// Sketch + Sleaze: The World Wide Web + "Miss Indie" Mandy Ferrugia

Have you ever written a blog post that was so "WTF"-inducing that you didn't even know where to begin? Like, how do you take all of these examples and pieces of "evidence" to bring to light a whole lot of sketchiness? Some of you will already know what I'm referring to, but the chances are the majority of you are totally unaware of the drama that went down over the weekend. I know I won't even begin to do it justice as there's so much involved and so many lies, scandals and "woe is me" pity parties, but at least I can try, right? And of course point you in the direction of other examples.

Okay, So! The internet is a big place? I'm talking really really *really* big. Thanks to the birth of the web, independent artists are now able to share their wares with people across the globe. E-commerce is booming and we're being introduced to new talent at a rapid rate. But not unlike anything else, there's also a downside to this amazing virtual world. Not only are we able to share our creations at lightning speed, but we're likely to be ripped off just as quickly. Copyright infringement is far from new, but the internet makes it so easy. See a design you like, but lack the talent to create you own? No big deal! Just screenshot that baby and pop it up in your shop! Claim it as your own! Ain't no thang! Who on Earth will notice? The 'net is far too big for anyone to know everything right?!

As someone whose livelihood depends on the items I'm able to create with my own two hands, theft to this degree really gets my blood boiling. No one deserves to pour their heart, sweat and tears into something only to have it knocked off (or outright stolen) by another person. We could go into great detail and debate about the nature of knockoffs in each and every industry, but the "independent" sector really seems to sting right? It hits close to home for so many bloggers and blog readers.

However, since the internet is so big, most people remain blissfully ignorant of the sketchiness that goes down most days. Someone can rip off multiple (well known!) artists and designers, and their readers/customers could be none the wiser. That's basically what has happened here. After tweeting yesterday about being befuddled that so many people would still choose to support these shams, I received an @reply from someone who expressed their belief that it happens because no one makes these people aware. Lightbulb! Of course! How could I have been so ignorant to not think of this?! Shady things happen daily in the blog world, but rarely do you see anyone sounding the alarm and publicizing these actions. You can scour "snark" communities where the discussion is rampant, but it's stilly primarily anonymous. Why do we cower and hide from the truth? Are we afraid of being ostracized and shunned? Are we scared of being labelled a "drama mama" or "cyber bully?" Whether you have 15 followers or 15,000, it's important for each of us to stand up and voice our concern over shady practices. Especially when they immediately affect so many people in our community.

Have any of you caught on yet? Well, let's cut the crap and put it out there: "Miss Indie," Mandy Ferrugia, is under fire, and for very good reason. 

After years of (in my honest opinion) shady business practices, scams galore, and a seemingly endless string of duped customers/readers, Mandy Ferrugia "Miss Indie" finally got the backlash many were waiting on. Earlier this weekend Mandy launched a "design shop" where she featured multiple items that she claimed to have designed herself. She said she received so many design requests from readers and this was a great way to meet the need of her audience. That would've been well and good if 90% of the designs weren't directly purchased from this Etsy shop. The owner of the Etsy unfortunately had a very open-ended terms of use for her pieces, but even though "small business use" was allowed, we all know that means use in logos for your small business... not for you to re-upload with a janky font (that you also did not create) for 800% profit. Of course you can "legally" take that to mean what you want since it was in writing, but it was still a tacky move. Sure, sure, whatever. Regurgitate content all you want, you have to live with yourself. That wasn't the straw that broke the camel's back... That came in the form of her calling out an honest commenter, who brought these "mistakes" to light via a polite blog comment, a "troll." Reasonable response... pass the blame. If any of you have read Mandy's blog for a while, you'll probably note that a lot of her designs felt like watered-down versions of a much larger blog. Most of the time I chalked this up to her really looking up to this blogger, but sometimes it was hard to stomach. Still, it wasn't directly affecting my blog so I didn't worry too much about it. Mandy always seemed like a sweet girl, so whatever right? If you've followed her (now defunct) Etsy shop you might remember that she was "stalked" and "harassed" by a fellow Etsy member, and that's why she had so many outlandish negatives in her feedback. Nevermind the fact she (allegedly) rarely sent the purchased product to the customer. She then decided to move her shop to a different e-commerce platform. This one, conveniently, didn't have a feedback system. Huh! This move raised a few eyebrows, mine included, but no one seemed to pay it much mind. She later stocked her "indie" shop with a bunch of mass-manufactured pieces from China. Hey, I'm all for wholesale relationships and I understand how retail works! I get it! I'm not against mass-produced items, but I would never claim them as handmade. That's where she messed up. Even after people called her out on this, she still claimed many of the pieces were handmade (spoiler: most weren't!). Just a week or two ago Mandy did a shop update which included over half a dozen brooches, all purchased wholesale, that featured stolen artwork. Her readers quickly identified the proper illustrators of the pieces and called her out. Her response? The same old "Oh no! I had no idea!" Actually here, this is Erin's blog post about the whole thing. She was thorough enough to actually quote Mandy directly from her blog post(s).

Erin's blog post also includes a ton of relevant links (a few of which I snagged to include here as I didn't see them myself!)

A few instances of Mandy's shady behavior:
+ "100% handmade" items that were bought from China
+ Rip off copies of Danny Brito's work (see his here)
+ The (apparent?) beginning of her counterfeit career: all the way back in 2008!

Mandy's behavior isn't a surprise to a lot of us. We've seen what she's been doing for years now, but I think it's natural to want to avoid "rocking the boat" ya know? I unfollowed her on Twitter a long time ago, and I stopped reading her blog because it was just too much. Far too often I'd find myself rolling my eyes so far back into my skull, only a vent-sesh with my best friend via text would help. But it honestly wasn't until I got that @reply on Twitter that I realized someone (anyone! everyone!) needed to "out" this girl.

Yea, this has been going down for about 2 or 3 days now, and I first caught wind of in on our drive back home from Florida. I sent out a passive aggressive, frustrated tweet, not really thinking anyone would "get" it. Well, they got it! Conversation started. GOMI was the only reason I even knew about it since I no longer followed her. From there it just spiraled into a whole lot of "WTF"... After tweeting with a few other people who either saw right through her or was scammed by her, I woke up at 5am Monday morning with an email from Mandy. It was a mass email, written to 5 or 6 of us she had seen converse about the "incidents" (ha yea... "incidents") She was "hurt" because she considered some of us "friends"... Um what? Girl if my own best friend was half as shady as you are, I'd call her out in a heartbeat! You're not a special snowflake. I hadn't even opened the email yet, but my Gmail app let me know there were already several mass replies. I stewed on the thought of this email for a few hours, trying to imagine the contents. It's funny because I wasn't far off. I even had Mike read through the initial email and the replies. I try not to respond too quickly because I'm not always a level-headed person when my temper gets triggered. I've spoken in haste on many occasions and it's just left me feeling somewhat empty and misunderstood. But this... oh boy... this email was a doozy! It was a full on pity party. The responses from my fellow bloggers (and friends) were all kind, but stern. I was proud of my friends for saying what they believed. No one really wants to be "that person" like I said, but sometimes you have to. The first line of my email: "Let's all stop pussyfooting around.... what you did was TACKY!" My email was a bit hot-headed and had more than it's fair share of expletives, but I felt like they were deserved. I could have just as well stated my case in a much more mature manner (which Michelle from Creature Type actually did! Good on her!) but I was mad. I was mad that my friends were ripped off. I was mad that she made it hard for real professionals to make a living. I was mad that she gave the same sad excuse time after time.

