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Our personalised jewellery range will come offline at midnight Sunday 31st January! You have only 4 days left to decide what to order, now really is your last chance. Can't decide what to print on your pendant? Check out the blog post below for some fun ideas! Let us know if you have any questions!
Just for Valentines day we have designed a set of complimentary sweetheart note cards which will accompany all our gold charm jewellery. Each necklace will be packaged up with one of the cards and there is a lil' space on the reverse for you to write your message of love! The following designs will come with one of these cute candy pink note cards: Baby I Love You, Catnap, Music Lover, Pony, Heart to Heart, Fang, Call Me and Bicyclette.
Each sweetheart has been lovingly drawn for us by super-cute illustrator Leah Stewart. Thanks Leah!
Love is once again in the air as we fast approach one of my fave times of the year: Valentine's Day! Having been raised on American pop culture, I'm all for turning my milk pink with food colouring, pulling on my heart patterned tights and giving in to all things romantic. But what if you're not feeling loved-up at the mo, but have always had a crush on our soon-to-be-gone Personalised range? You can still get in the mood with some Personalised Valentine's Day jewellery as the team at LLROK have come up with some super cute solutions just for you!
Firstly we thought we'd offer you a Valentine's special! How about the chance to have the option of a little heart so you can proudly tell the world what you love! We like I *heart* Tea, but you could choose whatever you like, Just pop an asterisk * in place of the heart when you order, but please remember that this option is only available on anchors, swallows, hearts, glitter hearts and double sided hearts for Valentine's Day!
Now, even if your current dreamboat couldn't be dishier, you might not want to wear your sweetie's name on a necklace or brooch. So what about getting the name of *your song* on a double heart necklace? Of course, the choice is yours, but some of our favourite love songs at LLROK HQ include 'Love Me Tender', 'Be My Baby' or my personal fave: 'She's a Rainbow' by the dashing Rolling Stones. Perhaps you're a gal who just can't make up her mind about her love life? You don't need to choose between two admirers with our double sided heart necklaces! Pop 'em both on there and enjoy yourself! I personally have a hard time deciding who my steady should be: Cry-baby from the John Waters film or the original dreamboat Elvis. What do you think?
No beau? No worries! What about showing love for your hometown, fave pet or family member? When an order came in recently for a glitter heart brooch with 'Glasgow' proudly emblazoned on it I couldn't stop myself for getting one for myself with my hometown on it, it's not left my cardigan since! Or how about embracing the season with some sweet sentiments? Fall head over heels for heart name necklaces with 'Dreamboat', 'Lover', 'Sweetpea', 'Kitten', L'amour' or 'True Love'. Double heart jewellery looks swell with 'Sweet Heart' or 'Hearts Desire' written on it!
Lastly, for all of you who aren't fans of Valentine's Day, what about sharing that cynicism with the world on a black heart? Pop a 'Lovesick', 'Get Lost' or 'It's Over" onto a necklace and just watch their faces! You'll be out there breakin' hearts with the best of them!
It's that time of year again when we Spring Clean the studio ready for our year ahead! We'll be hauling up all sorts of exciting bits'n'bobs from our basement inc. jewellery samples (inc. lots of slightly imperfect name necklaces & brooches), ex-display goodies, grab bags of charms/broken jewellery/fabric & random bric-a-brac. In addition we'll be selling a huge collection of magazines inc. Nylon, the Face, Vogue, ID, Street from Japan and lots of random arty/fashion zines/fanzines from around the world. Plus I'll be selling on lots of vintage goodies from my Pop-Up Tea Shoppe! We'll have piping hot free tea for everyone making a purchase! Arrive early to avoid disappointment! *CASH ONLY* Check out our yard sales in 2009 and 2008!
Oh yes, love-it-or-loath-it, Valentines day is peeking at us from just around the corner and we've designed a new folky friend as an antidote to sickly sweet gifts! Come say hey to our I'm Nuts About You squirrel made from solid walnut, lovingly sanded down and beautifully finished with 3 coats of varnish. He's available as a necklace with four chain options or as a brooch with a cutaway eye instead of a diamante to make him a super cool boys brooch too! He is presented on an illustrated note card and you can write your special message on the reverse... so it's a present-and-card combo time saver! Hurrah.
