Thursday, March 5, 2009

Why did we withdraw and postpone our Seven Deadly Sins Series?

About 2 months ago I was thinking we needed to freshen up our formal wear, we had been so busy with designing casual that it was time to make some new formals.

Mystical pictures have always interested me and I thought it would be wonderful to something in that theme. So I was browsing the internet and came across a site called DeviantART. I came across some beautiful digital paintings by an artist called blackeri.

I fell in love with her version of the series called The Seven Deadly Sins. I got very excited and thought, I would like to reproduce these in SL. Not exact (these are too professional to replica for me LOL) but to my best capability and from inspiration.

So after excitedly discussing my plans with my loved one Georg, we decided we would do this series and release the designs on a weekly basis.
I got too excited and needed to release 2 the first week :-) So we did Sloth and then Envy. We were so excited Georg even made the proper props from the pictures with his own touch added (remember we didnt want to make exact) and these props would be used to take the pictures of the dresses for the bigger display boxes over the sale signs.
Alot of work was put into all of this with many hours. The day came and we put the first two dresses out. As it was the day we normally announced our free gift of the week through the fashion groups we belong to I found we were able to include a new design announcement too. So we decided to announce our plans of the series and sent a picture of one of the 2 dresses we had designed.
Not a problem. Life went on, for a few hours :-0

When I relogged in I was dismayed to find that our series had not been as welcomed as I thought by quite a few people.
I had a distressing (to me it was) note from a person telling me I had ripped off the theme for the silent auction at the Clothing fair in mid march for the Relay for life charity fundraising. I was gobsmacked..the first thing was the blow to me..I was ripping off.
I have never been accused of that. Then the confusion set in, Fashion fair? Silent Auction?
Ok, so i did some Googling and found out a little about this fashion fair and to my dismay, they had commissioned 7 designers in SL to design they're own replica of the Seven Deadly Sins dresses.
Now Georg and I dont get out in SL much, we tend to live SL for our shop and had absolutely no idea about this fair happening at all. How could we have timed it so badly? It was just pure bad luck.
Anyway, to get to the points of the matter, I had a very big conversation with this person who had IMed me accusing me of "ripping off". I was told it would go to press what I was doing, I was asked, "how could I have not known about the fair with all the pictures of the auctions theme going around?" but hey, we really did not have a clue!! Some people are not social butterflies and actually do live inworld without knowing what goes on around them, We are not in SL to make a name for ourselves and become big like some of the big designers around, we are not in SL to make money, we spend more money in SL to keep our shop alive! We dont even break even! its all about the FUN and being a hobby.
But anyway, no matter what I had to say, this person would not budge, the mind was made up, I was criminal and would be revealed as one.
The Seven Deadly sins is not a new thing, its been around in SL for years, Georg and I have even seen other shops with the dresses, but every dress has its own touch by the designer, including ours and I am sure the auctioned ones will be different as well. (I mentioned to this person that other shops had designed these dresses without revealing the shops names as they didn't need to be brought into this any more than that) but that didn't matter, it was me they had targeted because of my release timing.
After a very lengthy discussion with this person I felt I was getting nowhere and decided I should contact one of the organizers of this event to get an opinion and when I did make contact I was told certain people from the fashion groups had complained to the organization about my released dresses. It was agreed upon that I would withdraw my dresses from sale and postpone the release date out of respect for the charity and re release after the silent auction.
Had this organization done the right thing and come to us personally to discuss this in a professional manner, rather than have someone whom I had never heard of IM me with untrue accusations, this could have been dealt with so differently.
It really has taken the shine off things for us, it has shown us how small minded and competitive people can be in this world, we have never ever set out to be rip off merchants, we give back more than we take from SL, our last 3 weeks takings were donated to the Victorian Bushfire appeal, we release a weekly free gift, have promotions with gifts and get involved with the odd treasure hunt and this has so left me with a bitter taste. We have not to this time received any apology from the parties involved for the accusations or inconvenience this has caused us and our customers.
Anyway, on a lighter note, as said above, we did withdraw the designs for a couple of weeks, but we offer a sneak preview to our loyal customers and readers of our blog THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS series
Here are the first two from the series Sloth and Envy with the others to follow shortly.

Cheers and happy days
Nikki and Georg xxxx

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