Over a year ago now I was happily making my headbands for Garlands of Ellfi, mostly making them for family friends and I decided I would expand on what I made. So eventually I got hold of some beautiful glitter fabric and made glitter bows, these proved pretty popular with a lot of people which I was really pleased about. Then one day I was looking at my sisters hair in a bun and thought a bun topper would look cute in her hair so I had a go at making them. Little did I know that someone had been snooping on my social media and preparing a fake letter with advice from their solicitor to send to me. This letter scared me a lot, it wasn't sent by post instead it was sent by email and in the letter I was told I could carry on making and selling my flower garlands/headbands but I wasn't to make the glitter now hair clips, bun toppers or small flower headbands if I did further action would be took.
Alpaca artwork made by Carly Watts for me
I didn't know what to think when I got this email so I broke down crying, I eventually spoke to someone who assured me that this particular woman wasn't able to take further action against me as she didn't have the copyright to these products. I eventually emailed her back stating that I would carry on making them but would stop if she could provide me with the copyright paperwork. We went back and forth with emails and she just wouldn't back down nor would she show me the evidence. I carried on making them yet still got abuse from people who bought products from her shop. I don't wish to tarnish this persons name (a lot of you already know who she is) but I will say I spoke to a few other people/businesses who sold similar to what I was making, a few of them told me that the same person had tried it with them too which made me feel calmer, especially when they were being accused of the same thing as I was and told me not to worry it's just threats to scare us away.
I had to stop making the garlands due to my health but eventually I plan on doing them again one day with matching bouquets, not sure when that one day will be yet. My advice to anyone who wants to start up making glitter hair bows or bun toppers or even small flower headbands is to just bloody do it, if someone says they have the copyright to these products ignore them and provide them with links to other companies that have been making these items way before her (I actually did this). Hundreds and thousands of companies make these products so if this one girl (who is far from a millionaire) had the copyright to these I would be very surprised! If you want to make headbands make sure you do stay away from actual copyright items too, such as Disney! Never run the risk of making and selling products that are Disney themed or actual Disney copies, because you could face a hefty fine. I don't know if anyone else has had a run in with a business over something as ridiculous as this (threatening someone with court action over items which aren't copyrighted to try and get rid of them as they are competition is ridiculous) but if someone does accuse you of copying their item try to consult with a professional even if it does cost you money it's better to know where you stand with these kinds of things, but if said item is already copyrighted to you provide proof that it is your unique idea or proof that the item/artwork you're selling is in fact yours.