We were a group of people who could not be considered "jealous haters" (Everyone wants to use that excuse when they get criticized online... why?!) How were we going to be shrugged off this time? Bloggers and blog readers alike were talking. It was hard to ignore the conversation. Of course it's been brought up that I'm "only now" writing about it on my blog because GOMI did (think what you want), or because someone made such a fuss, but the truth is I thought Mandy would respond to our emails. I thought she'd at least give some sort of excuse for her behavior. Replies to her initial email were hitting inboxes as late at Monday evening, so surely we'd wake up to a reply by Tuesday right? Apparently not.

A few girls who I was talking to on Twitter said she emailed them on Monday, in response to them winning one of her giveaways yet never receiving the prize. Hmm, weird how someone could just totally ignore the initial inquiries all together, but "all of a sudden" remember them when they start getting vocal, right? She has a way of magically spinning these things. "I have so many haters!" she'll cry. Since when is wanting a prize you rightfully won being a "hater?" People would link her to the GOMI article and she'd call them a troll, delete the comments and then block them. Yikes! Talk about censorship.

To be honest, I never had the intention to write this post. I've written one like it before, and it was just as stressful and tiresome to compile. I know I've left out a lot of evidence and facts and firsthand accounts on her scams, but there's only so much you can do. It's like kicking a dead horse. I don't like outing people, but I guess if you don't want the world to know you're shady, don't do shady things right? If it hadn't been for this @reply on Twitter, I probably would've let the thing die. But that's the problem - we're all too quick to say "eh, enough with that!" I don't have the biggest blog in the world, but I know I share a decent amount of readers with Mandy. If even one person can be made aware of her shadiness, and then be directed to legitimate independent artists, awesome! It's worth it. Regardless of who wrote the "outing" first or who had the guts to stand up and point the finger, what really matters is that readers are finally being made aware. How can we expect people to boycott these scam artists if we don't alert them? We need to take away the anonymity of call outs and not be scared of the backlash. I'll cause side eyes and scoffs the world over with this post, I'm sure. But at least X amount of people will be able to decipher the evidence how they wish. You can only make educated decisions when you have the facts in front of you. Well, here they are. I tried my best to stay away from personal bias and only link to evidentiary pieces. I don't believe in bullying or body shaming or any kind of ridiculous non-constructive criticism online (even though I'm guilty of it myself, both anonymously and not. especially in the heat of the moment), but I do fully believe in the power of free speech and having the ability to a forum discussion on things like this.

I could go on and on and on about how much it sucks to be a maker when you're surrounded by people like Mandy, but that'd just get boring fast. (This probably already did!) But she's not the only one. The internet is full of people like her. Some of them are even more successful. The only way their shenanigans can be unraveled is if people have the guts to speak up. I'm not trying to be a saint or hero by sharing any of this. I'm simply following in line with several other people who had the guts to come out. I'm not the first and (hopefully) I won't be the last. I know a post like this is very out of character for LCH and it may not even seem relevant, but I share a large portion of Mandy's audience and so many of my friends (and even designers we stock in our own "indie" store) have been directly affected by her behavior. I'm all for people learning from their mistakes... but how many times do you need to make the same one? After years of watching her do things like this, I'm just so fed up. Take it for what you will. I had considered posting the emails for public viewing, but I didn't want to seek out permission from each contributor to post them. I felt like posting them without their consent, even with their personal information redacted, would be invasive. Had my email response to Mandy been met with a response, I probably wouldn't have even written this post. But it's an important topic that should be addressed openly more often. Here's to hoping that each of these articles will spark more open conversation within the blogging and small biz world.

The most frustrating thing about this whole situation (at least for me?): Mandy has yet to address ANY of these accusations. She deleted her blog post(s) and disabled her design shop. She refused to email any of us back after she started the dialogue. She's pretending it never happened by sweeping it under the rug.... in typical Mandy fashion. She simply deletes things that don't "look good" and goes about her business. Well, the internet never forgets...

Man, what a boring post. So long and no pictures! Sorry!

ETA: Apparently Mandy just blogged "her side" of the story and published it an hour or two after I scheduled my post. You can believe what you want... obviously I'm trying to "insinuate" things that totally aren't true. Ehhhhhh.

PS: Here's a great post Heather (from Just Lovely) shared with me about copying online. There are some really rad links in it, too!

120 comments:

  1. Thank you for being willing to call her out...she's been getting away with this for way too long. I'm shocked that so many people are jumping on the "oh, poor Miss Indie, getting picked on by those mean bloggers and GOMI-ers" bandwagon. Are they paying attention at ALL?

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  2. You are spot on with this post! Facts are facts and they can't be denied. Anyone who steals someone else's hard work is just cruisin' for a bruisin'! Thanks for getting it out there and being honest for those who aren't hip with the blogging gossip!
    Xox

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  3. Warning - long comment ahead! This was very thoughtful and well-written. I read Mandy's blog post, and I commented on there that I can understand both points of view. I haven't been a follower of hers for long enough to get a good read on the whole thing, and I honestly don't want to judge her without knowing her personally. However, the things that have been compiled here (and on other forums) are pretty compelling. If she IS actually just making honest mistakes, I sincerely hope she has finally learned her lesson; if it's more than that, I'm glad it's being brought to everyone's attention. There are so many hardworking artists out there, and I don't understand why she hasn't made it her mission to partner with artists if she wants to sell their work in her shop, rather than copying. It's great if you enjoy someone else's work or aesthetic, but frankly, I don't think you should be opening up a "design shop" if you aren't able to do the entire designing process yourself! I agree that that shop's policies were confusing -- but she should have checked to make sure of the policies before going ahead and using them for resale. I mentioned on her blog that AliExpress (where she purchased the brooches) is notorious for ripping off everyone -- artists and customers alike. I've definitely bought counterfeit items on there (which were marketed as being real brands), and I know people who have been scammed out of money as a result of misrepresentation and stolen photos. If she just saw brooches she liked on there, it might be hard to check to find out who the original artist might be, but given the history of the whole thing, I wish she had done more research, if for no other reason than to feel 100% confident in what she was going to carry in her store. Even if all of these things were honest mistakes, like I said, what bothers me the most is actually the feedback she received on Etsy (and I do wish Storenvy had feedback!), and how she hasn't sent giveaways, purchases, etc. That really bothers me on almost every level. If you take on the responsibility of having a shop (and having a blog that hosts giveaways, for that matter), there's no way that anyone can condone that kind of behavior. You have a duty to your customers and readers to follow through. And it really bugs me that hardly anyone (including me) was aware of all of this until now. I appreciate you bringing this to everyone's attention. I would like to give Mandy the benefit of the doubt (even in light of everything that's been said here) and I can only hope that she learns from her mistakes. And I'm sorry for this novel of a comment. You're very good at starting a dialogue, apparently. :)

    xox Sammi
    www.thesoubrettebrunette.blogspot.com

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    1. If you read the post she has been doing this for year it's no a mistake and learning from it once or twice but constant.

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  4. You are amazing!
    As a struggling graphic designer/Illustrator who has had her work copied before and used as "Inspiration" the whole Mandy thing had infuriated me for so long.
    The fact that she has called herself an "Artist" and "Creative" for so long despite having no real work or originality really grinds my gears. Hopefully now her readers will understand that what she is doing isn't art or designing just plagiarism.

    Again. You. Amazing!.



