If it is not obvious by my blog content that I am a champion for small, mom-run/owned shops, I’ll state it out right: I believe that there is no greater thought, care and love put into children’s apparel than that of the mom & pop shop! I take my hat off to the “mom-preneurs” who design, hand-stitch, hand package, and write thank-you notes, all after putting their kiddos to bed at night in order to live out their dreams of making amazing clothes for their little people and ours!
Some of these shops have quite a presence online and in their communities. Unfortunately, the spotlight not only brings adoring fans (myself included) but rivals. Even more heartbreaking, is that most of these rivals do not stand on the same standards that most mom-preneurs set for themselves and their brands yet make exact replicas of designs made by my beloved small-shops. Many mass produce on cheaply made clothes and, because of this, are able to sale their knock-offs for a fraction of the cost at a large profit.
Kid + Kind is small shop that has suffered from this practice. Please read, below, her story, in her own words, about her struggle and then enjoy the pictures of her amazing products that follow.
In recent months, I have seen more and more of my designs showing up as knock-offs that are manufactured in China and sold by people who are actually ‘following my [IG] account. I have tried to remain calm, but it sure feels discouraging. Despite what many of you may assume to know about me, I’m struggling to make it. I’m a single mother. Life-threatening complications during my pregnancy caused me to lose everything I’d spent my career working to build. The situation left me jobless, homeless, and without a dime to even buy diapers. I was a frail, lifeless, shadow of a human after the birth of my daughter and it took more than a year for me to gain back the physical strength I needed to begin working to build my life again.
We are still without all the things I mentioned above; we live with a family member who supports us while I attempt to build a new life. I started Kid+Kind a year ago and STILL every dime I make goes into making more product. My daughter and I STILL have nothing to stand on, no way to venture out on our own, nothing to call our own. While I spend day and night fighting for a chance to build something lasting for my tiny family, there are hundreds of people taking that away. This very moment, people are pulling the rug out from under me. I can’t go a day without seeing someone new selling knock-off items manufactured in China, undoubtedly by someone who is profiting. It’s disheartening. It’s actually heart-breaking…hope-breaking. It leaves me in tears, wondering if I’ve been wasting the kindness shown to me to start this company. It makes me worry that I won’t make it another season but these people will.
I don’t share much about my life, because quite frankly, I don’t want people to know what it’s like. It isn’t pretty IG pictures. It’s tough and it’s trying, but I’m sharing this because I am pleading with those of you who are buying and selling knock-offs to stop. Please. It isn’t victimless stealing.