Seriously Grace and Lace? OH NO YOU DIDN’T !!!

Oh man, I HATE it when people play the Jesus card!  It’s just so…arrogant.  Jesus has special favor towards MY store because I’m doing it for his glory.  Wow, well…I’m pretty sure that Jesus loves me as much as he loves you, Grace And Lace, so let’s put the Jesus card back into your boot socks and get real. I say that because here is ambassador for Grace and Lace Heidi’s response to an email that I sent her asking her to leave the site peacefully, as it was obvious that her items were mass produced in factories.  Remember now, this is one of the items in her store: Grace&LaceAztecAnd here is her response:  “All of our designs sold on Etsy are originally designed by Melissa herself from start to finish.”  She went on to tell me that they have really great factories that they visit often, and oh by the way, they are building orphanages and taking women and girls out of the sex trade in India.

Well that’s about enough shaming to shut me up. Except that I just did a story on these Aztec leg warmers, so I need to get some feedback from these shops:

SesameStreet85Oatmeal SesameStreet82

Remember these Aztec leg warmers?  Designed by TutuCuteLittleOnes, KnitPopShop and PeekABootSocks?

In my book, they are the exact same thing.  So they are all designed by Melissa at Grace and Lace?  This is REALLY getting confusing.  But Melissa must be telling me the truth because they visit their factories and build orphanages.  With all the money they make representing their items as handmade on Etsy.

TutuCuteLittleOnes’ store owners profile says “I love to pretty things and a variety of different styles…”  Oh yeah?  That makes no sense for starters, and I think you should really say “I love it when people buy cheap shit from China off my site.”

KnitPopShop is less subtle.  They just jumped aboard the Etsy train in November 2014, so they are struggling to their (aztec leg warmer covered) feet.  You can order 27 of these leg warmers at once.  For what reason I have no idea, but at least they are less expensive than TutuCuteLittleOnes “pretty things.”

PeekABootSocks slides in at the lowest price and calls their creations “Lil’ Alex in Oatmeal.”  Cute.  You can call it anything you want to call it, these are exactly the same thing that Grace&Lace Melissa said she designed herself from start to finish.

Just for grins, let’s go to the “bible” that all of these shops use (along with building orphanages and rescuing girls from the sex trade) – our good friend Alibaba.com.  Oh hot damn, there they are.  Melissa’s custom designed Aztec leg warmers, and you can get a really good deal there – 10 for $1.49-$2.99.  And then turn around and call them your own created design.  Right.

 Alibaba

We’re not buying it.  But sadly everyone else is.  Each shop has it’s fair share of orders, ranging from 9,000+ items to the late-comer KnitPopShop’s 327 sales.  They must be very low on the pecking order in the search engines, because Grace and Lace clocks in at $28.50 per tribal print wonder, but KnitPopShop will sell you the same thing for a mere $19.95.  Remember, each store bought these items from India’s humane factories (really Alibaba.com) for an average of $2.25 each.  I guess I’d eventually have enough to build an orphanage too ~ please don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking on the orphanage thing, it’s just great.  Good for you!  But get your China shit off the Etsy “handmade” website, because you clearly are in a state of denial if you think you designed these start to finish ~ but yet you don’t care if three of your competitors sell YOUR design for a lower price.  Really?  I smell a rat.

Sign the petition people.  These are the kinds of lies that Etsy sellers like ThreeBirdNest and Grace and Lace feed the general public and it’s time for someone to call them on their cute little stories, which are really lies masquerading as orphanage-builders and love to pretty things.  Here it is again:

http://www.change.org/p/etsy-stop-overseas-importing-and-calling-it-handmade

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62 thoughts on “Seriously Grace and Lace? OH NO YOU DIDN’T !!!

  1. Hello,

    I am not sure that i signed the Petition? … i clicked on the link and posted on Facebook also… so did i do sign the petition with tis action?

    I am not a PC Buff, but i do my best:)

    and i like to let you know..i enjoy your mail so much 🙂

    Thank you for the enlightenment you give us all!

