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


MotherofPearl said...

In "The Approval Matrix" in New York Magazine, this would definitely be classified as "Highbrow/Despicable."

Randy Weersing Furniture Designs said...

Funny story...but sad too. I know a guy who mills and sells fancy maple to the musical instrument trade. He gets a call inquiring about his material...."Is that western maple?",man asks. Yes he replies."That's stuff's no good, I'll get mine from my supplier in Germany",he says.
My friend tells him "Very well....he buys his maple from me and now we can both make some money." This jerk was selling high end guitar bodies touted as "Black Forest Curly Maple" when the wood came from Oregon. The Black Forest timber has been used up for a hundred years.