Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Might Come Back and Bite You

"Thou Shalt NOT Have An Awesome Design Contest"

For those of you who were watching and paying attention (thank you, by the way) you will have seen that I announced several times that I was going to have a "Design A Corset" contest for my company where I would let my brilliant and innovative customers share their best ideas with me for a chance to with the actual product they designed, custom-fit to them.

Well, I've been researching and thinking about this for weeks, and the more I talked to people, talked to lawyers and had loud, irate conversations in my brain, the more intimidated I became. It occurred to me multiple times that there would be a lot of aspiring designers that would be making submissions, and if these designers saw an element or aspect of their precious design at some point in time a few years later, they might get really upset....upset enough to take legal action.

I just dealt with a lawyer yesterday, and it was crippling to me and my emotions for the whole day. After I got my custom orders done, I laid on the couch and absent-mindedly ate heart-shaped cookies while watching Top Gear. Instead of going out for a romantic evening with my husband, I went to sleep at 7 p.m. The main point is, I don't like legal language.

That's the thing. If I were to draw up a contract for the Design Contest in order to NOT get sued, I would have had to deal with lawyers a lot more. I got a quote for $400 base to draw up that kind of contract. Considering the fact that I also happened to get my credit card number stolen yesterday, and some A-hole spent $3000 at a German Online Antiques Auction site, and I sort of don't have a whole lot of money right now, I REALLY cannot afford $400.

I'm not saying this to get sympathy, I'm not not being one of your classic passive aggressive bloggers, and I'm NOT trying to destroy your dreams. I just need to state the stumbling blocks on the path that was really fun to skip down.....until I ended up being gagged, tied up with old-fashioned spiral rope, and laid on the train tracks by a dastardly villain with a little curly mustache.

So, no Design Contest. BUT GUESS WHAT!!! I'm putting together pictures of a Pirate Coat that you guys can enter to win instead! The prize will be worth MORE than your custom designs would have even been, and I'll give you fabric choices and a whole lot of other awesomeness! It's going to be a SUPER-charged $600 coat with sleeve attachments, hoods, details, and more awesomeness you would have thought could be contained in one single garment!

THIS, is a contest I CAN have, and I will put together the rest of the details and let you know how to enter and what to do this next week! ;)

P.S. sorry for how depressing this started out
P.P.S. Sorry again.


  1. You? Rock.

    Good for you for finding out what you needed to know, and good for you for taking positive action to keep yerself from the wiggy place.

    Rock on.

  2. Since I never planned to enter because I have no design skills, this is ultimately quite the exciting post for me! Chance to win a pirate coat??? YES!!

    Also, the ensemble you are wearing in that photo + the killer facial expression + the marvelous hand gesture = UTTER SEXINESS!

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  4. Don't blame you in the least. But wow do I want that Pirate Coat in the picture

  5. It's sad that the Design A Corset contest won't be happening, but I'm so happy that you made the right decision. I would hate, so much, to see that contest come back to hurt you, and there were so many little details that could potentially do it.

    Until such a time that you can get a contract that will protect you ironed out, avoiding the contest is the right call 100%.

    Be strong, Michelle! Don't be afraid to make the hard choices, we love you and your work no matter what.

  6. LOVE that GORGEOUS corset set!!! I feel the same way you do about dealing with lawyers. There's a website currently up and running which sells kits of one of my original designs. I could sue them for infringement but just to have a lawyer draw up a C&D would cost me $300 and more time than I have available.

  7. Michelle, I have so much love and respect for you! Sending you lots and lots of Happy, Zappy energy! <3

  8. You're a smart lady. Too bad the rest of the world is so stingy and mean spirited.

    Love the pirate coat contest.

    Some day when you are a gazillionaire and can afford those legal fees, maybe you'll resurrect that design contest. Good luck with the credit card fiasco.

  9. seriously I'm a lurker... i never comment on your blog but ALWAYS read it... i infact visit your site over and over again hoping and waiting for another posting because you are AWESOME girl!
    :) hats off to you for dealing with the lawyer yesterday.. they make me want to curl up and dissapear!
    Cant wait for the contest! I'll do my best to get involved in that cuz if it's anything like the rest of your work it's fantabulous! :D

  10. Whereas it's a shame the Design a Corset contest won't be happening, I can completely understand your reasons behind it! I am sure I would have been worried as all get out about the same things you were! Still despite the change of plan you are still loved and adored for your awesomeness!

