Seems like a strange title, doesn't it?
But it's true.
I don't remember where I've heard it before, but one of the things I've been told time and again is this: "You know you're becoming successful when people start to hate you for it."
Or something along those lines.
Hate mail comes into play in that, as well. I found this rad article today while searching for this phrase, and it's an awesome and inspiring article that you can read here.
Obviously, I've encountered this issue a few times over the last year or so. Sometimes they are worth posting about, others are not. I encountered this recently with my new Kobo case design, as many of you probably read in an earlier post.
Today is a different kind of hate mail ... the hate of the rejected.
I had proposed a trade with a seller on Etsy for one of her Kobo cases. This was, of course, before I'd actually created my own. Within a few days after hearing back from her that she indeed wanted to trade with me, I had sent her a couple of emails both on Etsy and Facebook that were never responded to. After creating my own case, I tried emailing her again to say that I had never heard back from her in regards to if the trade was actually still on, and that I would like to cancel the trade, as I had come up with my own pattern for a device case.
2 weeks later, her case arrived at my house.
I sent her an email explaining that I would be sending it back, as it appears she hadn't read my multiple emails.
Upon receiving her case back, this is what she sent to me today:
I received my cover in the mail today. Now that I have my item back I will proceed to tell you what I think of your little stunt. To be clear I never really wanted to swap with you in the first place. I lied when I said your items were "lovely". I would really only go as far as to say NICE. I think they are definately over priced and I would even go so far as to say customers think the same based on your ZERO sales since 2011. I never intended on keeping your item as I planned on giving it away as a christmas present to someone..anyone.. because I never really saw anthing in your shop that said "wow".
You should have communicated with me through Etsy if you were changing your mind about the swap and then I wouldn't have wasted my time in sending you something that you could make yourself. The good thing is I only wasted $2.10 on you and don't worry I'll sell the cover..no problem.
I never saw your emails recanting the offer. It was NOT a desperate act on my part to trick you into completing the deal. You clearly HIGHLY value your work and think there is no other like it and you must think that some people are willing to use trickery to elicit deals with you to obtain these highly priced items of yours. Please .... It's just a shame others don't look upon your work the same way you do.
And finally, don't lecture me on good customer service practices when you clearly are lacking based on your blog. ah hummm!!. If I remember correctly one of your recent blogs was an opportunity for you to rant and rave about how unfair some people have been to you about critisizing your work and your "original" pattern openly on facebook. Honey....you work is not original.....you know the saying....you can put lip stick on a pig but it still makes it a pig. Your Design..has been seen before. Do a little more research before you so fiercely defend your work and proceed to tear others down publicly.
This email may be a slightly over borad on it's delivery but I felt it was justified based on how rude you were to me. I hope this will be the last time I hear from you. You will be earsed from my emails, facebook and any place else you might be lerking. Don't contact me again as you have already had your pound of flesh and now it was clearly my turn to defend myself against your allegation.
For the record, I know I shouldn't take emails like this personally. Honestly, I laughed when I first read it. Then it made my blood boil, which I assume is what this person was going for. She didn't get what she wanted out of me, so she decided to insult me instead.
Sure, this is an incredibly childish way to react. Sure, it ticks me off that she makes all these outrageous claims about my work, having never actually seen it, and assumes I've made no sales.
As a matter of fact, I've had about 50 sales since starting my business less than a year ago. All of my designs are, in fact, original designs. You know the phrase, "There is nothing original, everything already exists in some form"? (Again, I'm likely paraphrasing). Sure, there are literally thousands of clutch purses out there. There are also thousands of device cases. And yes, some of those items may look similar to mine in one way or another.
But there are a lot of people out there who, like me, are very picky about how they want their purse/clutch to look (or device case). Some people like a boxy shaped clutch. Some prefer rectangular, or even triangular shapes. And some may like my designs better.
I'm not in this *just* to make money (although, you have to agree, making money is always nice!). I create my designs because it's something I love doing, something I'm really good at, and something I love sharing with others.
I won't lower my prices to undercut my "competition", simply because I'm trying to steal their business. I've posted already on Facebook that my prices are what they are, because I charge what I deserve for my time (only $2 an hour more than I make at my real, fulltime job), and I charge exactly what my supplies cost to make each item. No more, no less. My art and my passion are worth what I charge. If she doesn't think so, then that's her problem, and I wouldn't want her for a customer anyways.
However, I have many loyal friends, family members, and customers, who do see the value in what I make. My items are sturdy and well made, and will last for years. I could rant and rail on here about the quality and price of her merchandise, but I'm not going to stoop to that level. She claims that she doesn't want my items anyways, but to me, this screams "I didn't get what I wanted so instead I'm going to throw a tantrum about it!". My toddler has this mentality. I didn't expect I'd have to endure it from a fully grown adult.
Haters are always going to hate on those they see as a threat. As I've said in the past, I hold no ill will towards anyone else who makes clutches or device cases, or anything else for that matter. I want everyone to love what they do and succeed at it. Spewing anger and hatred towards others may feel good while you're doing it (maybe in an attempt to assuage your own feelings of inadequacy), but it's not constructive and will inevitably make you feel worse inside.
Maybe someday, people will learn this. Maybe not.
But until then, I'll continue creating my designs, safe and warm in the knowledge that those who appreciate true beauty and quality will continue to support me in my endeavors. Big hugs and love to my lovely and supportive friends, family members, fans, and customers. For every hater out there, I've got hundreds of you. And I love you for it. :)