-Jul-14 23:33:26

Well, she obviously has no ideas of her own so she will screw it up in no time.

If she needs all of your inspiration, this is not something she is naturally good at. Maybe you should pop in and sell her some of your stuff!!!

ClittyClittyGangBang Mon 07-Jul-14 23:34:27

I live in a small town, it is small town mentality and they are one of the "clique". I have to rely on Karma this time, their time will come.

My sister and I are devastated. My sister has decided not to continue with it, so I am now on my own. She may provide stock to sell but now the whole emphasis has changed.

What a nightmare....

FliptheThread Mon 07-Jul-14 23:34:32

I think the OP means they have recreated her display exactly as shown in the photo she took.

This must be enormously frustrating for you OP.

SavoyCabbage Mon 07-Jul-14 23:34:46

I don't think the photo is the actual photo. It's just that she's used the styling ideas from the photo. Like when I take a photo of Michelle Williams to the hairdresser.

ClittyClittyGangBang Mon 07-Jul-14 23:38:19

I am going to have to think really carefully about what I can do on my own. Between August and Christmas would be my busiest time and to be honest, I am going to have to rethink everything.

Thanks for all your replies.

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