Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Who’s Copying Who?

It’s no secret that many of us in the home and decorating realm of the blogosphere love Pottery Barn. Many of us take great delight in recreating something of theirs at a fraction of the cost.

Lately, however, I’ve begun to wonder if the tables have turned. I’ve seen several “New” items in the PB catalog that I’ve been seeing on blogs for months.

For example, here are a few samples of their new bird and nest themed line (just type “bird” into the search box for the whole line…there’s a lot):

Embroidered Bird & Nest Pillow Cover, $39 (even though these are new, the nest pillow is “no longer available”, but it’s certainly a familiar icon around the blogs)

Embroidered Bird & Nest Pillow Cover

Nest Sentiment Lumbar Pillow, $49(“nest”, typography, nubby natural burlap-y fabric, need I say more?)

Nest Sentimentl Lumbar Pillow, 12 x 24"

Birdcages $39.00 - $49.00(I think we all have one or two of these floating around, probably picked up at a garage sale or thrift store)

Birdcage, Small

New Jewelry Display Frames $29.00 - $49.00(I made a version of this back in December, and I got the idea from many other bloggers before me; my cost was about $2)

Jewelry Display Frame, Antique White, Small

New Ceramic Platters with Chalkboard Center, Set of 2 $99.00(I know you’ve seen these around the blogs for quite some time. $99? Is that a joke? Get a $3 plate at the thrift store and a can of chalkboard spray paint and make it yourself for well under $10.)

Ceramic Platters with Chalkboard Center, Set of 2

So, my question is, is Pottery Barn watching the blogs and picking up on popular trends that way? Taking our ideas and recreating them at exorbitant prices? Kinda flattering isn’t it? And yet, a little insulting, too!

Here are a few of my PB-inspired knock-offs:

I think I just decided a linky party is in order! I’ve been having winter doldrums and blog-block lately, so this will give me something to look forward to.

Tuesday, February 16 come back here to link up your PB knock-off. It can be something new, or something you did a while ago. Grab my button and invite your friends!

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I first opened my latest Pottery Barn catalog a few weeks ago I noticed all the bird things and immediately thought of The Nester. And, seeing the plate with chalkboard paint made me think "been there, seen that" - although I love it! I'm thinking there are spies out there - but I'm also feeling like I've been "IN" on something "BIG" from the beginning! Still love Pottery Barn, tho...

L in Alaska

Mom in High Heels said...

That's hilarious. Do you think they have a person who trolls the blogosphere for inspiration? Maybe I should offer up myself? For a full salary and bonuses of course. :) I love PB, but their prices are insane. So much cheaper to make your own knock off. If only the Germans would figure out how awesome chalkboard paint is. It's sadly something I can't get shipped from the US. Sigh.

Cindy said...

I just posted about this (actually twice). I was in there on Saturday and left disgusted.

I totally think their buyers are scoping out blogs and Etsy. Flattering yes, but I hate that they charge so much for what we can do ourselves or purchase from a real person on etsy. :)

BabiesandBargains said...

I was flipping through my catalog last night thinking of the nester as well

alanna rose said...

I had the same reaction to the catalog - especially when I saw the (incredibly overpriced) chalkboard plates.

What a fun party! I've got a few PB knockoff projects to finish up, so this will be a good reason to kick them into high gear :)

Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage said...

I agree totally....hmmm...wondering what "they" will come up with next??

Ginny said...

Well it probably isn't hard for them to find the stuff since so many bloggers copy them. I'm sure they have searches out there to see what people are saying about Pottery Barn.

I think it is a bit annoying though. Since they charge such crazy high prices. I guess though they are getting back us crafters who are stealing their style & saving a ton of money, lol.

Those chalk board plates are absolutely ridiculously priced, OMG!

Cass @ That Old House said...

This happens . . . merchandisers do pick up on what's floating around in public, and do get inspiration from "the street."

Almost 25 years ago I fashioned several ribbon headbands with bows for my very hair-challenged infant daughter, and the next year they were cropping up in the baby shops - the same design. We lived in NYC at the time -- maybe someone saw my baby sporting one! Who knows?

But I guess if we can near-duplicate PB items, it's only fair they can duplicate ours. And for those people who buy those simple items at those inflated prices, well -- I guess we should just pity them!
They've got way more money than sense.
Cass

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Good point! I think that shows how closely they're paying attention to what's going on, and kind of flattering, when you think about it. :-)

The party sounds like a fun idea!

Kathy said...

This has been going on for a long time...
I was in Pottery Barn the other day and actually said out loud to one of the clerks...( in a nice way)...about the accent pieces seeming kind of dated!...we've been CREATING these pieces for ages in Blogland...
They do get their ideas from blogs...If we could sit down with Martha Stewart I'm sure she would say she does too!...and It's a GOOD thing!
Oh Well...xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

~Crystal~ said...

I totally think they're stealing ideas from blogland. I think it's flattering to blogland, but their prices are what make it insulting. All the sudden an old frame that we'd get and repaint for $2, is close to $50. Woah!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

WOW!! I liked this post, Holly. It was very very interesting to see PB's *new* stuff that we've been reading about online for months. ;) I love your party idea! In fact, I have an idea for a new post right now! Will you post a reminder about your party??

I have something fun up on my blog today...it might help you get out of your blog funk. ;) Hope you'll stop by!

bec4 said...

Fun idea for a linky party--can't wait!

sara@augustfields said...

i had the SAME thoughts when my issue arrived. :)

kermiefrg said...

That's a really great observation. I guess we have more influence than we thought!

FrouFrouBritches said...

Seriously? $99 for chalkboard dishes? CRAZY! LOVE the idea of the party!!!!

Candace @ Candace Creations said...

I really enjoyed this post and seeing all those items PB has Knocked off blogland...lol. I love the idea of the linky party, I just got a PB Kids catalog the other day and marked a bunch of stuff I want to make knock off versions of. I think this is such a fun idea, I'm posting your button on my blog. Right now I'm in the process of making a knock off item I saw on Land of Nod...I'll be posting it in the next couple of days!

www.candacecreations.blogspot.com

The Poppy Home said...

I just got my catalog this weekend and agree. So nice to know that they think the SAHM who take pride in making their houses homes, have good taste and work hard to create a haven for their families and friends!
Thanks to you and the Nester and many others for their drive and creativity that comes naturally. :)

Ruth said...

I need to get busy so I can join this fabulous party and end up with a great PB knockoff.

Ruth

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious, especially the chalkboard plates! Kelly

Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick said...

This is so true! I especially thought that with the chalkboards. Seriously?

Sandra said...

Sorry, but I've seen stuff like that when I was a kid (I'm 23), pre-internet, so... no, not necessarily.

Amber B. said...

I thought the exact same thing when I saw the catalogue. And the numbered pillows? Just like The Shabby Nest makes!! I think they are watching!

Sarah said...

I have been wondering the exact same thing! Quite the compliment indeed!