stop stealing wedding vendor’s shit

Oh, do I have your attention? Yes, I believe I do.

We all know it happens. The wedding vendor community is uber small. Put your index finger and your thumb and squeeze them together and try to peek through, it’s THAT small. We look out for each other. We monitor other vendors. And we tattle.

I’m not talking about looking at other vendor’s stuff to get inspiration. We all do this, even if you won’t admit to it. This is normal.

From my event planning website, I have had a blog post completely stolen from my website.  Every single word, comma, and period was copy and pasted on a reputable online newspaper website (across the country), with the thief’s name as the “author”. A planner brought it to my attention and the person that stole my post, was fired. Ridiculous to think that the WWW was so small that it would not be found.

Blatantly taking another vendor’s proprietary and creative product and calling it your own work is so very, very wrong. This INCLUDES (and not limited to): sales collateral, videos, images, business concepts, company name, logo’s and anything else that you can think of lifting from them. It’s not cool. It’s not reputable. It’s slim shady and it’s wrong. It’s lying to your prospective clients who think they are looking at work you have produced.

In the recent months I have witnessed, first or second hand:

Business Concepts: Vendor A tells Vendor B a great business idea about adding to their current repertoire of services. A few months go by and Vendor B starts to promote the very same, unique idea. When Vendor A casually inquires to Vendor B about this unique idea, Vendor B responds that they had this idea in the works for sometime. Really? Then why wasn’t this disclosed during the initial conversation?

Business Names: I have a personal friend who had to go through this disaster. She built a brand that was absolutely unique. When I say unique, I mean, straight up developed a “word” for her company name that was created and cannot be found in the dictionary. She spent countless hours and expense branding her incredibly unique business name, only to have it stolen from someone across the country. She has re-branded again, only to find that yet another, uncreative business person (who is technically out of the country, but still in the North America continent) take the EXACT SAME name and creative logo. Seriously?

Images/Video: This is probably the MOST frequently stolen items from other vendors. New photographer “lifts” (a gentle term for straight out, gangsta stealin’) photos from another photograher’s website and plops it on their site as if they are images that they have shot. The thieves THINK they are being smart by taking images from a photographer that is out of the country. Like that makes ANY difference? My favorite part of this scenario is when confronted, the website designer always gets blamed. Riiiiiiight.

Sales Pitches/Collateral: A vendor shops another vendor in their own category pretending to be a bride. They listen to the vendor’s sales pitch, greedily take their proposals/agreements and then copy/paste with their own company name/logo. You would initially think that this would be only new vendors, alas, you would be wrong.

What’s a new vendor to do?

For one, find your own voice and style. It’s hard, it’s taken me YEARS to find mine and the courage to be able to be bold and stand on my own (see this blog post’s title for validation of this fact). If you do not have a portfolio, then do some pro bono work to build one. It’s that easy. Well, really, meticulously downloading and cropping out other vendor’s property to plop on your website is “easier”, but won’t get you far… you’ll be found out.

Believe in yourself and sell YOU!  

This blog post is getting long, so I will wrap it up. Quit the shenanigans. Some vendors won’t play around when it comes to stealing. They have support and funds to sue you. It’s not worth it.

happy selling!