Friday, April 17, 2015

On Authenticity & Morality: An Open Letter To Bloggers

Who knew that there could be so much drama in the stamp industry. Last week, I wrote about how our long standing retail partner of ours, Expressionery.com, terminated our relationship.  They began manufacturing their own stamps and decided not to sell PSA Essentials stamps anymore. That's just business. We parted ways amicably.  

But then, our PSA Essentials stamp designs started popping up on their site.  They "recreated" our best selling stamps and put them on Expressionery stamps.  They changed some letters around and even gave the designs similar names -- and in my opinion, to mislead their customers.  A few graphics to illustrate the point: 



There are actually many more, but I want to get to the point. The subject of this post:  On Authenticity and Morality: An Open Letter To Bloggers. (Sounds so important, doesn't it? It is!) 

To be clear: I personally, am not angry over the designs that I feel were copied.  PSA Essentials, as a company, is not angry. Hurt is a better description. 

We are asking people to do what's right. We are asking Expressionery to remove the designs that we feel have been copied, and go forward in the stamp business using their own original work and designs when selling their stamps.   (As I previously noted, they have some really good ones!) It's not right for a company to copy designs and profit from them? They didn't create them.  Surely, as you read this, you must agree? That's not right, is it? 

Some have argued to me that this is a private issue.  One we should "fight" quietly.  I don't agree. Our customers, retailers and bloggers are part of the public and because creative companies and small businesses get copied everyday by people who think that it's okay to get away with it, we need to stand up! 


What a better time to fight for all those bloggers who have had original photographs stolen? Bloggers who have had their posts blatantly ripped off and plagiarized?  What about those stationery designers who work so incredibly hard to come up with original work -- only to see it knocked off by a big corporation in a store? All of those creative people out there who have struggled with being copied.  And there are so many of them.  Almost everyone I speak to about this have faced this issue. 

Sure, we could quietly argue our points, or we could ask public support in standing up for what is right.   Legal issues aside (I am not at liberty to discuss our legal battles here!) -- this is a moral one. Really, in the stamp world -- we have a moral issue on our hands! 

Going even further, I want to ask bloggers to stay true to themselves and stay true to their core values and beliefs.  You have a choice on who you do business with, represent, and promote. I would hope that bloggers would use their social influence to stand up to injustice and take a stand for all those people who have been taken advantage of.  I would hope that they don't accept money for sponsored posts from any company who is conducting business in this matter.  And for those that have, to reconsider who they have decided to do business with. 

We know that the best blogs out there are those that are by creative people who are original and are truly passionate about what they do. When you stay true to that, I believe you can go far.   



Best of luck to all of our blogger friends that are headed to Snap next weekend! We'll be sure to follow on social media. 

Thank you to all those that have been so supportive over the last few weeks. We are not letting this issue hold us down -- we have so many exciting months ahead.  Stay tuned for new products, new partnerships and new support materials for our loyal retailers. 

Best, 
Libby 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Teresa Collins Stamps

Just in case you haven't heard yet, our Teresa Collins Stamps by PSA Essentials have arrived and are ready for our retailers to start selling and soon for customers to start buying.  Retailers, be sure to check your email. 


If you aren't a retailer of PSA Essentials yet but would like to sell Teresa Collins Stamps by PSA Essentials, please reach out to me at loregan@psaessentials.com.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Teresa Collins for PSA Essentials

The day is here!  We have officially launched Teresa Collins for PSA Essentials.


Teresa's line of simple, bold and functional address stamps mounted on her signature white PSA Essentials stamper is incredibly exciting.  She also designed a line of 5 different Switchable Middles that are available in 4-packs. 


Both are firsts for PSA - a 4-pack of switchable stamps and a WHITE stamper!



Are you familiar with Teresa Collins?  Teresa Collins is a craft industry mega brand.  With boutique styles of embellishments, scrapbook paper, stickers, journaling pages, lettering and more all inspired by interior design and “a beautiful life,” Teresa Collins creates craft products that help capture and document moments.  Her products are found worldwide in both independent and chain craft and stationery stores.   Her television appearances include HSN, DIY Network, QVC, Ideal World TV and a regular guest on Channel 4’s Good Things Utah.  She hosts a weekly online show on Monday on My Craft Channel.  Her work, articles and products have been published in major craft publications, authored two Teresa Collins idea books, and currently working on her third book deal. 

