Sunday, September 4, 2011

An Update and a word of thanks...

Hello everyone. Marie and Jess here....we are writing in a collaborative effort to come together to clear up any misunderstanding about the prior post. First and foremost, we want to thank EVERYONE who left a constructive comment, even if it wasn't a comment in total support of our policies.  While there is no need to be nasty, we can definitely appreciate that some do not agree, were unaware, or had questions.  Thank you for being candid and honest with us.  We appreciate it and would much rather clear the air than have anyone walk away with hard feelings over this policy.  We know that some of you are not even aware of our Angel Policy.  We are not blaming you for that. It is definitely tucked away in the “fine print” on our FAQ page  (and has been there) and we understand the feeling that it came out of 'nowhere' to some.  Most of all, we are ALWAYS approachable in the event that you have questions and do not want anyone to remain upset over any prior misunderstandings.

While we were recently made aware that more and more people are swapping our images, we didn't mean to single anyone out. We understand why and how it appeared that way, but it really was more to show WHAT an image swap looked like in case there was any confusion.

Our Angel Policy states that we do not allow our images to be swapped, neither the stamped images of our rubber stamps nor the printed digis. Here is the link again to our FAQ page for future reference.

Please understand that we are are not against you letting your close friends "play" with our images when you have a get together at home or at a crop. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to promote our company and we appreciate whenever this happens, in the hopes that someone else will become a new TGF customer. We however,  felt the need to address the LARGE swaps all over the Internet lately. With sometimes hundreds of people in the swaps, TGF can lose business.   There is a not-so-fine line between stamping off an image or two when you're with a friend in an intimate setting vs. these image swaps online.  I think that most of you know that TGF is definitely not a company that is concerned or focused on money alone. HOWEVER, we are a SMALL business, and it is the only livelihood of Marie's family.  Stamp costs are actually very high when you do not purchase them in the 1,000's and our goal is to continue to provide you a quality product, made in the USA, with quality packaging and fast shipping. None of this is accomplished without many costs to TGF and while we strive to keep our costs down, these large swaps actually do affect our business.  We are so grateful to those who see that and to those that maybe didn't think of that in the beginning, we hope this is clarified now.  

As designers, many of you have blogs and know first hand how heart-wrenching it can be to see your heart and soul being put into your work and then seeing it published under someone elses' name in a magazine. Perhaps “Cased” without your permission? Sure, the laws are there but they are hard and costly to prove, so why not just play nice? Image swaps hurt business, plain and simple. This is how we make our living and this is how we can keep on bringing you the new images, provide so many great giveaways, supply product to our wonderful Design Teams, sponsor countless challenge blogs and some charity functions,  afford to advertise to new customers, keep our wholesale and retail costs down, afford shipping and packaging costs, and afford to eat and pay our mortgages too.

From a legal standpoint, please understand that when you purchase our stamps, you only purchase a PERSONAL license to use them and agree to our Angel Policy simply by adding it to your shopping cart. We still hold the copyright to our images and ask your respect when using them.

It also came to our attention in some of the comments earlier tonight that “no other stamp company” has these rules. On the contrary, this is more common than not in the stamping industry, but hard to see the 'fine print' at times. In fact, most of the stamping companies do not allow the swaps. You can find more information HERE on why swapping is wrong as well as the links to a lot of different companies that do not allow it. While this company list is long, it is not even complete, and there are more companies out there requiring that similar policies be adhered to.

We want to thank you all, and extend our SINCERE appreciation to those who have helped maintain our policies and who support The Greeting Farm.  While we are extremely saddened due to some of the unnecessary backlash that has occurred, we are also extremely grateful to know that most of you out there really support us and know how much we APPRECIATE our customers.  You guys are actually the driving force behind everything we do and although we haven't had the pleasure of meeting all of you personally, we are sending all of you a huge virtual hug!

With love,
Marie and Jess

45 comments:

nrsgoodbody10 said...

Well said and BIG HUGS back to you! Now I just wish you had a store here in Denver since I live here too that I can come shop in. (hint, hint) :)

Rachel Parys said...

I get it, and I support you.

Tricia :O) said...

I love your stamps and "show" my collection with pride! By introducing new stampers to your shop grows your product line and my future with your products :O)
Sending you big hugs too!!

Arielle ~ SnappyStamper said...

Well, I have to say I just read the comments on your previous post and am not only shocked, but disappointed that some of these ladies think these giant swaps are okay... can they not see that it would have a negative impact on your sales?

Silly they can't see the direct connection between sales and continuing to have cute images to color.

You have my full support!

Gwen's Busy Little Hands said...

