I'm interrupting my flow of blog order to express something I feel extremely strongly about.
I have experienced what's known as copycats. People who directly ask for my help, which I give willingly and people who I always encouraged and praised. One particular copycat's 'designs' started to look a lot like mine and not just mine but other business owners products who I'd been following for years. The last straw was when I saw a direct rip off of two of my products and a poaching of one of my clients! My coping mechanism was to block and move on, trying to take the imitation as flattery.
I believe that these copycats, because their work does not come from a passion for what they do, what they produce is not a craft, nor a creation, it's a copy. No love and thought has been put into their makes. The market is big enough I completely appreciate that and there is a room for everyone, but there is an etiquette and a spoken rule that you do not directly imitate another fellow businesses work. This is a complex matter and one which no doubt I will write another blog about!
What can be argued is that copycats are just following trends. If there is a demand for giant chocolate slabs or chocolate cups on wooden sticks they are just meeting demands and that is fine and also fair. But what I want to make very clear, is that I do not see chocolate as a trend. Of course there are trends like in any industry; hot chocolate bombs, giant chocolate slab bars loaded with other shop bought chocolate, hot chocolate stirrers etc. Yes these are trends. But a TRUE chocolatier knows the history of chocolate, the journey it's been on to bring us the rich, indulgent substance we know as chocolate today.
The copycats do not care about sourcing ethically grown chocolate, about supporting farmers and using recyclable packaging. They are in it for money (and not a lot of money at that). Let's be honest, unless you are planning on being the next Cadbury's, the money made from making chocolate alone in your kitchen is not life changing. The owner of Dandelion Chocolate, Todd Masonis said himself, "there are far easier ways to make money". True chocolatiers start chocolate businesses purely for love. If I was in this for money I would have stuck with my job as a PA earning 7 figures. I started Chocolate Moments to bring happiness to people's homes through creative, delicious, high quality chocolate products. I wanted to give a really bespoke service, one that I feel we lack in today's society. We are so used to quick purchases and standardisation across the board. If someone wants a chocolate with their company logo I want to be able to give that bespoke attention to them whether they're a small business buying 20 or a large corporation buying 1000.
I cannot stop people copying my work. Nobody can stop this, the Internet is full of companies selling variants of the same product. But I hope I can make you aware that it's good to find out why people are running their small businesses and more importantly if they have the correct legal requirements (especially with food products). As for trends, they are great for filling up your pocket quickly if you jump on the bandwagon quick enough but that is personally not why I'm here and that should answer the questions I get asked all the time as to why I don't make coloured chocolate, hot chocolate bombs etc.
Buying from a true artisan means you are going to get a handmade product made with complete care and quality. A product that has a story to it. I try to add a sense of wonder to my chocolate, a sense of 'ooh how did she do that!'
Chocolate Moments is all about spreading the magic of chocolate! Thank you for reading.