    BigHugs, Christiane ~

    Like

  2. Is it at all possible … The company on Alibaba might have stolen the pattern from Grace and Lace? I’m 100% for consumer rights and protection, but I’m always hesitant to think anything on Alibaba is solid proof. Are we absolutely certain the Alibaba supplier isn’t selling wholesale knock offs of Grace & Lace’s design?

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    • Good point and entirely possible. I have experienced this first hand with kites. I bought a cheap chinese kite on ebay , flew it at a festival, it was purchased by some Chinese guests for them to take home to their kite factory and replicate.

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  3. So I reported Three Bird Nest for the 200th time to etsy and this was the email I just received. Wow!!
    Hi there,

    My name is Carly. I work here at Etsy, on the Trust & Safety team. My colleague Katie received a message from you, in Etsy Conversations, regarding another shop in the Etsy marketplace that you may have concerns about. She passed your message on to my team, and asked that we follow up with you about this issue.

    First, thank you for bringing this concerns to our attention. Right now, I don’t have enough information about this shop to know definitively if they’re operating within our policies. However, I can assure you that one of my teammates or I will closely examine these items as soon as possible and determine whether or not they are following Etsy’s policies.

    Here’s some information about how we examine reports from our members:

    • We review each report in the order that we receive it.

    • Every report is confidential.

    • Reporting a seller, a shop, or a listing doesn’t guarantee that it will be removed. It only ensures that a qualified team member will review it.

    • If we determine that a listing isn’t in compliance, in most cases we first contact the seller and give them the opportunity to correct or remove their listings in a reasonable time frame.

    • If we contact the seller about making changes and those changes aren’t made, the Marketplace Integrity team will either remove the items or suspend the shop.

    The next time you see a listing that you think violates Etsy’s policies, use the “Report this item to Etsy” link at the bottom of each listing page. Rather than sending an email, using this link is the fastest way to alert the Marketplace Integrity team here at Etsy. It also ensures delivery and helps us view your report as quickly as possible.

    If there is anything else I can do to assist you, please feel free to reach out to me again.

    Best,
    Carly
    Etsy Trust & Safety
    http://www.etsy.com/guidelines
    ―――
    This message is a private conversation between you and Etsy. Please respect this confidentiality and refrain from distributing this communication without permission from Etsy. If you feel this message was sent to you in error, please delete it and let us know. Thank you.

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    • Canned message reply, of course. I’m sure every other Etsian who has reported a shop gets the same thing, with the only change being (perhaps) the names of the Etsy employees. Ergo, it means nothing.

      I have to LOL at the “we don’t have enough information about this shop” line ….. really?? One of the site’s “flagship” sellers???

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      • I caught that too – and I know tons of people who have reported that store, and not in the last 24 hours either. They know EXACTLY what is going on…and wow, I’m tempted to post their reply…really tempted…but I’m not sure if I can, legally.

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      • Actually Chatsworth Lady, even a canned message from Etsy is a rarity. Normally when you report a shop it just disappears into the Etsy netherworld & you get no reply whatsoever.

        Like

    • Thanks for posting this link. Pinterest was no. 9 on a profitability rating by ecommerce sellers and I’m sure it’ll go up a lot now that they’ve come up with this. I’m just wondering if they’re going to share part of their profit with the people who spend hours and hours pinning. Hmm… food for thought.

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  4. Moving on to a more positive subject, I just received an email from Amazon about their Handmade enterprise. Here it goes:

    “Thank you for your interest in Handmade at Amazon
    Wow – what a week! We are thrilled to see so much interest in our new shopping experience! You all are talking, and we are listening.
    We’ve spent the past week pouring through YouTube videos, online discussion forums, and reviewing your early feedback. It’s clear that many of you are curious and just as excited as we are about the unveiling of Handmade.
    We promise to share more information with you soon, and when we’re ready to accept applications, you’ll be among the first to know!
    In the meantime, we thought we’d tell you a little about the fellow Artisans you might see in the marketplace.