:~) Not much left to be said...I applaud the way you have approached this from the beginning. In the words of some very wise persons "This too shall pass". I don't think any successful endeavor has ever gone without trials. Just rack it up to a sign that your images are well liked and you are doing something right. :~) We support you, The Greeting Farm and your policies.

Smiles!
Gwen

Leanne said...

Well said ladies!
BIG HUGS!!

Mariska said...

I'm sure everybody who WANTS to understand what you are trying to bring across will understand now :). I still hope you'll contact forums like Splitcoasters and stuff though and ask them to no longer facilitate these kinds of swaps. If there isn't a place people can arrange these kinds of things I'm sure they'll stop occurring as much or at least not on such a large scale. Good for you for making your regulations clear to your customers (and for removing that video, I got the point of you using it, not to worry).

xxx
Mariska

Ashley Nguyen Newell said...

I appreciate the clarification. Personally, I don't participate in these huge swaps nor do I want to. I just wanted clarification about the "personal use." As long as I'm free to lend to close friends or give my kid a couple images to color, I'm fine. I do believe that people need to support the companies they love and I love TGF!

Kate said...

Wow this has seriously gone out of hand. I am sorry that you had to explain yourselves. I myself LOVE TGF stamps and promote it in my blog by directing them to your store.

Although I have experienced ppl sometimes asking me for my digi images (Freebie that I get) I still have to write that unfortunate email that I am unable to share with them and they can go to the blog that I got it from and get it themselves.

I support everything you guys make and remain a TGF Fan through and through.

Please keep Creating :}

Hugs,
Kate

Elissa reeves said...

I support you guys and love to buy your stamps and I am looking forward to more from you and other stamping companies I see stamped out images mainly from magnolia stamps up on eBay all the time I want to report them but I never no who to contact.

Mette said...

Well said and I think you have most crafters support in this. Left a longer post on your previous post too.
Hugs, Mette

Shannon said...

I just want you to know that, if it had not been for a stamped image swap in an internet group, I would never have learned about your company. However, my friends keep the swapped images to 2 or 3 of each image. I enjoyed coloring that stamp so much that I've got a huge printed out wish list that I keep updated for my friends and family to shop for special occasions for me. Maybe consider opening up small swaps...even through your blog maybe every so often. It really does draw business to you, it is how I found you and many others.

Grace said...

*nodding in agreement* YES! exactly!

when I had a problem understanding this, I emailed Marie personally and she was super kind about explaining this to me
(I wanted to use her one of her TGF image for my wedding favors - colored & created in my cards of course... and she totally let me do so)
and she was totally understanding about me attempting to color over 50 images with my copics... anyways to make this long story short & she said its OK for me to do so, just as long as I give credit to the greeting farm on the back of my card & I colored the images & gave them away as a part of my card wedding favors... NOT as uncolored image swaps.

so seriously people... no need to get nasty & threatening not to buy TGF. Yes many of you people out there found out about TGF through swaps, but don't swap hundreds of TGF images to random people on the internet... =( uncool...

you & I all know we don't want Marie to go out of business! that would be really really really sad!
then what will she/we do?!?

Mrs Weyremaster said...

I'm so sorry to read the negative comments the previous post got.

Just wanted to give you my love and support.

Hugs
Suzi
xxx

Jenn Borjeson said...

I do agree that SCS should be contacted - I'm actually quite surprised that they still run those swaps since they are such a huge presence on the web. I also found out about many stamp companies by participating in the Wish RAK run by SCS a few years ago - and it did prompt me to purchase lots of stamps from the companies that I discovered I loved. However, I completely understand why and how this hurts the artist and stopped participating over a year ago.

Again - sending you all a giant hug. xoxo

Moosisk said...

I agree with all you said. I support your Angel Company policy. Think of it like all the music piracy going on, too. It is no different than a musician fighting to keep people from stealing his/her songs off the internet. Everyone needs to respect a person's livelihood. :D

Shaela said...

I appreciate the clarity you have provided in this post. While I was surprised by the announcement yesterday (and felt like a schmuck for not being aware of that portion of your angel policy) I definitely respect, if not completely agree with, your reasoning and policies. I will say NO to TGF image swaps in the future - and I'll keep coming back for more TGF goodness cuz you know I love the Farm!! :)

mousekemom said...

I absolutely agree with you, Marie & Jess! You have taken the time to clarify many concerns and your policy is stated, so you can say ignorance does not excuse those who say they didn't know. Hugs to you both, because, without you, we wouldn't have a farm to love!

Alexis said...

