You might be surprised that we haven’t written about Stevie, an Etsy jewelry designer known for her state charms with a little heart punched through each one. Stevie was quite upset because Urban Outfitters allegedly mimicked her design. “My heart sank a little bit [when I saw this],” Stevie confessed on her Tumblr.
As bad as I felt for Stevie, I didn’t put the story on yesterday’s schedule. We write about rip-offs pretty consistently, but this just didn’t sit right with me. Hadn’t I seen these little charms before?
Since the story broke, Urban has pulled the style from its website. And Stevie seems to be experiencing unexpectedly high sales in wake of the situation. She reports on her Etsy page that “Orders will take a bit longer due to the overwhelming response to Urban Outfitters! Please give me 3-4 weeks to create and ship your items! xo.”
Good for Stevie, but as Regretsy writer Helen Killer remarks, she’s not the first jeweler to turn these little guys out.
Stevie released her first heart/state necklace in 2009. Sudlow, another Etsy designer, started selling a similar design in 2008. And James Avery–a slightly cheesy, non-Etsy designer–was selling them even earlier than that. What’s more, there are a gazillion other Etsy designers doing similar pieces. “Are all of these independent designers on Etsy stealing from each other? Or this is such a simple and generic idea that many people can come up with it at once?” asks Helen.
Here’s a screen shot taken by Helen of all the Etsy designers creating similar necklaces.
So do you still feel bad for Stevie?