    Artisans from 6 of the 7 continents expressed interest in Handmade. Know anyone in Antarctica?
    We had interested Artisans from across the globe, from Malta to Trinidad and Tobago, Lithuania to Egypt – and dozens more!
    We heard from Artisans from all 50 states in America.

    As we mentioned in our initial message – feel free to forward the sign up form to Artisans you admire who may also be interested in Handmade at Amazon.”

    Here is a link to the Sign Up Form:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/html-forms-controller/Handmade_Artisan_Email_1?

    I’m wondering how we could send them a link to this blog and to our petition. Does anyone know?

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  5. IF all the others sellers on Etsy, Ebay & the Alibaba direct order factories (& God only knows where else you can find this same stuff) were “stealing” from her or TBN…then why has it continued for years??? They would have sued long ago-they’ve both overcharged unbelievably & amassed quite the fortune to be able to do so. If these 2 scam shops had not gotten so blatant & greedy they likely would have remained unnoticed by most & flown under the radar-still making a gasp-worthy profit. But no, that was not enough money for them. They made the media rounds, thereby EXPOSING the reality of their shops. If you check Alibaba you will literally see the TBN model in Alibaba factory direct wholesale ads for the same crap she sells on Etsy. Deny THAT!

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  6. …and do you think for one second that IF these shops were actually selling HANDMADE items that Etsy would “ask them to leave?” The answer is a resounding HELL NO! I’m sure Chad is sobbing over the loss of income that’s gonna happen when they leave.

    Like

    • It does seem that way doesn’t it? And with the stocks practically crashing around their ears. Ahh to be a fly on the wall around the boardroom table.
      They got themselves in this mess tho, changed the whole thing. And you’re right, the vanity and greed of it all. Come back to bite them in the ass somewhat.
      Love the forum thread too, is it even possible to fix? Would they even want to fix it? I wonder what the shareholders think about all of this.

      A bit off topic, but there’s also a weird underbelly of Etsy, there’s some really strange shit being sold. A friend found this pearler and we debated for ages what was being sold for .27c Reported and the shop was shut down. But check out the sales.

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  7. Something very interesting: right now if you do a search on Etsy for threebirdnest-NOTHING COMES UP! But if you search by Google-there it is. Holy shit, did Etsy actually “unindex” the shop from search!? This may be astounding news!

    Like

  8. A thought re: G&L claiming the legwarmers are “Melissa’s own design”: If that’s true, then they must have copyrighted the pattern (why wouldn’t they, since it’s such a “big success” for them? LOL) . Let them prove it by providing the design copyright registration number. 😉 They can’t find it? Oh, what a shame. 😉

    I just tried the search as well. Easy way to find out if the shop is still open though: paste any of their listing titles from the past few days into the search instead, and see if they come up in the results. If that happens, it means Etsy just pulled the shop NAME from the search, but left the store operating.

    When a shop goes into vacation mode now, does it remove the shop from the search database? Maybe that’s what happened (going into temporary hiding till the worst of the nonsense blows over)

    Btw, I see the stock has hit a new low: $15.18

    Like

  9. I love the American Flag headband.
    Should say: made in China.

    Selling it for 9.99 on her website – special for 4th of July…
    On Etsy – was 25$.

    Like

    • The American Flag headband that’s “No longer available” with an active link in reviews? Because it was removed for infringement? The same headband that was relisted with the infringing tag still intact?

      Like

    • Enter “American flag headband turban” in Etsy search: ironic how many reseller shops have this very same item for wildly different prices. Not to mention the fact that it is made in China & can be purchased direct from the factory there for pennies!

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  10. More interesting news: Amazon has just announced that they will offer free shipping for lightweight/small items (packages 8 oz or less), even for non-Prime members AND not subject to the $35 free-shipping minimum. Posted today on BusinessInsider:
    “As it steps up pressure on rivals ranging from eBay (eBay) to Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY), Amazon.com’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) latest move is to offer free shipping on smaller items to non-Prime members and on orders that do not meet the current minimum order size to qualify for free shipping. Anything weighing 8 ounces or less will be covered by the program and Amazon will ship orders from a new fulfillment center in Kentucky that will focus on this new initiative. It is expected that many of the orders will relate to third party vendors, which makes us wonder whether this new service will appeal to certain Etsy retailers who sell photos, postcards, small prints and other light items.”