I am not an artist but I can TOTALLY appreciate your policy (and the policy of most artist) that the images and stamps you provide have a limitation to swapping them with large parties. It's horrible that some people feel that this is okay. It's NOT!! And I applaud the way you have handled this.

You have my continued suppport and I will always be a fan of TGF.

Big HUGS
Thanks for continuing to provide the most adorable images.

Alexis

Pam Varnell said...

It has to be hard to write a post like this one and the last one because you know you are going to get some negative feedback. Just want you to know that I totally support your policies and will always have a love for your images Marie. You are very talented and I can't imagine stamping without your images around. Big hugs to you and to Jess!!! You guys are the best.

gobeagirl said...

Hi guys. I don't think that it is that hard of a thing to understand. I realize that most don't mean any harm, but then again if you didn't pay for it you know that it isn't your to use. I think you did a great job of going over this and I for one stand behind it 100%! I love the Greeting Farm stamps and would hate to see an end to such a wonderful and very very friendly company. Hugs to you both and your families. Lisa G

ChickieChirps said...

Hugs to you guys!

I'm sorry some people can be so mean... I was shocked at some of the comments on the previous post. I think it's amazing that we can buy your fabulous artwork to use... I would hate to think what my cards would look like if I had to draw my own images!!!

I LOVE your stamps and I will definitely be back to buy more!

Arabella

Lisa M. said...

BIG HUGS!

I love TGF and would cry buckets and buckets if anything ever happened to you guys because of bad behavior from someone else!

Like others have mentioned I came to start buying TGF for myself after a friend kindly stamped me an image--as in a single or with one extra in case I messed up-- to try--and naturally I fell in love!

You are da bomb!!

LORi said...

Bravo! Bravo! Very well stated! My heart goes out to you! It really makes me sad to see such negativity and nastiness. I respect all you do & design - Marie and all you are helping to build - Jess! Marie, I know you work hard (taking time from you husband and little cutie) to bring the world high quality art and stamps! Jess you do the same to organize and lead all the behind the scenes work at TGF! Thank You both! I really hope that everyone will offer the respect you deserve!
Hugs, ♥ & Blessings - LORi BOYD

Cricket's Daughter said...

I posted on the previous post and I must say that since this came to my attention....I have read ABOUT 500 comments on various FB pages, boards and sites I frequent. You all have ended your careers as you once knew it, as HUNDREDS are outraged that you SINGLED OUT A FELLOW STAMPER for your greed of what you perceive to be the ALMIGHTY DOLLAR. No good will come of this and had you been a little more tactful.....heck....TACTFUL AT ALL... about this, you could have saved yourselves much grief and distaste for you and your company by THOUSANDS of women and men who have PURCHASED your images.
In light of the ANNIVERSARY OF SEPTEMBER 11TH, it saddens me that you could be so thinly stretched financially.....that you would take your frustration and ill planned financial future on a crafter....who OBVIOUSLY LOVED YOUR IMAGES......LOVED THEM ENOUGH TO WANT TO INTRODUCE them to others.....I have never purchased your images, as they disgust me....they, in of themselves, poke fun at people with big heads....and that alone, makes them nothing but creepy to me. However, I HOPE no one EVER makes the mistake of sending me any of your images, as I will promptly either use them for toilet paper, or use them to line the kitty litter pans, as you have reduced yourselves to just that....nothing more than something to wipe with or to catch cat feces and urine.

Again, sorry you got so greedy that you could not see the joy in people exchanging a few of your images.....for fun and hobby.

SHAME ON YOU.

LORi said...

Dear Cricket's Daughter-
I personally find it in extreme poor taste for you to use the topic of the tragedy on September 11th in a post on a stamp blog where you are spewing hatefulness and using words that cause us to think of you in a bathroom using stamped paper to wipe your bottom or to envision a cat urinating (amongst other things)in their litter box. This is seriously sickening. I am personally offended and I am sure there are others who lost someone they loved on that horrendous day would agree.

Now, since you did bring up September 11...I would like to say something & I hope we will all think about this for a moment...there were many, many, many lives lost on 9/11...they are not here and will never have an opportunity to make the choice to spread meanness on a stamp company's blog (who is only trying to make a living for her family & bring happiness to her fans) or enjoy the day they have in front of them. I hope we all make the choice to offer Love, Grace and Respect.

Kind Regards - LORi

Sarabeth said...

thank you Lori for that post-i'm in agreement that it was just disgusting to even mention 9/11 on-myself being from NY and directly impacted by that days events.

dear cricketdaughter- if you don't like the images, leave it alone. be a better person and just walk away. things have been clearly been clarified and nothing was ever meant in a malicious way.

i pray that this mess will go away for the greeting farm family and that we can just get back to stamping and coloring and crafting our little hearts out <3

Donna C. said...

