I've spend a lot of time thinking about creativity and originality. When I opened my Etsy shop last year I was still under the illusion that my designs were completely unique to me (ha like I'm sort of genius!) but as I came across different shops I quickly started to realize that the more simple designs like my bud studs and my dish studs or dish ring were pretty common designs on Etsy. Some of them had been on there longer than mine, some were listed after mine. Did I break down crying cause I am not that special or did I freak out and started yelling copycats? No of course not. I am an adult and I chose to believe the best about others.
There are two things that you always have to keep in mind. The limited options of a material or shape. I mean there is only so much you can do with a disc, a doming block or a piece of wire. The other is that you can confront the other seller but you will never ever know if they are being truthful or not. Or maybe you will not believe anything less then if they say: Yes I copied you. But if that's the case I guess you don't care about truth, only to be right. What I am trying to say is that you will never know so why waste everybody's time. Rock on with your bad self instead, and keep creating. Keep challenging yourself instead of pointing fingers at others. But if you desperately need to know. Just f-ing ask.... and yes, I mean YOU. Please don't make someone else do the dirty work for you. But be prepared to accept the answer you get and move on. Even if the answer is as simple as "great minds think alike".
Some of you reading might know where this post is coming from and I just needed to vent. Get all this thoughts out of my head before it would explode. A dear friend of mine was accused of something as terrible as copying other sellers work. I felt it was handled incredible bad and that she was left with no choice than to walk away from something that had mattered a lot to her. The situation left me feeling that anyone could be next. You could suddenly discover that you were on the receiving end of being accused of copying and you would have no way of defending yourself. I just don't want to have any part of that.
It takes many people to build a community but only one to bring it down.