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  5. Wow! You are spot on and supported your argument like a champ, I think it would be one thing if you infringed copyright once and then once called out remedied the issue and made steps not to do it again, but to do it I so many fashions and then get defensive is sure to raise eyebrows. I know when I was a new blogger, I took a picture from google images and did not leave attributions. When contacted by the owner of the photo/ I removed it promptly and was grossly apologetic. The blogging community is a fantastic warm family and can seriously be a great asset to the growth and expansion of a blog/brand. It sucks that her attitude and recklessness is going to sully her reputation from here out.

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  6. I just started reading her blog a few weeks ago. Thanks for putting the truth out there.

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  7. Thank you for this. Agree 100%.

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  8. Standing up for what is right is much better than not speaking about it at all, especially when it concerns small businesses and bloggers. Thanks so much for shedding light on this, especially for those who were not aware (as myself)!

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  9. Looked at her shop and she's copied so many, (extremely recognizable) aesthetics, the first one that caught my eye was Elsie/ABM (sorry, gross.)not to mention the fact that she never took any responsibility? it sucks that the message of all this hasn't sunken in yet if she truly is apologetic. i'm sure she's really sorry that she got caught...not so sure she'd feel guilty if she got away with it. hopefully she's able to rebuild her "~image" on something that's a little more credible. thanks for this post, hopefully it'll inspire others to gently remind newbies not to be too "inspired" and to call out repeat offenders.

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  10. Great post! Thank you so much for bringing this to light. I am a recent follower of Mandy and I thought her things looked cute and when she posted an "oops" post a few days ago I didn't think much about it. But now that I know a lot more of the story I can go forth and make an informed decision. I don't read GOMI so if it wasn't for you, I'd have no idea and might have made the mistake of purchasing something from her thinking I was buying an original handmade piece when clearly it's not either of those things. I just don't get why people would want to be so sketchy.

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  11. She's acting like its a one time oopsie I made a mistake when it's clear as you state she's been doing this for years and it's time she's held accountable for her actions

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  12. Thank you for this post! I'm delighted you have written it. I have followed for some time both yours and Mandys blogs and I noticed her brooches recently and did wonder if they were bought wholesale and then she just painted them up? I wondered how on earth they were handmade! I also nearly bought something this weekend from her 'design shop' - so glad I now didnt do this!

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  13. The law is the law - of you don't know it, find out. This lady cannot blame ignorance for breaking law. Copyright infringement is breaking law and she would have to face the consequences if someone reported her to the authorities.

    I'm not sure how the law works in the US. But in the UK, ignorance would not be accepted as an excuse. In this case, there have been multiple instances of copyright infringement which leads to the conclusion that it was done on purpose.

    Thank you for highlighting this. The world needs more people like you to stand up for good, honest hardworking people.

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  14. This is a great post and I have followed both your blogs for some time now so I'm happy you raised this issue! PLUS, I nearly bought one of her 'designs' at the weekend! PHEW!

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  15. Here here! I bought a hat from her a few years ago and never received it. I don't know how she can live with herself after stealing money and ideas from good people. For shame!

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  16. I've been waiting for this day!! Pooor Mandy....Time to face reality. Thanks to everyone for spreading the word about what a liar Mandy is.

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  17. Thank you so much for this! As an actual "indie" designer screenprinting things in my kitchen, things like this terrify me. I love how accessible etsy has made small designers, but it's so scary to know that anyone (be they a large corporation, shady outfit overseas, or someone who claims to be an "Artist") can just copy or outright steal your designs. You're a brave lady for leading the way on this one!

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  18. This is a great post, I am glad so many people are finally speaking out about her. I am not part of the handmade/indie community or anything but I do follow a lot of blogs that are, and I don't understand how anyone can read/shop from her without noticing that there is nothing original about her. It wasn't until GOMI that I realized LOTS of other people noticed it too, it wasn't just me being judgy - and that this has been going on for years! Crazy. I am glad you spoke out about it, keep doing your thing and being awesome at it. :)

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  19. Artists and graphic designers everywhere should be applauding you right now! Nicely done--

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  20. Wow! I must admit I was surprised when I saw her post launching her design shop, wondering to myself why I (as a reader of her blog) hadn't heard of her designing anything before!

    Although she feels that she's found all the appropriate loopholes, she has obviously worded everything to deliberately mislead people. And the best thing she could have done was stick her hands up and apologise unreservedly, but no, she retaliated defensively and it's made things worse.

    As a Web Developer my blood boils when clients suggest I use elements from other sources without asking permission! "There are lots of pictures on Google, just pick one" makes me want to scream! :D

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  21. A really great post. I just looked on her blog and can't believe how much she's trying to take the heat off herself by bringing your name up so much. She's just made herself look stupid and clearly has no talent other than being a great thief. She makes my blood boil!!

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  22. Color me impressed, madam. This is a great post; everything laid out, laid bare. Miss Indie will respond like she has to everything else; she'll flail around declaring innocence, and then quietly go back to whatever her newest scam is. It's sad, and I do feel bad for her because it sucks to get called out, but this isn't a one-time thing. There is consistent documentation of her scamming, copying, or stealing (or in this case, all-but-stealing credit because of a shop's loose TOS) for something like four years now. I feel like at some point it would have become more convenient for her to just start making her own stuff instead of getting caught stealing overa nd over and over again!

    Thanks for writing this. Artists need to stick up for one another, and you've got the audience to make a difference.

    Well done.

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  23. You are an awesome lady. This has been on my mind for months. So much so that I've even talked to my boyfriend about it and he knows nothing of the ;blogging world'. This has bothered me so SO long and I hate seeing all the comments she gets, he followers are in the dark... well no more!
    Thank you!

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  24. Someone alerted me to the fact she was selling a brooch identical to one of mine (origami crane). So via this whole debate I've learnt this Chinese wholesale company have stolen my design and they are now being sold at little shops all over. (already discovered a couple of others). Makes me so so angry and disappointed :(

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  25. Oh girl, I love you so much. I know so many talented REAL LIFE designers that crap like this just ruffles my feathers. I'm happy that this is being discussed outside of the GOMI bubble. :)

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  26. I'm always happy when people finally take a stand off of GOMI. I love that place, it does expose a lot of the shady, but you're right, sometimes there needs to be a face and name to something typed online. good for you for standing up for yourself and your friends - the copying (and frankly , crazy) needs to end. I don't wish anything bad on Mandy, but she needs to learn that this isn't the right way to act.

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  27. Thank you for finally having the nerve to stick up to her. You have such a big voice in the blogging community and I'm glad you're using it to share the truth. I hope everyone reads this post. THIS is the attention she finally deserves to be getting. I hope she publishes my comment on her post or at least reads it. I was very "adult"-like when I spoke to her though so she should have no reason not to, although I forgot to *wink* at her so we might not be on a friendly level. Hmm...

    Kudos, Kaelah!

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  28. Thank you! THANK YOU.
    I don't feel like any of this is "vicious" or "attacking" at all.
    It's simply being truthful. She's being blatantly deceitful to not only the people she's stealing from, but to her customers!
    It's just... frustrating.

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  29. I've been reading LCH for a while, but I only just discovered Mandy's blog a few weeks ago. When she posted appologizing for selling other artist's work on accident and how she would never do that intentionally, I got suspicious. How could you be claiming for your work to be handmade if you were selling other artist's work? And then her posts started disappearing. I'm not a huge Twitter follower, so I wasn't quite sure what was going on, but I just couldn't get rid of that feeling that she was just... Sleazy.