    Your new idea for a contest is fantastic and I imagine more people will be able to participate in that one, which means even more excitement all around! Definitely a good replacement contest!

    I am curious though, now that you are no longer doing the design contest, do you know what you will be putting in your next magazine? I just wondered and if you haven't worked that out yet it's cool I am sure you'll come up with something wonderful!

    By the way the outfit in the picture above is just GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!

  11. Totally understandable!
    I think you can count on the support of all your fan (mine for sure! :D), I mean, this kind of contests are here to have a little of fun, not to work your brains out!
    In my opinion yours was the wisest decision!

    And the outfit you're wearing in the picture bove...I'm speachless!
    It's beautiful beyond repair! ;)

  12. What gorgeousness! I love that teal outfit! Top Gear! Heart shaped cookies! Sounds *exactly* like my own Valentine's evening (add a bit of 4-H, minus a bit of legal issues). Hang in there because you rock!

  13. My first reaction when I saw this post "Oh look! She updated again today!" Closely followed by "Omg that is the prettiest dress/corset ensemble I've ever seen. I will never be able to afford that. I must look at it closer." Then five minutes later when I finally looked away from the pretty I read your post.

    I have this to say, I had forgotten you actually intended to have a design contest, but I'm sort of glad you're holding off on it now. There was this photography contest I wanted to enter once. I don't remember what contest it was now or even what the prize was but I remember being super excited about it. Then right before I was going to submit my picture I read the rules. One of the little things in there was that by submitting you were basically giving up your rights to the picture. If you didn't win you didn't get anything, but the company could still use your picture as they wished. That was a big ole "DO NOT ENTER HERE!" sign for me. So if you do, do a contest and that ends up being in the rules and the whole "by submitting you're agreeing to this contract/rules" thing then beware! Beware! Not that I believe you would do that, but still Beware!

  14. I'm sorry it's been hard for you! There are some really rotten people out there and planning for all variations of mean/stupid is impossible and expensive to get an expert to do.
    I was looking forward to the contest but then you put out a prototype that looked a lot like my idea anyway
    Maybe someday when you aren't as stressed one of your customers will turn out to be a lawyer who wouldn't mind bartering for a contract. ;)
    We love you and I can't wait for the pirate coat contest!

  15. It's actually impossible to copyright a design (and therefore impossible to sue for it.) Hence why the fashion industry is having a problem with the knockoff versions of their products...The only thing that can be copyrighted are logos.

    But I can see why you wouldn't want to deal with the trouble of being accused. Love the picture!

  16. Omigawd Someone stole your CC#! :(((( This is so heartbreakening!!! I hate to hear it. You don't have to pay for it do you? Gosh this sucks! I hope it all works out in the end... :(

    Its a bummer you can't have the contest but I totally understand! I know that in the past I have refrained from entering certain contests because I knew I would like my design and hated the thought of giving up all my rights to it and for someone else to profit for it. I know I would be terribly irritated if it was like some super popular design everyone was buying for the big bucks. lol So I am totally cool with your final choice. :)

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVEEEEEEE the outfit in your picture! I just about died with glee over it the moment I saw it. That skirt just SCREAMS for a huge pannier to go under it! I am obsessed with hoop skirts and giant panniers...LOL Is that the prize for the new contest you mentioned or is it just an up-coming outfit? Because I so am in love with it and I'd hate to see it be a one-off contest prize never to be made again!

  17. Those sleeves are absolutely scrumptious. Also, you do whatever you need to, and we'll still all be fangirls for life. Love you!

  18. Totally understandable, but really if you draw up a contest and say some bullshit like "By entering you agree that the rights of this design is part of Damsel in this dress blahblahblah" you'd be fine, cause you'd have proof "Oh see, they agreed to this."

    But it also seems kinda pushy and cruddy to do that. People are really selfish. :S Hope all goes well with your new contest! :D Can't wait to participaatte. :D

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