    Another article this morning is entitled “Etsy shares have crashed by more than 50% in less than two months.” http://finance.yahoo.com/news/etsy-shares-crashed-50-less-152644505.html

    Like

  11. If an item is removed by Etsy staff and the photo is blank with the text “No longer available”, I understand it’s for an infringement.

    If an item was removed for infringement and I click on the text “No longer available” why would it take me to that item? Not just to the item, but it’s still for sale. (?!)

    Does Etsy staff allow a seller to remove the infringing text and relist the item?

    What if the seller relists and it still uses the infringing text?

    Do you need to report it to the trademark holder or can you report it to Etsy?

    Like

    • I think it would depend on whether the item itself infringes, or just the description?

      For example if a seller makes picture frames with all sorts of winter-y decorations on it (snowflakes, ice cubes, glittery this and that, blue-and-white theme, etc..but no actual Disney characters or names on it) and describes it as a Frozen-themed or Frozen-anything, then I’d think the text/advertising would be an infringement (using copyrighted Disney descriptives) but the item itself …. if it was described as just “winter theme picture frame” or “wintry colors picture frame” , with no Disney reference, would be fine.

      Thus the item itself would be ‘innocent’ (and should be buy-able) but the seller would have to stop using the Disney-owned words??

      Etsy apparantly will not do squat unless the trademark owner submits the proper legal complaint/takedown forms. It’s the “not my job, man!” approach, LOL

      On another note, there was a new article today that the UK taxing authorities have started going after sellers on Etsy.UK, eBay.UK, and Amazon.UK for not collecting the proper taxes on sales. Remember how nice Amazon used to be, before the individual states began suing over non-collection of sales tax, and Amazon lost?

      Like

    • Does it take 24 hours to refresh? It could also be that the shop seller is testing the waters as it was.
      We all know Etsy are rather slow on these kind of things – and may take their time to go back to check if the item was really ‘removed’ and not just re-listed straight away.

      Could it also be that there are outstanding orders on this item and that’s why it still shows.

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  12. I think we’d all just be speculating as to how/why Etsy may remove an item. They never give specifics on this kind of stuff. Wait, let’s all ask Brandi. She knows absolutely everything!

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    • If Brandi is truly ‘hand-making’ her items, why is it that she has time to sit in front of her computer on a daily basis, cheerleading for the Etsy management? Are they subsidizing her pom-pons???

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      • No kidding! And homeschool 5 kids? And suffer from migraines & lie in bed several days a week? (Looks like she removed many of these previously stated “facts” from her “about” page.) Plus running a factory out of her home?? Gives me the willies.

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  13. I don’t know about all of you, but I am having the single worst month ever on Etsy (past 4 weeks) and I’m really getting a bit paranoid.

    I can smell something is changing over there and not in a good way.

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  14. Oh yes. I have not sold one thing in over 3 weeks…something has been changing over there for the worse since Chad became CEO. Allowing “manufacturing” was the death knell. Gave cover for the mass influx of resellers. It is an ugly place.

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  15. Here’s an interesting snippet today:
    “In a SEC Form 4 Filing, [Etsy] has also disclosed other Insider Transactions , Breyer James, Director of Etsy Inc, unloaded 2,165,950 shares at an average price of $14.96 on April 21, 2015. The total amount of the transaction was worth $32,402,612, according to the disclosed information with the Securities and Exchange Commission in a Form 4 filing. ”
    Hmm… initial IPO opening price was $16/share… Wonder how many Etsy sellers know that a member of the Board of Directors dumped more than 2 million shares on the SAME DAY as the actual IPO? Which means he must have acquired it for… how much??