    It really amazes me that people like that can get so well known and reach so many people via the internet, but just can't do the things that they claim to be well known for. Creative? I guess she's creative enough to attempt to figure out how to rip other hard-working artists off. That's the most credit I'll give.

    Thank you for bringing this matter up; I'm glad to be able to read more into the truth of all of this and really know what's been happening for all these years. I'm certainly unfollowing her on all counts.

    And for the record, Miss Indy, if you're reading this - telling the truth isn't trolling.

    xo Kristina Rose
    www.thewhimsicaldays.blogspot.com

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  30. Absolutely infuriating and hella, hella lame. This truly does happen more than we'll ever realize but I'm glad that she's being taken to task.

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  31. I commend the fact that you just came right out and said this is what's happening and this is who's doing it. A lot of bloggers tiptoe around the what and the who and just make tons of vague statements.
    She sounds unpleasant to say the least. I have no tolerance for people who rip off other's hard work. It's just not okay.

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  32. Fantastic post, Kaelah! Love your insights. I've heard about the giveaway items not being sent too--ridiculous! How does she get away with this? Why do companies still work with her?

    I really just don't get why she's gone this route and ripped off artists--she has a huge audience and could have REALLY done an awesome job working with artists and promoting them. Instead she steals designs/images/patterns/etc. and claims them as her own. Her whole "indie" persona is laughable, and the fact she has done this for years and still has a huge following is mind-boggling.

    Thank you for speaking up! (and thanks for linking my post!)

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  33. Well done! People who deal dishonestly with others like this ruin the reputations ALL designers/bloggers/small businessowners. Sad.

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  34. Slow....clap......
    Thanks for your honesty and bravery Kaelah! Unbelieveably, I actually thought about buying something from her shop a week ago. I guess it's because I love your style so much (nudge nudge template shop!) but I didn't see a clear similarity to your work. I do now. Not cool. If you wouldn't have posted this I personally would have never known about her shadyness and would have supported her "work". Thank you!

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    1. hahaha I just read your comment Michelle; I gave her the slow clap, too. It's like the best post this whole year.

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  35. The thing that gets me the most mad is that she seems to be blaming her followers for "misunderstanding." She says she apologized to the artist about the brooches and that she felt bad about accidentally stealing her artwork. Ok. I can accept that. But she never admitted that she was selling WHOLESALE items in her HANDMADE section. She's shows the terms of service with the etsy shop she bought from and when someone comments and says: "Mandy, you led everyone to believe you were DESIGNING these" she pulls out "oh, I'm sorry you don't understand what designing means."
    It's not cool in a crisis of business like this to call your customers/readers stupid you know?

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  36. Damn, I had no idea! But then again, I am old and live under a rock. Good for you for speaking your mind, not being vague, and addressing this head on. I've known PLENTY of people similar to Mandy in my day; they do wrong, deny the wrongdoing, then play victim. Bleh.

    Adrienne
    What Lola Wants

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  37. I recently started following her and I am so glad I read this post. I do not want to continue to follow such an un-honest blogger. I am a barely blogger and when I made my stuffed sharks from shark week I changed a great white to a hammerhead but I still linked the maker of the great white as my inspiration. I cannot image no giving credit where credit is due. Thank you for writing this and bringing this to the attention to those of us who were unaware.

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  38. I just love you so much right now.

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  40. I'm so glad you took the time and effort to write all this out, Kaelah. It's especially awesome to have this one go up exactly when her post about "her side" was published. People can compare for themselves and see that she's definitely playing the victim to a crazy degree. Telling people the truth and presenting them with facts is not bullying.

    I felt so sad about the Mandy situation because she was always so sweet to me. I didn't really want to believe she was so shady. I really had NO idea about her past history and I've been a reader for probably over a year. I even left a comment on her original apology post in her defense--although I totally think "how stupid do you have to be to NOT think a Chinese wholesaler is stealing their artwork and not fairly compensating artists?" Why do you think you can buy lots of supplies for pennies on the dollar? I'm embarrassed for even associating so kindly with her at this point. :/ Live and learn, I guess.

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  41. I literally just found her blog/instagram like days before the scandal went down, before the "design shop" was up. I read her about me and 1 or 2 posts and added her to my reading list. (I hadn't checked out her "indie shop" at that point.) THEN.... I see her instagram about opening a "design shop" and I'm wracking my brain thinking, did she say she was a graphic designer too? So I beelined it over to her blog to check out her "shop". While there I checked out her "indie shop" too and instantly felt everything was off. It all looked like stuff I had seen before, and her images looked like clipart. So I scoffed and moved on, feeling very suspicious of her. Now I find out all about what went down and it makes me sick! I worked hard for my design skills, even though they came from a community college. (But I already had degrees in another field and was just changing careers, so those 2 years were all design classes, no prereqs.) Not to mention I know many talented self taught designers who worked hard to teach themselves those skills! Good on ya for having the balls to out her! :)

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  42. Thank you Kaelah for posting this!! It's about time she's been outed. I've quietly watched her rip off folks for a while and nothing makes my blood boil than passing work off as your own when clearly it is not. It's bullshit, quite frankly.

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  43. Bahahaha Kaelah I love you so much for writing this. I used to be a very frequent visitor to GOMI, and reading about "Miss Indie" was always infuriating. What a con artist!

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  44. I am still applauding you. I posted a comment to her I'm sure won't get approved, but let me just say that it's appalling that she can defend her use of the word design to refer to slapping a free font over a piece of clip-art and charging that ridiculous markup. LOLZNO.

    I also like that you're a big blogger who sees the benefits of GOMI. I think it CAN get over the top, but overall it's ideal for situations like this when bloggers pull shady shit and then silence as much dissent as they can.

    ...and of course the big obvious is that neither a shop full of wholesale stock nor a "design" shop full of barely altered clip-art is part of the indie lifestyle she tries to emulate

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  45. I agree with everything you said here. Although, she didn't used to be like this. I first took notice of her and her mom about 5 years ago when I started selling my crocheted goods on Etsy. They both had great shops and her mom even purchased one of my items, even though she could have easily made it herself. I just don't understand how, as a former crafter, she could have even considered representing other people's work as her own. If you want to buy stuff from DH Gate and sell it for 10x as much, fine. That's just business. But don't try to pass someone else's creation off as your own.

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    1. Is her blog what she actually does for a living her and mom selling stuff? Most bloggers I know like Kaelah do it on their own, but shes the first who has her mom help her or at least openly admits to it.

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  46. I found her not too long ago.. but didn't really feel like she was very genuine. I visited her shop once and everything just seemed like it was mass produced, not handmade. I'm so glad that you had the courage to write this post and stand up for REAL indie artists. The response on her blog is so full of "pity me", lame. This post is one of the many reasons I continue to come here! You're so genuine and real. Just keep being awesome you.

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  47. Can I just say how awesome you are for writing this? Saw the article on GOMI whenever it was originally posted and, sadly, wasn't super surprised given her past history. The fact that an awesome blogger wrote it out from behind the mask of GOMI is amazing.


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  48. I'm glad you posted this. I've been reading about it on GOMI for a while, and even did some digging around on my own to try and decide if I thought the accusations were true. I decided that in my opinion she was definitely doing some shady stuff, but thought *maybe* I was wrong since she was getting away with it so easily and no one had really brought it to light. I quit reading her blog and when I would see her featured anywhere I couldn't help but think back on one of the responses I read where she told the owner of a crochet design that she would continue selling it and there was nothing the owner could do about it. That is not something a person who "didn't mean to" or "didn't know any better" would say. Glad it's all out in the open now!

