I get an autoship of 4 copies each of the Bear Creations and the Dolls, Bears and Collectibles. Issue 17-4 is the last one to have arrived here in the states. I received my shipment about 2 weeks ago. We are, as a general rule, about one issue behind them being received in Australia. They always have the new issue (17-5), while we are enjoying 17-4. Having received these since the very first issue, they have always printed them without dates.
I met a lady at the Houston Quilt Show over the weekend who has collected bear themed tins for years and now want to pass them on to someone else. She was asking about the possibility of them maybe going to a museum or some other place that might be interested in them. I wasn't sure where to direct her, but did tell her I would see if I could find out. Does anyone know of any doll/bear museums that might be interested in this type of donation? There are a LOT of them - over 400. If anyone knows of a place that might be interested in them, would you mind sharing the info? Thanks - Luann
I would check with the state tax office to find out if you need to register your name. I would imagine that you would have to have a sales tax number, as you will have to pay state sales tax on your sales of bears, as well as claiming the income on your federal return.
As for the use of the TM symbol, Becky is right, BUT - you should probably do a little research and make sure no one else is using the same business name. It would be best to use something VERY different rather than something generic. I've been down the trademark trail, and it can be costly, lengthy and very legally entangling. I don't want to scare you, but rather, give you a heads up. Here, in part, is some info from the US Patent and Trademark office:
"Anyone who claims rights in a mark may use the TM (trademark) or SM (service mark) designation with the mark to alert the public to the claim. It is not necessary to have a registration or even a pending application, to use these designations. The claim may or may not be valid." Basically, if someone else is using the same name and decides to register it with the USPTO, you may lose the right to use it even if you have been using the TM mark.
Additionally, I would strongly recommend doing some research to see if anyone else is using the same name you want to use. Use Google, Facebook, Etsy, etc., and you will probably to be able to very quickly determine if you and someone else are using the same name. If you are, but neither of you registers it with a trademark, but then later decide to, I would take this info from the USPTO into consideration:
"There are two related but distinct types of rights in a mark: the right to register and the right to use. Generally, the first party who either uses a mark in commerce or files an application in the PTO has the ultimate right to register that mark. The PTO's authority is limited to determining the right to register. The right to use a mark can be more complicated to determine. This is particularly true when two parties have begun use of the same or similar marks without knowledge of one another and neither has a federal registration. Only a court can render a decision about the right to use, such as issuing an injunction or awarding damages for infringement. It should be noted that a federal registration can provide significant advantages to a party involved in a court proceeding...."
Thankfully, I kept records of the first use of my business name, and could prove it with dated sales receipts, the ordering of business cards, the purchase of the domain name, registration on e-Bay, etc.
Best of luck in your venture. The bear world can be a very rewarding adventure.
Does anyone know how to get the attention of someone that will do something on Etsy? There is a seller on there that has 122 items for sale - with almost all of them being books she has downloaded and is selling PDF copies of for dirt cheap. This violates all kinds of Etsy's own rules, not to mention trademark and copyright laws. Repeated reports have done NOTHING!
If someone is familiar with Etsy, can you e-mail me privately?
I was poking around on Etsy earlier today and saw a seller that had one of Jennifer Laing's books available as a PDF that you could download once you paid. HUH? They have GOT to be kidding!!!!! These books are not only out of print, but covered by trademark and copyright laws. Same issue with patterns. If anyone has books and/or patterns they have made up for sale, you might want to check and see if some dumb bunny has taken it upon themselves to turn them into PDFs and sell them on Etsy. I turned in the ones I caught, and they have been removed. At least Etsy seems to take copyrights and trademarks seriously, as they should.
I may be looking at this a little differently than others as far as the use of your photos is involved. Once a piece is sold to a collector, you have lost total control of the piece. If the collector hasn't kept the piece out of direct light, it could possibly be faded. What if they smoked? What if there is some type of damage or a tag or the original ribbon is missing? Even if they are selling the piece themselves, if they are using YOUR photos, it might come across as them being misled. I suspect they would be unhappy with you in the end, and not the person they purchased the piece from. I realize that you use very good photos of your work, and that is the work that you guarantee is being represented when YOU are selling the piece. To allow someone else to use your photos might end up biting someone in the backside. Perhaps this is part of the reason the collector is pressuring you so.
Hi Gail. I will be at the Long Beach Quilt Show at the end of the month and will have not only the Australian Bear Creations with me, but also the Dolls, Bears and Collectibles magazines, along with bears, mohair, eyes, etc. If you happen to be attending the show, you can get magazines from me there. Alternatively, I can send you a pm with info on whee you can get a subscription to both magazines.
Hope I didn't step on your toes here Sue Ann. Since there aren't any bear shows here anymore, I was referring to (but didn't clarify) it was other venues where the problem lies. You probably remember what a stickler I was about insuring that anyone who participated in my shows had to provide me with their tax number or they didn't get in. One year, I even went to the tax office myself and got several out of state vendors temporary permits.
Anyway...the craft/doll/quilt shows don't even ask if you have a sales tax permit. It really rubs me the wrong way, because they are making one sale after the next, and not collecting or paying the taxes that they should. I certainly am glad that they are making sales, but they need to be collecting taxes and paying them like the rest of us. Some of these people have been doing these shows for 20 years or more, so I know from talking with them first-hand that they don't have permits. Just doesn't make sense to me - especially when all we hear about on the news is the shortage of tax revenues. If they enforced their own rules, we'd probably be back in the black in no time.