It's Monday morning and I'm happy to see a new week, the last two have been a little bit overwhelming with the whole ASOS issue. Trying to tackle the problem of design theft is a mucky business and not one we wish to dwell on any further - we've jewellery to make! I wanna say a huge thank you to everyone who commented on our blog, sent us e-mails, Facebook messages, Tweets'n're-tweets. We received a handful of *very* insightful e-mails from people who used to work on the inside of these companies including this e-mail from a girl who has granted us permission to post her message, but wishes to remain anonymous...
"I used to work for a jewellery design company, designing for lots of high street brands, including ASOS. I may have an interesting insight for you... we were actually encouraged to literally rip off other people's designs. All we had to do was photocopy the piece, make notes on it for the dimensions and colours and send it off to several production factories (mostly China) for them to compete by offering us the lowest price for manufacture on large quantities.
Occasionally we would also actually draw out a copied design, changing the details just a little. To avoid being accused of copying, many large companies use the '3 details' rule - you change 3 things about a design and you can basically get away with it a lot of the time.
Suffice to say, this job felt totally soul-destroying and I only lasted about 3 months. I've been an independent jewellery designer & maker for several years now."
A big, big thank you to the people who also wrote blog posts about our unfortunate experiences... Indie Quarter - a UK blog dedicated to independent designers, makers, artists and crafters. Made in the Shade - a hip Scottish collective who showcase design, neo-craft and vintage lifestyle. We Make - a London group who showcase the talents and crafts of designer/makers. Strikk - a beautiful knitwear brand. Lucy Loves - A super-cute UK fashion blogger. Who Wore What When - A super-cute Scottish fashion blogger. Made By White - an Australian jewellery brand who were recently ripped off by Topshop.
We also uploaded our experience to the fantastic You Thought We Wouldn't Notice website!
We've a busy week ahead which includes the launch of our folky friend the I'm Nuts About You squirrel necklace and brooch, our all new super cute Valentines notecards to accompany our gold charm jewellery are on their way, check out our fabric sale on eBay and we're in the *very* last week of making our Personalised jewellery...
Join Laura J London and friends for a day of shopping, shoes, cake and burlesque! Discover French Kiss Vintage - a secret treasure trove of spellbinding one-of-a-kind vintage garments and va-va-voom vintage-inspired accessories designed to bring a bit of Ooh La La into your life. Nudge your boyf in the direction of BannBee hand-made undergarments and holler hints galore when delving into our Valentines inspired range of jewellery. Swing by between 1pm and 4pm and you can marvel at our living breathing mannequin the wonderful Bella de Jac performing her fan dance as part of the window display! My-oh-my...
The workers present a ‘one stop shoppe‘ of all their favourite designers, makers and crafters. Come along! Bring your date, or bring your mates, buy gifts for your friends, or indulge in a spot of self-love and treat yourselves! Check out gifts for ladies and gentlemen ranging from the frivolous to the eccentric to the serious, but all well made, unique and value for money. Something to tickle anyone’s fancy!
Spend a lazy Sunday afternoon browsing through vintage and handmade burlesque inspired treats, hand drawn valentine’s cards, chocolates and indulgent cupcakes, jewellery, graphic t-shirts and limited edition prints, Japanese toys, curios & collectibles, craft kits, do-it-yourself packs and undergarments GALORE!
Hangover cures including: "Toshi's Donkey-Monkey veggie sushi bar", teas, coffees, cakes, snacks, fully stocked bar, live music and dj’s throughout the day. All here for your delight set in the wonderful and strange surroundings of the Working mens club!
When we found out ASOS had stolen our Russian Doll artwork on Friday, I’m sorry to say it's not the first time another company has sold an inferior copy of our original artwork. Up until now we have kept the distress & frustration away from our customers – Lady Luck Rules OK is filled with rock’n’roll, rainbows & unicorns, right? Unfortunately not. I have to thank Lyndsay from Made By White for her blog post about Freedom copying her adorable brooch set last week for giving me the determination to reveal what happened to us at the hands of ASOS. The power of Twitter meant that the offending ring was removed from sale within one hour of our blog post/tweet and I have to say I was impressed with the speed in which they dealt with the situation. I’m sure it wasn’t out of the goodness of their heart, any company that has a Social Media Manager is there to act quickly when bad press starts to rapidly ping about the net. Before the days of Twitter it was a much longer drawn out process…
When we set up Lady Luck Rules OK in 2003 I attended a seminar by Own It and decided to sign up to Design Protect with Briffa to protect our intellectual property rights. In March 2006, copies of our best selling Music Lover boombox brooch started cropping up on eBay and in independent stores – but they weren’t ours! A bit of internet sleuthing revealed an Australian based wholesaler called Nookart was the copying culprit. Briffa handled the case for us but because Nookart weren’t based in the UK there was little we could do as the Design Protect insurance only covered infringements within the UK. Nookart said they had purchased the design from a “backpacking graphic designer” (convenient, huh?) and the rather eccentric owner of Nookart said he would only deal directly with me and not our solicitors. In the end he removed the brooch from sale, re-called the stock from retail stores and destroyed the remaining units. This all took weeks and many, many e-mails all resulting in our next collection launching late.