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  50. Kaelah, I have nothing but nice things to say to you at the moment. it sounds like Mandy has been pulling these kind of scams for YEARS, and it's about time she really gets called on it.

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  51. It's good that you're putting this out there. It's not right that she said she "designed" everything when really she just embellished what she stole from others. When you design something, in my mind you make it from start to finish.

    I commented on her "My Side" post with something similar, but she has conventiently gotten rid of the commenting on that post.
    ~Sara
    Sincerely, Sara

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  52. I actually read Mandy's blog post before I saw yours. At first I was shocked at what she said about you, I couldn't even imagine you, viciously attacking at *all*. Not knowing her background, I felt a little bad for her. I thought, whelp she deserves a second chance. Then I read your post, checked out all of the links and evidence. It completely changed my view on the entire situation. There is no vicious attacking anywhere. All I see is facts, that's all, just facts.

    I'm very glad you made this post. It's far too common for people to do things like this. The only reason she's even in this position is because she couldn't be an honest person. I hope more of her readers read this post. Glad she linked it in her blog post. All she's doing is helping you spread the truth. XD It also says a lot that she deleted and disabled the comments on that post. Nope, not shady at all.

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  53. Oh and one more thing. This whole EMAIL ME FOR THE TRUTH is getting old. I've seen several indie companies say this while trying to defend themselves against people who caught onto them. Disabling comments and telling people to privately email you while saying you have nothing to say is kind of sleazy and contradicting. Let me tell you all the horrible things these evil women did to me in private so no one else can see what I'm saying so I don't look like the ass I am.

    Hate it.

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  54. I applaud you for this. It's amazing how many people still support her. It's like they are brainwashed or something. And because of that support, she will continue to do shady things. Hopefully this post will help them see the ugly truth.

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  55. "I was mad that she made it hard for real professionals to make a living."

    I've been following you for a while and this is the first time that I've heard of this person, this is the exact sentence that has summed up about how I feel about this whole thing. I've read both sides of the argument and the fact is that she's in the wrong and she's backed herself into a corner and now that everyone has found a voice to say something against her, she doesn't know what to do.
    I'm a graphic design student and if I did something like that on my course I would be guilty of plagiarism and expelled from university. I've spent around £25,000 (yes, I'm British) on my education as a graphic designer and it is such hard work to get paid work these days, so the fact that this girl is just knocking out rip off designs and exploiting others of money, just infuriates me.
    I've spent so much time learning about typography and hand lettering to make designs look beautiful and then this person just pulls a font from DA Font and just slaps it on someone else's watercolour art work and charges extortionate prices for something she put no effort in designing AT ALL! The font, by the way, that says you cannot use for self profit.
    I always get a sense of pride after I finish a piece of work, how can she ever feel proud of something she's not actually designed.
    Anyone who does this can NEVER call themselves a designer, whatsoever.

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  56. I did not know the extent of this situation until reading this, and holy shitballs... what a trainwreck.

    I work my ass off to create original work for my clients, and it just freaking blows when people do things like this, you know? But even more than that, I am just SO damn sick and tired of people doing shady things and then playing the victim. It's ridiculous. I just went through an awful situation where I stood up to someone and called them out on their shady shit that ended up hurting a lot of people - and the nerve of that person to cry "hater!" and project their responsibility and their actions on me, and the people they hurt so deeply (the real victims, ahem)... It's cowardly and immature, and I will never understand people who do this. Truly mind-boggling.

    Listen, Mandy - if you're going to rip off artists and con people into thinking your "creations" are all your own, be prepared to handle some criticism for your actions. There is a HUGE difference between hate/judgment/mean spiritedness/shaming/viciousness, and people simply laying out the facts and sticking up for themselves, their friends, and their community. Grow a vagina and be a woman about it, for heaven's sake. This pity party is bullshit, and throwing blame on wholesalers/artists/"haters" aka nice people calling you out on your shady business/YOUR OWN BLOG READERS is really crappy. Just stop.

    Thanks for this, Kaelah. The whole thing makes me sad and angry, and I'm sure a lot of people feel the same. And that's okay. I feel like anger is always looked at as a bad thing and something we should never, ever, ever feel - and while it can cause damage and pain and a whole load of other harmful things, sometimes it's perfectly okay to just feel mad, you know? Especially when people have been hurt, cheated, and made to feel like what they create/put out into the world has no worth. We can't just sweep it under a rug and hope it's different someday. We need to feel what we feel - anger, sadness, whatever - and use it in productive ways, to create conversation, and to spark change.

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  57. Thank you for speaking out about this. I remember back when the whole crocheting thing happened a few years ago. I was following her blog then and believed her at first that others were scamming her and not the other way around. Then it seemed like every other day she was at the center of another scandal. It didn't take me very long to stop believing her. No one is at the center of that much drama if they aren't causing it themselves w/ their actions. She needs to just stop complaining and start actually creating her own stuff!

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  58. I've been following both your blogs for a long while now and when she announced she was opening a store envy store awhile back, I headed over there to look at the items. I knew instantly that it wasn't her work, even though she claims she'd spend the weekend "painting" products. Then with the opening of her "design" shop, again, instantly knew she didn't do any of the designing. I originally was majoring in VisCom and nobody in their designing right mind would put that 'handwritten' font on that watercolor painting. It's a bastardized font and cheapening the original watercolor painting. I've never bought anything from her mainly because the aesthetic she passes off simply isn't my style, but it's still sad to see that she uses the words 'Indie' and 'handmade' to trick others into believing that they're items she's originally produced.

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  59. I was wondering if anyone here could help me out with something. I came across a shop (lets call it shop A) on etsy that was selling a very similar design to another etsy seller (lets call it shop B). As soon as I saw it I automatically thought of a certain item in shop B. It's not exactly the same but it is very similar. There is another item in shop A that resembles something in shop B but not as much. I am quite a fan of shop B and her work as an illustrator and I don't really know what to do here because the things in shop A are not EXACTLY the same and I don't want to start throwing accusations (which is why i haven't named the shops) but something just feels a little off about it.

    I was wondering what the proper procedure might be in this sort of situation (if there even is any), should I message shop B? Or should I just stay out of it because the designs aren't exactly the same?

    Any advice would be great,
    Thanks,
    A
    X

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    1. Hmm...that's a tough one. I think it would be bad to call someone out when it's similar but not exact. It could just be a coincidence or maybe owner of shop B saw the product in shop A and liked it, but decided to change it a little. Yes that's not great, but a lot of people have similar items on Etsy. I say watch out for shop A and if you see more similar items popping up then definitely contact the owner of shop B.

      Hope this helps!
      ~Sara

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    2. It does indeed! Thank you :]
      X

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    3. I agree with Sara. However, don't feel scared to contact the shop about it. I saw some rip offs of a crochet artist I adore all over etsy and people copying her patterns. I felt obligated in my heart to tell her about this even though she is kind of a big deal and probably already knew. I just sent a quick message and sent the link and she thanked me and then it was in her hands at that point, but I felt relieved and better for letting her know just in case.

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  60. im just curious bc I don't read a lot of blogs, but who is the other blogger that she is copying? "If any of you have read Mandy's blog for a while, you'll probably note that a lot of her designs felt like watered-down versions of a much larger blog. Most of the time I chalked this up to her really looking up to this blogger, but sometimes it was hard to stomach"

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    1. Circa 2011-ish when she had her first shop. I didn't want to mention anything since she really has nothing to do with this, but yeah.

