Wednesday, December 3, 2008


If there's one thing that really gets me going -
It's the subject of KNOCK-OFFS.

Because to me- it's the lowest form of "flattery".
It becomes an excuse for lack of Creativity.
There's  thousands of brilliant ideas floating around in our brains- 
waiting to be developed- so why steal someone elses?

Plus- I've been knocked-off- by none other than Crate & Barrel- who had not only signed a Non-Disclosure form ( me and a Senior Buyer) but then, chose to do a poor job in executing my design- and lowering its originality.

But today - I was shocked and amazed to discover- an email inquiry- 
asking ME, to Knock-off - 

Apparently an Architectural Firm in Winston-Salem North Carolina, that dates back to 1906 (according to their website) is designing a new Hotel called the Hotel Indigo (do ya think its BLUE?) in Ashville NC.. In the hotels interior lobby is a staircase that was designed by someone from this Architectural Firm- who instead of creating an original design-
& had called out a spec - of- get this-a StairRailing like mine.
Meaning- they wanted a copy made of my design.
So- the Metal/Steel Subcontractor emailed me- and later spoke to with me- asking ME- to quote on a Railing Design- that was mine- to Copy That- for his company to quote to the Architect.

First off- anyone who has ever done a Railing before knows- they are VERY site specific.
Meaning that a Fabricator in Chicago- can't very accurately- or easily, make- and expect an exact fit- of a thing made in one Geographic Location- and have it install properly elsewhere.
Just not doable- especially with a Complex Curved Staircase.
The fella at the Steel Fabricator- who asked to me Quote on Knocking MySelf Off- made it sound like it was an off the shelf product- like- here's how many feet we'll need- and then- you can quote it. Plus- he voted for McCain (OK- I'm an Obama supporter!).

What's really amazing- is when he sent me a PDF to review to submit a Quote- The name of The Architects Firm was quite legible- so I called and chatted with them- telling them- I was flattered that they liked MY design enough to use for their new Hotel Project- AND- I would really appreciate them NOT using Google as a design tool.
That's the worst part of having a Website- especially one that consistently ranks high in Searches for key-phrases like Stair Railings

Well- the young designer at The Architecture firm now has a better understanding of Knock-Offs.
I may not have a job in Ashville NC- nor a job with the Winston Salem Architecture firm- but I do have a great story to tell about KNOCK -OFFS