In February 2008 I was link-clicking and landed on the adorable Girlsaremadeofsugar website when I saw an exact copy of our enamel Rainbow Heart being sold as one of their designs. I sent an e-mail and Cynthia replied telling us the shocking news that she had purchased the necklace from Primark in Spain for just 1.50! In the same month, Mellie from Belgium e-mailed to tell us about cheapo jewellery store chain Six which is the European version of Claire’s Accessories and their very poor replica of our Robot Lover necklace. She sent us the photo above. Sigh. In the November, Karen e-mailed us about the UK website Extreme Largeness because she thought they were selling recreations of our products. They had in fact gone for the hat trick and were selling copies of our Raygun, Rocket & Robot (he’s a popular lil’ guy!). I called the company up and spoke to the owner who told us she had purchased the jewellery from a factory in Thailand and was unaware the artwork had been stolen from us. I’d like to believe this were true but they had attempted to open a wholesale account with us 6 months earlier (we don’t tend to wholesale to other online stores) so they *were* aware of our designs. It's unfortunate that when she discovered the copies she didn't tell us about it but instead purchased and sold them. She did remove the copies from her website the same day we spoke on the telephone.
The most disappointing trend has been the copying by other small businesses or individuals - and this is very common. We've seen our logo crop up on t-shirts in Germany, our Tattoo Parlour collection photocopied onto shrinky dink jewellery in America, and our tattoo heart artwork replicated onto wooden jewellery here in England. I'm sure these people didn't mean any real harm, they were just being lazy. Sure, if you want to make a robot necklace, do what we do and have fun watching B-movies, look at those fantastic collection of metal toys from the 50's, thumb through old Boy's Adventure books and then put them aside while you let all this fantastic inspiration and your imagination conjure up your dream robot. Give him the features, like googly eyes and a dinky little heart that you think will make him that little bit special. Draw the shapes that you like, and use your favourite colours... But where's the satisfaction in simply replicating something someone else has done? Sometimes people say we should be flattered when this happens, but we really only ever feel hurt because something that was very special to us has been spoilt by someone we've never met.
So what is an independent designer-maker to do? Unfortunately, I still don’t have a definitive answer, we're still learning too! We stopped paying into the Design Protect scheme because when it came to the crunch it didn’t seem they could help us. As a true independent we deal with the situation ourselves by doing the following…
1. The minute we find out about a copy we start gathering evidence. If it's being sold online take a screengrab of the whole page. If it's being sold in a bricks and mortar store (in the UK!) go and buy one, keep receipt & packaging.
2. Before going public or contacting the company show/e-mail a link to friends and family to gather some honest feedback. It's easy to feel you have been copied when in reality, sometimes it's just that people have similar ideas at similar times. Other times it's obvious to everyone who looks at it that your original work was more than just 'inspiration' to someone else, and that they've copied you.
3. Contact the buyer/designer of the company with a friendly first e-mail/letter (remember they *might* be unaware this is a copy). I prefer to keep everything in writing, in case I need to prove what has been communicated later on. It's easy to forget what you've said over the phone. Cease & Desist letters can come later if they don't co-operate. Provide them with evidence that this is our design, we also include blog entries and press articles which are good quick visual way to date when we launched the design. Request they remove the article from sale immediately and either send the remaining stock to us to destroy or allow them to do it.
4. Compensation? In my experience this is just not a reality, although maybe I should pursue this part more... after all they have saved themselves the time we spent designing and prototyping it, profited from our design, possibly lost us sales, and cheated our valued customers who come to us for unique, well-made jewellery. If you're a designer/illustrator who's successfully managed this part please post a comment below and tell us your story.