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  61. "If any of you have read Mandy's blog for a while, you'll probably note that a lot of her designs felt like watered-down versions of a much larger blog. Most of the time I chalked this up to her really looking up to this blogger, but sometimes it was hard to stomach"..who is the other blogger that you mention above? I don't read a lot of blogs, so im not sure who it is that she is copying

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  62. Go Kaelah!!! This effin rocks!

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  63. YES! i've been waiting awhile for this one. a friend of mine and i used to own a small vintage shop and sponsored her.. and she screwed us pretty hard. i have been keeping up with her via gomi (hehe), and was not surprised to see her on the front page :/ this is so lame, and i really hope that this post, at the very least, can open eyes like mine before they give her $60 (her ad cost) for nothing. you knowww. thanks for keepin it real, kaelah.

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  64. Bah! I had to delete my earlier comment because I messed up the link. Anyway.. this is the correct one:

    http://whenlifegivesyoumellins.blogspot.com/2013/07/my-weight-loss-journey.html

    Again, such a bummer she doesn't share the words of encouragement to her readers that she says she does.

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  65. i am so glad that this issue has left that anonymity of gomi and that so many bloggers are standing up to a real issue and educating people. i completely agree that it is just plain wrong what she is doing, and the worst of it is is the fact that she is a repeat offender. you said everything better than i could have and made all of the points that get my blood boiling about this too. thanks for not hiding behind anonymity!

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  66. Even reading all the lines of conversation I'm at a loss for what to say. Good for you calling her out. I read what she wrote too and it made me laugh a little that her last line says she has nothing to hide and has been completely honest... but then she's disabled the comments on that particular post. Just sayin.

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  67. am i the only one that doesnt really think that the face pins look alike? i mean, i dont condone what this girl is doing, but dont grasp at straws, how can that be evidence?

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    1. I understand your hesitance, but compare the eyes on hers and his. The DB one linked isn't the best example, but I grew tired of trying to find a better one in his sold orders. The way she painted the eyes is *exactly* like his, and it's pretty unique. Add the hair and all that jazz, it's totally a rip (IMO). Inspiration and a knockoff are totally different.

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  69. I have always admired your ability to stand up for yourself and what you know is right and wrong. Many a times when something unfavorable has been said about me on Youtube (they are the worst) I will simply visit your channel and read through your replies. By the end I am all giggles and smiles again. You say what a lot of us our too scared to "and for that, we thank you."

    KAELAH FOR THE WIN!

    xo Jessa

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  70. She disabled all comments on her post how convenient now that she's backed into a corner

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  71. I'm a Miss Indie reader, but haven't come across your blog until I read her post titled "My Side." I don't know anything about all this until tonight when I read your side and her side.

    Here is my personal experience. On June 3 I ordered some merchandise from Miss Indie. I still hadn't received it by June 20, so I checked her policy and it said that she sends out a tracking number with each package and that I should expect to receive it by 10 days after purchase (in the US). I hadn't received an email with the tracking number and it had been over 10 days so I emailed her. She responded apologizing and said that she would mail it off the next day and had run out of packing material and had to reorder. My first thought was, "How long does it take to get packing material? Just go to Target." And then I thought maybe she ordered some special unique packaging material. She added in her response that she was giving me some extra goodies for the long wait so I was pretty happy. Well, another 7-10 days and I still hadn't received an email with the tracking info. By this time I was pretty irritated so I emailed her asking for a refund stating that it had been about 30 days by now and I just wanted my money back. Fortunately, she gave me my money back. Well, a few weeks after my incident I noticed she posted saying she really wanted to focus on her business! I was irritated because I thought, "A good way to focus on your business is to actually ship the items people purchase!"

    But - I thought that maybe she is just really young and immature and doesn't know any better. She seems like a sweet person and hopefully she will mature and grow as she continues with learning how to run her own business.

    Then I read all this stuff ....

    I remembered a year ago as well, I bought an ad from Miss Indie and everything went really well with that. It was actually a positive experience. I really wanted her to do a feature post on my band and so I contacted her about it. She was eager to do it and so my band sent her a huge package full of goodies so she could look at it and decide how to proceed from there. I must have sent her 3-4 emails asking if she got the package. She never emailed me back. Not even to say she wasn't interested in proceeding with the feature or to say she had or hadn't received the package. My band was really disappointed because we had a great experience with the ad and were under the impression she also wanted to write a post about us. No response from her made us just move on, but I remembered it after I read this about her.

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    1. She did the SAME EXACT thing to me. Same wording and everything. She apologized first and said she would mail it the next day. Then after nothing, she said she would throw in some extra goodies for the wait. NOTHING. Then when I asked for a simple $9.00 refund, she ignored all of my following emails. That's a straight up scammer. This is more than just stealing other's work, this is a con artist. A thief. What a disgusting human being.

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  72. Major respect to you and all of the other bloggers for calling this out! I had no idea this was going on (I'm not very up to date with reading blogs lately). Shady people need to be called out, otherwise we're just enabling them to take advantage of others, so good on you for posting this!

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  73. I think it's wrong to pass off factory made as handmade and to blatantly rip someone off.

    However. All designers know that art work is bought. From clip art(the cheapest) all the way to originals hand painted on silk(mucho dinero). I am someone who cannot draw. I do use reference. When I am on my commute I can sometimes spot where the reference for someone's handbag print came from.

    Some of her practices do deserve a side eye. I think that her practices would be more acceptable if she were doing this commercially/mass produced. However, there is a community here on the internet that prizes putting a little more thought into what one produces. That is why many of us come to the internet instead of a chain store. When one person engages in this sort of practice it can make the community as a whole look bad. As large as the internet is it is also small. I had never heard of this person before.

    Is what home girl did wrong? No. Is it shady? Hell yeah!

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    1. I agree with you that illustrations and art is sourced for use in design work all the time - being a graphic designer and an illustrator are not one and the same - but is it not common, respectable practice to credit the sources of the artwork? That was where I had a problem with Mandy's shop - it felt like she was intentionally withholding that information, trying to pass it off as her own work by blogging about 'designing all weekend'. It's respectable practice to credit the artist & the typeface you're using, if you're sourcing - especially if you're a small business operating within a handmade-loving 'indie' persona...

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  74. I agree with so many other commenters...Kaelah for the WIN!
    As a past sponsor and reader I just want to say YOU RULE.

    As someone who actually puts the HANDMADE in a handmade, green accessory business I get very huffy-puffy about people who rip off and throw around the word "handmade" when all they do is buy something from a wholesaler and use some E1000 glue. If you aren't actually handmaking items yourself and if they aren't actually vintage don't throw those words around...it discredits all of us who actually DO handmake items and do our research about selling vintage.

    It's because of people like Mandy that some people expect cheap prices for "handmade" goods.
    That girl just needs to stop or TOTALLY rebrand and get rid of all that crap from China and maybe actually try selling handmade and see if she can cut it.

    Rant over. Thanks for this expose!

    - Johanna :)

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  76. I purchased something from Mandy's shop back in December 2012 and after never receiving it or hearing from her, I reported her shop. She conveniently shut it down and moved it else where within the same week. After trying to be nice, emailing her several times and getting no response, I got fed up. I left a mean comment on her blog and voila I got my package! It took months! I will never buy from her again! Im so relieved to read this and know that I'm not alone. Thanks for sharing!

