At the start of this week I was unceremoniously dumped by one of my stockists. All because I refused to go into one of their shops. This refusal was due to the fact that I already sell in a far superior jewellery gallery in the same town but also because this shop sells modern, bought off the shelf Thai style jewellery (they call it designer) that does not sit so well with my 'handcrafted with love' Chambers & Beau.
They were very nasty to me and although I had been desperate to stop selling with them for some time, it still left a horrible taste in my mouth (I am not so good with confrontation)! She told me (despite the day previous desperately trying to convince me to sell in their other store) that 'they had decided to drop Chambers & Beau as the quality was not up to scratch and not good enough for their designer stores'.
Then last night I was having a little look at the website of the company I designed for, for nearly a decade. I occasionally have a little look just to see if they are producing anything as good since I left (but of course not) and to check that they are not doing anything similar to me.
Well, surprise, surprise. They have just launched a collection of engravable jewellery, personalised by you. Hearts and discs and little charms which are laser etched with words of your choice.
Now, I am well aware that I didn't come up with this concept and that lots of people are doing similar stuff but surely this is a little blatant.
I am feeling somewhat cross and wondering how small businesses can ever survive when the biggies come along with their £100,000 advertising campaigns and jump on the bandwagon.
Fortunately their collection is SHITE (she shouts at the top of her voice). I am desperately fighting the overwhelming urge to disclose these nasties but that would not be nice and nice is something I do rather well....
B A S T A R D S
(sorry mum for my language)
B R E A T H E
Happily this bad news has been followed by a small flurry of press and lovely testimonials.