5. From now on I will blog 'n' tweet 'n' tell all. Everyone has a right to know that these things happen and customers might feel they no longer want to buy from or support those companies who repeatedly rip off the creative inspiration of others.
6. Have a cup of tea and get over it! It is genuinely hurtful when you first see something you remember doodling on a scrap of paper, drawing and re-drawing until it's just right, excitedly sampling and testing and finally launching to your customers being copied, made badly and sold at half the price you could afford to make it for. Apart from anything else, it's heartbreaking that some people might actually think these shoddy copies were created by me! The people who do this are selfish, lazy and greedy - phew - it makes me so angry, but I have to calm down... As a small business we don't have the resources or money to get involved in time-consuming legal actions and are too busy to feel sorry for ourselves. Instead, we HAD to put our energy into fresh ideas and invent jewellery that was harder to copy. Sadly, one of the reasons we stopped making enamels was that they kept being copied - but it did result in us developing several new handmade techniques, such as printing onto wood and applying glitter to acrylic.
So what happened with ASOS? Well, Llana their Social Media Manager, told us that they have removed the offending article from their site while they contact the supplier and has also informed me that ASOS don’t actually design jewellery in house. The sad truth is that ASOS brand goods are probably sourced by a buyer from a factory in the Far East...
These factories churn out cheap mass produced pieces that's very often copied from other designers to sell in wholesale quantities to shops across the world. It's not exactly the glossy image portrayed on the fashion store’s website, is it? It’s also a fair assumption that it was the factory that stole our artwork, manufactured it and sold it to the buyer. However, I think it's highly unlikely indeed that nobody in the buying office of ASOS was aware it was one of our designs, as we had a lot of press on the Russian Doll. These buyers are paid to be aware of trends, and for this reason, we regularly remove their e-mail addresses from our mailing list when they sign up to it... Besides, back in 2005 we sold a line of jewellery to them! So I’m waiting to hear back from Llana to see what the “supplier” has to say for themselves, because I really don't think they can defend their position for buying this counterfeit, find out what is happening to the remaining stock and in the meantime keeping an eye on their Outlet section to make sure the dolly doesn’t pop up there!
So there you go - running a small creative business isn't all pretty is it? I have in the past lost a lot of sleep and spent a lot of time on these gut wrenching matters instead of designing jewellery. It's a good job I adore what I do and that we have the lovely support of so many customers & fellow designer/makers. I hope this blog might help people going through similar issues or if it's already happened to you please post a comment below and share your story. Is there more we can be doing to protect our artwork/creations? And what do our customers make of all this, we'd love to hear some feedback!
This morning I received an e-mail from one of our customers who was looking through the 'New In' section of the ASOS website when a Russian Doll ring caught her attention which looked VERY similar to our design. My heart sunk as I clicked on the link to discover it really is a blatant horrendous cheap rip off of our original artwork! The design and even the wording are copied, we have been selling "I'm Cute" Russian Doll necklaces on the Hannah Zakari website since September 2008. We originally designed the Russian Doll jewellery in August 2008 for a Viktor & Rolf "Dolls Night Out" party held at the Barbican. We took inspiration from trips to a Russian Tearooms in Primrose Hill and a houseboat community in Victoria Park. We then spent a long time lovingly drawing our own Russian Doll design. I feel so angry about this! Surely a *huge* company like ASOS have a large in-house design team earning big bucks to create their own brand products - why copy designs by small independent designers? It's so, so lazy. ASOS you suck! You've left us with no option but to name and shame you but do you actually care?
Growing up called Leona I could never find anything with my name on it & personalised products were pretty non-existent. Apart from one seaside trip when I was about six a man in a little booth was printing names onto t-shirts. My Mum chose a white cotton tee & cherry red flocked letters. I loved that T-shirt. Fast forward 10 years and my most cherished piece of jewellery was a delicate gold necklace spelling out my name by Elizabeth Duke. An early toe-dip into creating personalised jewellery for Lady Luck Rules OK came in 2003 when I found a pile of giant plastic letters which I made into earrings and sold on my stall in Portobello. We also collaborated with indie knitter Kandy Diamond and produced a short run of knitted name necklaces!