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  77. Kudos to you for standing up for what's right! ANY sort of artistic or design theft is, like you say, TACKY. The internet is not anonymous anymore, not for those of us who have blogs and put out content on a regular basis, and that includes standing up for your beliefs, which you have done here with eloquence. Good for you!

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  78. My goodness! As someone who has NO design skills whatsoever and as someone who has to look up even the simplest of html coding, just to get my own blog looking semi professional...It worries me that I could accomplish what she did and I would never dream of charging people for that.

    I do feel sorry for her because from what I'm reading, this seems pathological and I have to wonder if she really grasps what's being done here...it's clear that she realizes that it will get her into trouble but she doesn't seem to *get* what this kind of theft does (really does) to people who rely on the skills that they've worked hard to master in order to make a living. Perhaps because she doesn't truly understand what true, top to bottom web design actually entails (I know I don't!) or what it means to be an illustrator.

    It's one thing to experiment with these things on your own ( everyone is allowed to try), that's relatively harmless. It's quite another thing to accept payment for something that should rightfully go to the artist behind the work. If the artist is already selling it themselves...then why would someone think it was okay to put the same elements up in a different shop? Makes no sense.

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  79. Phew, this took me FOREVER to read!

    I am so annoyed- I've been following her for a while and have even shared some of her posts on my blog before. I had no idea she was doing any of this.

    It's absolutely awful and I applaud you so much for writing this! Somebody needed to come out and say it. Well done for not keeping quiet- If we all hide from speaking out, people will keep getting away with ripping off others' work.

    xx

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  80. So so so so so thankful you wrote this post. Also, on her post she just posted after you posted this, she said this: "It's obvious that I have not stolen anyone's artwork or designs" and I would just like to say that she is a PSYCHO and a liar. Gosh. So thankful you wrote this!!!

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    1. She and she is overly pampered and spoiled by her mom who condones this behavior since she helps her with her etsy shop.

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  81. I am so glad YOU finally called out this shady azz girl.

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  82. I really can't believe there are so many people out there that can do this. She is basically stealing people's identities! I was never one of her followers, but I did browse her blog after reading "her side" and a lot of her posts are very cookie cutter. Just posting things the exact same way she sees them on other blogs. Sad that she was able to gain such popularity by being someone else.

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  83. I see so many of these stories and it's just so sad that all they seem to do is delete their account and come back with a new one, but again they get caught out and it's all rinse repeat. It's like there is no lesson to be learnt. Big high five for standing up and calling her out, you've done what you and others you've spoken know is right and it can only be admired as not many people would do that xx

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  84. Thank you for posting this, Kaelah! I just tried to check out her shop to see the similarities and such, and it's gone!

    xo

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  85. This rings so true to me. I'm not an artist of any sort, but I sell vintage on Etsy. I don't make things with my own hands, but I do research and make sure that my items are genuine vintage before listing. If I have doubts, I usually just don't list the piece.

    Yet, there are SO many vintage sellers on etsy that sell newer stuff that looks vintage billed as the real deal and it sucks so bad. These shops have to know what's up, because most of their other stuff is real vintage and you can just tell. It's easy to spot questionable items with a seasoned eye. A lot of these sellers are very successful on etsy too (more so than me). It's tiring to see them rewarded for this behavior by getting features and a lot of sales to people who are being scammed. It's extremely disheartening especially, because I work really hard on sourcing my stuff and it makes it seem futile and cheapens the work. So, I totally get it, but also look the other way. Sigh. Hang in there.

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  86. oh man, this made my stomach turn! i just bought this cheap little phone case from her... it was obviously some crappy little mass-produced thing, but it was cheap and also had the brand name printed on it, so at least she wasn't claiming it as her own work. but still, i feel terrible for thinking i might have helped further her undeserved success. thanks for sounding the alarm, KB. she won't be receiving my business again.

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  87. ****SLOW CLAP STANDING OVATION****
    I must egotistically yet honestly state that I'm a pretty good judge of character and thought this girl was skeezy for such a long time. I've seen her steal illustration work from Elsie and pawn it off as her own: sewing machines, cameras, bubble tea, etc. I thought I was the only one who noticed, and it shocked me that people could follow her blog/twitter/etsy shops and support her. People must be blind, right? She is the queen of blinding people with her pity posts. It was easy for people to feel sorry for her. All of her posts to me seem like lies or dishonest representation or just.....impersonal. It's like she's a copy of a person, in fact a few people as we know now. I'm glad someone posted about this because now I know that I wasn't the only one who felt this way about her. I once sent Elsie an email a long long time ago about this illustration stuff, but didn't hear back, not that I expected to, but she still has stuff in her shop that are totally A Beautiful Mess rip offs. It's not the fact that it's an illustration of a sewing machine/camera/bubble tea, it's the fact that it's the EXACT same drawing. It's not like she has a new, cool illustration style. Sigh I could go on forever, but I think you guys have already done a good job. I just wanted to back you up and thank you for posting this.

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  88. I came by your blog today to check in after a little blog "cleanse"...disappointed to say the least.

    This whole situation is sad for so many reasons...

    You called her out on her boldness (not in a good way) of stealing artists' designs.
    HOWEVER, the internet also allows BULLIES to be bold, too!

    You've just encouraged another (in my opinion) WORSE sketchy side of the internet!

    Take the higher road...
    Not that it matters because you have your army of bullies but, this is one gal who will not take part and you lost a long time reader today.





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    1. I think it's unfortunate that an honest, outspoken person gets labeled a "bully" simply because it's the Internet. Everyone throws around the term "cyber bully" like it's some generalized, blanket statement. I didn't ridicule her blog content, or her physical appearance, or anything actually! What I did was voice my distaste for her (illegal, in case you somehow missed that) shenanigans. I'd consider it bullying if I "rallied my troops" and told them to leave her mean comments a d emails, or if I suggested they harass her in any way. But I didn't, because I don't want/need to. I believe in being educated when you make the decision to support a business. I believe in standing up for intellectual property ownership. You can cry bully all day if you'd like, I can take it. But I'll never feel guilty for exposing someone's shady side. I've done it before. A d while I hope I never have to do it a third time, I will. People like you, who are so quick to coddle the guilty and shun the messengers, are why so many people are scared to speak up. What she was doing was WRONG. SHE made the decision to do everything she did. No one forced her. She just never expected to get caught and called out the way she did. I think if you did a little more research/reading on her, you'd be awfully surprised at what you find. My designs and creations may not be world-changing or insanely innovative, but guess what? They're mine. And I can be proud of that. I'm sure you can find plenty if non "bully" blogs to read, but anyone who refuses to stand up to injustice can't be too interesting anyway.

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    2. The internet makes everything so misconstrued. If you saw someone stealing from another's home and called EVERYONE you know to stop said robbery from happening you and those people would be called heroes! Do the same online? Anything but... Another example more suited to this situation... if someone was caught re-creating famous works of art and then selling them as originals they would be arrested, there would be papers, newscasts, and online articles calling the perpetrator out for there indiscretions! Are all of these people bullies too just because they are exposing someone who choose to be shady? When did the internet become an alternate universe where life rules need not apply?

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    3. She's a liar and scammer who has been doing this for YEARS. Stealing others art work and not sending out things people ordered no matter how spin it she is a thief and scammer. She's not some impressionable 16 year old she should know the difference between right and wrong. Being called out isn't bullying Mandy has done this for years so she doesn't get a free pass because of possible bullies when you open a blog its fair game. She has screwed over one too many people.