Oh, for pity's sakes, ladies. With all the stress this country is under, this issue is making a mountain out of a molehill. Why not let everyone decide this issue according to THEIR own conscience instead of trying to pass down edicts and making it a morality issue. This whole country has so many big issues right now that to even make this an issue at all is a bit insensitive to say the least..

Jami {sgtStamper} said...

Jess & Marie - sorry you guys are dealing with this. I completely get it. The people that complain are likely the ones who are doing something wrong. You guys always have my love and support - TGF Rocks!!

Kellie said...

I am so sorry you gals are having to put up with the nasty comments. But from what I can see there is WAY more love than hate and I support you all the ways. xx

Libby Hickson said...

Just wanted to leave a little love and support here - adore your wonderfully proportioned images, and agree 100% with your policy. So sad this has turned ugly on you.

Angelica said...

Jess and Marie, I don't often comment on blogs or posts such as these, but I wanted to let you know how wonderfully written this post is. As an artist with a stamp company, of course I am in total agreement with the policy. It protects our rights and livelihood, as mentioned in the post. As a STAMPER, I can appreciate the thoughtfulness and the explanation you have provided for other stampers in a way that can both be understood and appreciated. As for the hate speak, remember .... this says so much more about them than it does about you.

Annmaree (Emu) said...

This is nothing new for Crickets Daughter can I say, she has spammed and emailed me on my blog and youtube before, attacking me and the most sincerest parts of it, because I wouldn't get involved in a confrontation with her:

http://emuupagumtree.blogspot.com/2011/03/crickets-daughters-attack-on-me.html

Its about time blogworld truely sees what a trouble soul she is and lets her know this is not on.

Naomi said...

Marie, I LOVE your images and I don't believe in online swaps, either...of course, if I were stamping with friends, I'd allow them to use my stamps (which would probably lead to MORE sales) but, to be honest, I don't even have any friends to stamp with...lol...AND I would never stamp and swap...especially in a mass fashion and even worse, over the internet..that's just wrong! I love your work and have no problem supporting you...PLUS, I want you to continue releasing new images! You are also VERY generous with your giveaways...I have won prizes from you a few times now and I GREATLY appreciate it! You have my loyalty and I will be your faithful customer...besides, I MUCH prefer having the actual stamp to stamp my own images...I prefer it even to digis...
I know you put A LOT of work into this business...not only with designing images but, also in RUNNING the company and I don't expect anything for free! Keep up the good work and I'll continue my support....I can't believe some of the other comments...it's just common sense that mass sharing/swapping of your images is a copyright infringement...but, as an old co-worker of mine once said, " common sense isn't common anymore"...

Hugs,
Naomi

Naomi said...

To Cricket's Daugter:
I honestly don't think that you're worth talking to but, I'd just like to say that I am sure that, "the almighty dollar", isn't very important to you since you don't seem to think that you should have to pay for anything....your post was extremely vulgar and distasteful...

I'd also like to thank LORi and Donna C. for their words of reason....I can't understand how this ever got blown out of proportion the way that it did...some people really do need to focus on the important things in life and not CHOOSE to let themselves be angry and miserable over trivial things such as this...

Grace said...

omg! i still cant believe people can be so mean!!! *sad face*
seriously... like I stated before, there's no need to get mean & nasty people or threaten people with using their products as toilet papers... & there's no need to bring in 9/11 into it; that's just NOT right.

I know everyone has a right to their own opinions, but we don't want people's livelihoods to go down the drain...

to marie & jess, you 2 have supported me since I've started blogging & you have awarded me with your amazing winner's badges =) So you girls will always have a fan here in Canada & I'll always buy TGF stamps =) & if you may have lost fans because of these last 2 posts... then I'll buy the stamps they decided not to buy! hahaha *peace sign*

This N That said...

Thank you so much for this post and clarification. I think the fact is that no matter what you do and who you are SOMEone is going to take things in an all negative fashion and will blow things out of proportion (crickets daughter, for one). I mean...really? September 11? What the hell does that have to do with TGF clarifying their policies? I really appreciate this company and understand much better now. Thank you for your time and your tact. I didn't read the original post, but knowing how you all have handled things in the past with other situations, I am sure it was handled as delicately as you could. Thanks again!

Cindi F said...