Sam and I came up with the idea of creating tattoo style name jewellery in early 2008. We loved the idea of getting a tattoo but without the pain and permanency! We developed the idea and experimented with different materials and production processes. Printing onto wood & making sure you’re creating a long lasting piece of jewellery can be a tricky business! After figuring everything out, buying new equipment and sourcing all the materials we were ready to launch the Tattoo Parlour in April 2008 with three classic tattoo designs all drawn by Sam: an anchor, a swallow and a heart. Each design included a scroll where we could print wording of the customer’s choice. I don’t think we knew then what we were letting ourselves in for…
Just before launch day we shot the collection on a sassy singer called Victoria who I’d met on Myspace. She was a lovely northern lass who didn’t freak when I got the tiki swimsuit out! We didn’t know at the time she’d just been signed by EMI to unleash her onto the pop world as Little Boots… ha!
The collection has received some amazing press coverage and seeing as we don't have a PR company this makes it all feel especially fuzzy. The Sunday Times Style & Telegraph months were incredible, our fave international magazines Nylon and Frankie picked them up. Cute celebs like Holly Willoughby and Alexa Chung wrote about the pieces and we made custom name jewellery for two of our favourite bands Slow Club and Kitty, Daisy & Lewis.
We’ve also taken our production out of the studio and made personalised jewellery live at some ace events! The idea first came about when we were invited to submit an idea for the V&A Village Fete. Sam designed a rosette pendant and on a sweltering weekend in July 2008 we printed hundreds of name necklaces to order and were surrounded by a circle of shoppers watching the process. After that, we designed a Russian Doll name necklace for a Viktor & Rolf party at the Barbican, created a set of artists’ implements for Loud Tate at Tate Britain & held a Pop-Up Tattoo Parlour at Urban Outfitters in Covent Garden.
The production process was so time consuming that in February 2009 we employed Ova who is our dedicated personalised production assistant. She sands the wooden shapes, prints them, drills & varnishes. Then over to our interns who help us make the wooden shapes into jewellery. I do the final quality control check as the orders are prepared ready to pack & send out! Other designs have included a Goth Doll and our first double sided piece Miss Jekyll & Sister Hyde designed for Halloween. We designed a rose pendant for the Shoreditch Sisters WI and took them along to a jewellery workshop heaving with over 100 sisters. We made a Rockin’ Horse for Christmas and a Double Heart & Lovebirds for Valentines day. We designed a stick o’ rock name necklace and a Rock’n’Roll Kitty where we experimented printing onto acrylic instead of wood. Finally we sourced a fantastic solid glitter finish to add to the hearts which I must admit is my personal fave…
Our lovely customers have found some fun ways of using our personalised services! We’ve made jewellery for weddings, birthdays, roller derby girls, a horror film festival, a French art festival, many a staff name badge including name pins for the Maisonette in Glasgow (pictured above). We don’t always print names…some of our fave words have included peanut butter, hey ho, lets go, Kentish Town, grandma, april showers, waffle, hoppy + foxy & noodles. My all time fave name is Frankie Buttons - I've concoted a whole life for this crafty ‘40s gangster. We’ve been serving the goth community well too printing face ache, die, poison, bitch and morticia. If you've ordered one with a fun story please, please post a comment below, we'd be delighted to hear from you!
We’ve loved (nearly) every minute of producing this collection. I’m blanking out my bleeding fingers from early bad sanding technique & our pre-Ova days working til midnight every night in the lead up to Christmas 2008. Tears were shed. But that’s it, we’re going to stop making this collection because we've got so many new ideas & new things happening! So if you’ve been long pondering buying one or were planning getting one for a friends birthday or something later in the year…act now! You have until Sunday January 31st when the collection will officially be taken offline. Although, we don’t have a never-ending supply of materials so some styles might sell out before the end of the month.
Shop the Personalise It collection for one last time! Don't delay, snap one up today! Coz once they're gone...they're gone...
I love January! January means it's official sale time and we can go darn crazy and slash our prices! It's not a clearance, it's just a fun 7 days where we can give you guys, our loyal troupe of customers a treat to flush away the January blues. So get ready to add to your ever growing collection of Lady Luck Rules OK treasures with 50% off EVERYTHING!
Simply enter this discount code during the checkout process - HAPPY NEW YEAR
Please note the gaps between words when entering the code...you have until midnight Sunday 10th January.
PLEASE KINDLY NOTE WE CANNOT REFUND OR EXCHANGE SALE ITEMS. THANKS!