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    4. Many brought this on herself for stealing for YEARS so everyone who is saying it's bullying and to not be so hard are out of their minds. Do they realize how hard some of these people work to craft and design? Mandys not an innocent kid with her hand caught in the cookie jar she's a grown woman who knows right from wrong. Other big bloggers have discussed it as well and Mandy needs to answer for her theft of art work and not sending people things they payed for.

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  89. I'm totally late to the party responding to this, mostly because I've been reading through all the comments (like a nerd!). I'm so happy you wrote this post, because it needed to be said on so many levels. I've been hoping it would be a wake-up call for her - like: yay, she's actually taking critical comments on the 'her side' post! - but, no. I wrote constructively critical comments to her about good design practice, so hopefully she at least reads them, but the whole thing and the way she's handled it is super-shady, childish, and disrespectful to designers everywhere. Ugh!

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  90. In 2011 I entered a giveaway on Miss Indie's blog, and I won (http://www.missindieblog.com/2011/04/april-giveaway-winner.html) - but I only received one of the items I had won (which was from a completely different artist/seller). TWO of the items were from Miss Indie's own shop, but I never got those, or the three other items I was supposed to win. I contacted her a total of four times, first to claim my "prize", another email when quite a lot of time had gone by, and two more emails explaining that I still hadn't heard anything or received any of my prizes. Well, it turned into a complete lost cause because she ignored all of my emails and I never got anything (other than the one item from the different seller). I did my best to let it go, but it's horrible to know that she has this reputation for more than just an oversight from a giveaway. Shame on her, for so many screwed up reasons!

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  91. Really late to the party here, but I totally agree, thanks for calling her out. Not a fan of GOMI (I know they always say "We hardly ever snark, it's mostly constructive criticism!" But two minutes in the forums reveals what BS that is). But I think calling people out publicly for illegal and completely unethical behavior like this is the only way things change.

    I'm ashamed to admit that I used to be a defender of Miss Indie - until I started googling some of my daily blog reads to see who else reads them... and found some very interesting things about her. What's that movie where, for one day, everything is legal and everyone goes crazy? Mandy seems to be the type of person who's held back from doing things only by a fear of getting caught - never by her conscience and that little voice that says to most moral people "Hey, even if I were guaranteed never to get caught, this would still be wrong."

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  92. Yea...so I know I'm light years behind everyone else, but....THANK YOU! So, I had been a follower of Mandy's for a hot minute, but I hadn't really delved that far into her blog. I was going through my bloglovin' (which is cray backed up) and I saw her post about "her side" and I immediately felt sorry for her and told her to keep her chin up.

    Well...now...

    I WANT MY COMMENT BACK. NOW.

    You have no idea how thankful I am that you wrote this! I was thinking she was what she said she was and that she made some cute stuff...I was wrong, and you helped me NOT support her anymore. I'm unfollowing her and you madam have my readership for life for bringing on the truth train! Don't pay attention to people who got mad over this because you did the RIGHT thing.

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  93. I ordered 2 hats from Mandy's (now long gone) etsy shop back in 2010 and she never sent them. I only got one reply email from her about 2 weeks after I paid, saying there was a delay but she would be shipping soon, so I waited and waited and no hats and no more replies either... I must have sent 10 more emails because I was furious that she just stole my hard earned $50! by the time I figured out she was a scammer, her shop had shut down and it was too late to file a claim with paypal. So sad that she has to operate this way, conning people out of their money and stealing other's designs too. I'm glad to see what goes around comes around and she is finally being called out in a big way for her theft. I can't stand that fake sugary sweet persona she puts on all the time either, give it a rest girl! actions speak louder than your fake words. Thank you for posting this!!! It definitely needed to be said.

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  94. Ah I'm a month late on all this drama after recently coming across her side of the story! And after reading yours and doing some research/digging on my own -- I 100% agree with you and I think everyone who shed light on this situation deserves a reward! You're right, the internet is a HUGE place and it's hard to see everything. And when you do see something shady and wrong, you always ask yourself "Do I dare say something?". It's a tough decision because no one wants to be seen as someone who causes drama.

    Mandy though is just 1 of who knows how many scam artist on Etsy.... I've been using etsy for 5 years now and all I can say is WOW. It's changed. I see copycat's all the time. People are lying, not taking it seriously. I refuse to shop on etsy now besides a few stores I've been buying from for years because of how shady it's become. And it's awful because I love Etsy! I always find things I like but after being ripped off 3 times-- I'm done! I can't do it anymore. I can't AFFORD it anymore! It's such a shame because Etsy does still have a lot of actual artists who use it to sell their items and these scam artists are hurting them. It's sad.

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  95. In truth, the issue at hand of stealing others artwork and a history of poor business practices is definitely wrong. Yet, I see someone above noted that the manner in which this information was brought out could be perceived as bullying. I found your response disappointing. You noted that it was too bad someone who stood up and was honest was seen as a bully, and that it would only be bullying if you had ridiculed her blog or her personally, or it you encouraged your readers to leave her mean comments. I have never read your blog, but I imagine that you are smarter than to deny that your post and influence on your readers did not provide fuel for this ridicule to take place. You may not have personally ridiculed her, although it certainly walks a fine line, but reading through the comments revealed terms like "disgusting human being". "Cyber-bulling" is not a blanket term, and it's not just because this has been done on the internet. What has happened since this post is bullying, plain and simple. She should be held accountable for her wrong-doings, but she should not become the subject of hateful comments from people who do not even know her. There is a person behind the blog.

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    1. You are welcome to have any opinion you desire. However I will never feel guilty or ashamed for calling her out like I did. Even still, over a month later, Mandy has wiped the Internet of her blog's presence and started totally new accounts, yet she can't even acknowledge her loyal readers? There are some that still buy into her fake persona. She just leaves em hanging. At this point Mandy is longer a concern of mine. I have by own copycats to consider. I take responsibility for me and me alone. I'm not responsible for what you (or anyone else) perceives my words to be/mean. I'm only responsible for what I say. I am also not responsible for the opinions and comments that are formed after reading this post. I'm simply responsible for the *facts* I brought to light. Lets not get it twisted. Under no reasoning should *I* be getting a loaded finger pointed my way. If that's how you feel then your mind is surely mistaken. Mandy Ferrugia ripped off hundreds of people over the course of 5 years. She lied to her loyal readers, and she used her "friends." That's simply fact, my friend. It's probably pointless that I even reply to this because if you can't see all of that from the post(s), there's little hope. Mandy is merely a fly on my tv screen. Annoying when present, so you shoo it away and it dies the next day. Being a scam artist is a short-term plan... It won't sustain you. Luckily the Internet will go on without her :)

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    2. Mandy has been scamming for years if you do a little research she has ripped off blog designs, crafts,etc. passing china made stuff of as her own. This isn't bullying she is a thief plain and simple. She also has taken other's money and not sent them. So what do you call that? A thief.

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  96. i just ran across this. i know that blogger and had followed her for years. i finally got tired of seeing the flat-out stealing from popular bloggers and some not so popular. she stole her layout, i could tell when she was stealing from bloggers who weren't as well known. at one point i went to many of her followers blogs and was shocked to see that she copied their real-life styles. i am glad you called her out. i am sure she has moved to other blog-companies and is still doing the same thing.

    btw, truth is only bullying when you call people names or call on others to say something to the person. you've done neither.

    thanks again for telling the truth!

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  97. Is this the Mandy from A girl, obsessed? Wow.... :-/

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HEY! Thanks for dropping by. xo KB