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  16. When TBN aquired KKC’s leather business, did the owner remain a designer or did TBN aquire her jewelry, purses, bags, etc and is she no longer affiliated with her line or TBN?

    I noticed she’s not listed on TBN’s about page, or credited on any listing, so I was wondering if she’s still designing?

    I noticed there was something floating around about a leather purse in TBN’s Etsy store. The leather cuffs, bags, necklaces on TBN were probably made by Karen. (The butterfly cuff, purse, cuff with a gem stone, etc) She had a successful Etsy store and her line was sold, before TBN acquired her store, through retailers like Free People.

    Here’s an example –
    KKC’s necklace sold on Free People:
    http://www.freepeople.com/whiskey-river-pendant/

    KKC’s necklace sold on TBN Etsy:
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/188721203/leather-necklace-tassel-boho-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_8

    KKC’s necklace sold on TBN standalone:
    http://www.threebirdnest.com/products/leather-whiskey-pendant-necklace
    (Is TBN using Free People’s photos?!)

    On TBN’s shops, I don’t see any credit to KKC as the creator. Does she work for TBN? If not – is it Etsy legal to aquire another Etsy store’s inventory and sell it as your own handmade inventory?

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    • Nope. NOT Etsy legal. But then with all the redefined words & double standards & lawless Wild West environment on Etsy now-if it makes Etsy big profits, it’s A-OK. When words no longer have real meaning & are open to CEO interpretation, Etsy cannot be trusted.

      Like

  17. Bet nearly all of the big boys cashed out….fast. They smell danger.
    As my dad would say, they “got out while the gettin’ was good.”

    Like

  18. By the way, Etsy openly allows people to sell factory made goods now. But you’re right about Grace and Lace, her using the death of her daughter to sell Chinese stuff and lying about how she designed it nauseates me. By the way, the leg warmers in your article are selling on Amazon.com as “Lucky Love” brand and freepeople.com sells them as “loveland” leg warmers. Grace and Lace has left Etsy and I was Googling the subject when I found your article. I’m curious if she left or was kicked off. I read another article where a woman said if people want to sell Chinese mass produced stuff on etsy all they have to do is ask for a form then just fill in a Chinese factory’s name and that etsy doesn’t check it out for validity. I also think that etsy’s “5 star” rating system is innacurate. After watching etsy’s store threebirdnest recieve over 500 negative feedbacks (I’ve been watching for 5 months) etsy still implies with their star rating that she is almost five stars. Look back in her feedback to mid-February. She sold hundreds of items that she did not have in stock then refused to give people their money back stating that she gives “store credits only”. It’s blatant stealing! But people see her near perfect star rating and continue to order. All of her items can be acquired on ebay for $1-$5 with free shipping straight from China.

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  19. I’m an Etsy seller myself, and have purchased from G&L several times before, and I can’t believe you actually have the nerve to write an article like this. Their items are NOT ripped off designs from China. If you’ve followed their company or story at all, you would know that their designs are completely original, and at the start of her company Melissa was in fact knitting them all by hand. Of course they are made in factories now – it is impossible to scale a business to that size without the use of manufacturing. Manufacturing is a part of every business – it’s ridiculous to think that anyone should try to knit hundreds of thousand of boot socks by hand. Chinese manufacturers ALWAYS knock off Etsy designs, that doesn’t mean the Etsy seller didn’t create them first. Alibaba is known for stealing photos directly from Etsy and putting them up as their own. As an Etsy seller, it’s just so frustrating hearing people bash stores like this – they have no idea how much work goes into creating designs and running a shop. Etsy is a fantastic marketplace full of amazing, creative people who pour their lives into their shops. It is literally 15-16 hour days, 7 days a week. NOT just sitting back and casually ordering things from China. You really should get your facts straight before you publish.

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    • Amy – I run my own store, I know what Etsy is about. China and India factory items have no place on Etsy. Alicia left, or actually got kicked off the site. Her reviews were wretched and her “original” items are everywhere on Etsy. She doesn’t belong on Etsy, but I wish her the best out there in the retail/online world.

      Like

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