So..I don't actually use any of your stamps but came across this whole issue from a fb post. I realize that some people may not be aware of what an angel policy even is. I am, since I sell some of the cards I make. The first thing I do before buying any stamps is to look at the faqs (unless the angel policy is it's own link). I will say that with some companies it is hard to find it and I then have to email them to ask. In all the policies I've read, many have no swapping rules. I really can't understand all this anger. I always thought the stamping community was full of wonderful, supportive people. I get introduced to new stamps through blogs. To me that's the best advertisement. Anyway, I do think maybe the angel policy should be more prevalent on sites so that people who don't know what it is actually read it.

CherryBlossom said...

I had no intention of joining these comments but after reading the one from Cricket's Daughter, I just had to comment...

I am really not sure why she cares about this issue AT ALL if she doesn't like your images. If she doesn't swap them and doesn't buy them, then why all of the hostility? It would be like me protesting beer...I don't like it (the smell, the taste, etc.) but why would a company care if I had bad things to say if I also added that I didn't purchase or use their products?

One thing I can say for sure...if someone does not agree with any policies that a company puts forth, they have the CHOICE to not purchase from that company. If they do purchase from that company, they are agreeing to abide by the policy.

When I first joined SCS, several years ago, I was in a lot of image swaps and they were horrible. Badly stamped images on crappy paper BUT they did provide an image for me to look at to see if I wanted a stamp. Now, I look on sites, pring out the image they have as the example and cut it out to hold against various backgrounds I have. If I can see ways this stamp could be used, I save up and buy it. You do not have to swap images to see a sample of a stamp. And yes, there are always more stamps than money!!

hapagirlren said...

"WOW!"jaw dropped...HELLOOO CRICKETS DAUGHTER?! Really?

I have to be honest and say she got my stomach boiling, but then I took a deep breath...something apparently she was unable to do...and my stomach settled again.

I had a bunch of stuff I was thinking about saying...but "Nuff said" :) Someone with that much anger has other things going on and I can't let that negative energy bring me to an equally ugly place.

I support stamp companies and artists and do my best to be respectful of all the rules. All we can do is continue to educate people and help them to understand.

I know that some of these comments must have been very hurtful, even if you don't know the people personally, because TGF is your kid...your family. Just know that TGF has enough of a true and loving fan-ily to overcome some of the darkness that arose from this issue.

Now we move forward with aloha...

Cathy P in AZ said...

I LOVE TGF, abide by ALL Angel Policies and DON'T STEAL FROM ARTISTS. Remember this - if you steal from a retail store, they have to eat that loss of profit, prices go up and we all suffer. IT IS THE SAME FOR ARTISTS, ART PRODUCTS, STAMPS, ETC. That also affects our economy - so by participating in image swaps, etc., you are ADDING to this crisis! Bringing 9/11 into this discussion is pointless, silly and SAD. Remember the Golden Rule - do to others as you would have them do to you. If this was your livelihood and your art, you would be outraged! Hang in there, TGF - and to all artists - you are AWESOME!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
love2kreate said...

I was not going to even bother posting on this as it does make me question if I will ever buy from TGF again.. but I do want to say the I have participated in image swaps over the last couple years...In the first image swap that I ever participated in, I recieved some TGF images..as this is how I was introduced to your company..and for the record, it was not HUNDREDS of images either.. it was a FEW.. the # of images that you are claiming that are received in swaps is being blown WAY out of proportion. anyhow,had I not participated in those swaps, I would have NEVER discovered TGF..over the past 2 years I have purchased HUNDREDS & HUNDREDS of dollars worth of TGF stamps..honestly I pretty much have them ALL..I buy the new releases on the 1st of every month.. WHY??? Because I recieved a FEW images in a image swap and fell in love with your stamps... I do not think that you realize the FREE advertising you get in these swaps..and how many customers you have due to them recieving a FEW images of your stamps in a swap.. I know for a FACT that it gets you business.. as I am a perfect example of that..you got and have had my business for the last 2 years because of me participating in that image swap and recieving a few images of your stamps.. just wanted to share my experience/view on this matter.. especially since I am proof you do get loyal customers from image swaps...

Katie said...

Very well said! I totally support you guys! I love your stamps,and will continue to buy them! I was introduced through a YouTube video where the person was coloring anya in, and I was instantly hooked! Keep the awesome anya's coming!

Donna C. said...

Just wanted to share another company's POV:

"ANGEL POLICY for LOST COAST DESIGNS IMAGES
Buy our stamps and use them. Make as much money as you can, and buy more stamps from us.
Send us a scan of your art and we'll post it on our web site. Handstamping images is always OK. Enlarging, reducing and modifying is increasingly popular, so we have extended our angel policy to include these techniques. Please do not abuse this permission by mass re-producing our images. Remember that the original policy permitted hand-stamped useage, and digital/mechanical applications should follow the same guideline. Images from the catalog or website may not be reproduced in any manner."