Best of all? She's adorable inside and out! 
 

We are so excited about this new line of personalized stamps and Switchable Middles by Teresa Collins! 


If you are an existing retailer of PSA Essentials, please check your email. If you would like to sell these Teresa Collins stamps, please contact loregan@psaessentials.com to get started. 

Customers should wait a week or so as our retailers are busy adding these brand new stamps!  Check back soon for more details. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Yikes. We've been copied.

Yikes!  We've been copied.  Our long-standing retailer of over 7 years, Expressionery.com, recently terminated our partnership and began making their own stamps. Unfortunately and shockingly -- they copied our designs.   Naturally, we are bit upset.  
Our best selling Wallace?  They changed some letters and called it the Williams.  Our trendy, scripty font Jacobson?   They changed some letters and called it the Johnson.  There are over 20 designs that they have copied. 

All of us at PSA Essentials are hurt and disheartened that this could happen in the stationery and stamp industry, a community that we love and cherish.  We aren't mad, per say.  We are in shock!  
 
This is our business.  These designs and our customers are the heart and passion of what we do.  And for a once trusted retailer of ours to conduct business in the manner in which they are doing – well – we just have to put our foot down and say: “no more.”  That's why I am writing about it today.  
I am actually hoping that you will help us put an end to this blatant infringement on our hard work.  With thousands of readers on this blog, would you help me?  
I invite and request your feedback on our Facebook page, Expressionery’s Facebook page, on Twitter, by calling Expressionery or emailing Expressionery. 
Please tell them this is not okay.  Please tell them to take the copied designs down.  (If you want my honest opinion, they have their own good designs! Stick with them! We will part ways and conduct our own business nicely. And independently.) 
Didn't we learn in Kindergarten to be honest, be fair, and play nice?  Thank you for helping us let this previous partner of ours that it's not okay!  #notokay. 
  • Here's their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Expressionery 
  • And Twitter: +Expressionery.com - @Expressionery 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

2015 Easter Egg Hunt Recap

By now if you've been reading the blog for awhile, you know that I truly love celebrating the holidays with our family and friends and I particularly love throwing parties.  This past Saturday, my mom and I hosted our 5th annual Easter Egg Hunt at their beautiful home on Hilton Head.  What a memorable day with our friends and family!

My friends often kindly remark on the amount of work we do for these parties but it truly doesn't feel like work. (It helps that I work for PSA Essentials and write this blog -- with great stamps I can craft and create decorations and these parties are such great blog content!)  But really, we do it because we love it and it's so much fun.  I so much enjoyed our time yesterday seeing the joy in all of the children's faces racing around for eggs.  I am so fortunate that my parents help (a lot) to make this annual event a tradition for so many families that have been coming for years.  We are so happy to add new people each year, too!  The only disappointment of the day was that my son, Connor, was sick and so he and Mike missed most of the event. 

Here we are prepping for the party. My mom made some adorable peep bunny "race cars" and deviled eggs, My kiddos were tasked with "hiding" nearly 1,000 eggs in the morning and helping me put cupcake toppers in cupcakes, hanging banners and lanterns, and setting up the party! 


Here's a peek at some of the party details! 


While we waited for everyone to arrive, the kids ran around scoping out where the eggs were and planned their route.  Guests enjoyed some snacks and it was great to catch up with everyone. (A note to you, Michelle: it's not that cold!) 


(Note Susan & Luke aren't waving to me, I believe I am holding their son, Matthew, while taking this picture...) 

Time for the hunt to begin! The children gather excitedly. 


These were the only pics I got of Connor and Mike since they spent most of the time inside and left early. Poor Connor. He had been so excited all week. 


It was too cold to swim (though we had heated the pool, the air temperature was really not warm enough!) so we took a walk out to the beach and let the kiddos run around.


Back at the house, we had some cupcakes and took a few photos in our photo booth! 


Once again, a big thank you to my momma especially who really does an incredible amount of work to make this party special and memorable. What a fun time!  Who's ready for the 6th annual? Me!