Isn't Apple actually the responsible party here? It appears to me that if the app is only available to be downloaded through them, then it is their responsibility to make sure their sources are legitimate. Someone made money off of this, and in my eyes admitted guilt when they pulled it off with no questions asked. I'd be talking to someone at Apple and letting them know that I wanted to know how they were going to compensate me. Put it on their shoulders to advise you how many were downloaded and how much money was made. If we don't protect our own work and just let it go, we set a precedent. I'm a firm believer that we teach people how to treat us.
Apple is a huge company with a huge legal team and they don't need this kind of publiciity. You should deal directly with them, and let them deal with the people they got the image from. I'd be all over this one, just to send them a message. You may not even need an attorney - but they don't have to know you don't have one. You could contact the Attorney General in your state and they would have to look into it.
Here in Texas, you are supposed to register your business, which I did over 20 years ago. The system is supposed to protect your rights to the name of the business that you own so that no one else can use it. My experience has been that companies use the register to harvest names to send junk mail to, since it is public record. They issue you a sales tax permit, and are supposed to collect the sales tax and report it on every sale. I think the fee is pretty nominal, if any.
To participate in shows here - of any kind - you are supposed to be required to have the sales tax permit. Not only do I have to pay the sales tax, the state has also started charging me inventory tax on the materials and goods I have in stock.
I do not know of one other person that does the shows that has one of these permits, and simply cannot figure out why or how they are getting away with it. Bottom line - they haven't gotten caught collecting the sales tax and not paying it. If the state would show up at the shows and ask for copies of the sales tax permits, we wouldn't end up in the red like we do every year. They could simply collect the tax at the end of the show and issue permits. If the artists knew the state was going to be there, they would comply, as they should. The answer is right in front of their faces, yet they can't see it.
I certainly don't mind paying my fair share, but think everyone else doing business should have to pay theirs as well. This is a very sore subject for me.
I'm one of the "old timers" too. The last time I saw Linda Spiegel was in Houston back in the 90's. We did a signing at a bear shop there. She was so easy to talk to and gave me a lot of information on a couple of her bears that I had purchased, but didn't have tags on. She also offered to sign them for me. She was not in the best of health then, and if memory serves me correctly, she retired from the bear world pretty quickly after that. I have a number of her bears, and they all have a pretty recognizable look.
A lot of her bears are featured in Japanese books, so that may be one of the best ways to locate Tatters. If you can find the bear by the photograph in one of the Japanese books, you may be able to have the information translated.
I thought I would try here before I went through one of the sources I regularly use. I would like to purchase 7/8" or 1" disks, as well as 1 1/8" or 1 1/4" inch disks. I prefer to purchase in bulk, but let me know what you have and the price you want, as well as the shipping (within the states this time or Canada, please). I may also be interested in t-pins, but have plenty of the tiny ones already.
Please e-mail me either privately rather than through the group so as to keep the OT responses down.
Thanks - Luann
For the first time ever, this year, I decided to enter something into the State Fair competition here in Texas. I got the rule book, followed the instructions, and when I couldn't figure out which category to put two of my pieces in, I called and asked for help. The director of the competition specified which category to use, and told me they might change the categories once I went to turn my pieces in if they felt there was a category they were better suited for.
In early August, after driving 4 hours one way to turn them in, there was a hitch. They accepted one of my bears, but rejected my other two pieces, (a lion and a monkey). I explained the situation about the categories, and they called someone "higher up" to make a decision. She said for them to take the pieces and enter them in the category I had been advised to use. She cautioned that they might be disqualified, because technically, there really wasn't a category for any animals other than dolls and/or bears. By leaving them, she hoped that the judges would FINALLY see that we are making things other than dolls and bears and a new category was desperately needed.
Last week, we got the results of the competition. My bear actually did take third place, but the lion and monkey had been disqualified. I drove back up yesterday to pick the rejected pieces up, and apparently, my entries had caused quite a stir among all of the judges. They were "very impressed with my quality of workmanship", but had to disqualify them both because technically they were not dolls and that was the only category they could figure out to place them in. Disappointing, but not the end of the world.
The good news is - because I left the pieces and gently forced the issue, they have officially decided to open a new category at the State Fair next year for artist made stuffed animals. (Sounds a bit crafty, but I'm going to send a letter about the wording.) They had been wanting to add a category for years, but never had received enough pieces with the caliber of work they were looking for to justify it. so, now, after over 100 years of celebrating the State Fair, we will have a category to showcase our work for hundreds of thousands of people to see.
I picked this old bear up yesterday, and need help in identifying it. I've been through all of my books, but haven't had any luck. It's in pretty good shape - light wisps of mohair all over. The bear is 14" tall and is stuffed with wood wool/straw. It has no side seams - only seams on the front and back of the body. The nose is made from fabric, and appears to be the original. The pads have been replaced, but underneath, it appears the original pads were felt. The shoebutton eyes are hanging on, but I'm not sure if they are original or replacements. It feels like a growler inside, but that does not work.
Thanks for any help that anyone can offer.
Hi Daphne. To the best of my knowledge, Pfaff is the only machine on the market with the built-in walking foot. I can't speak first hand, but friends who have walking feet that are attachments to their machines don't get the same results that I do with my Pfaff. I wouldn't trade my Pfaff for anything. I use it and a featherweight, and love both of them.
As for pinning, I use applique pins for everything, especially foot pads. I use them pretty sparingly - only 4 pins for a foot pad. I find the fewer pins I use, the less bulk.
I also have a Pfaff dual feed machine - and have used it for years to make bears out of mohair. It works flawlessly for me. I've seen a lot of people that pull their fabrics from the back as it feeds through the machine, and they almost always end up with problems like the fabric slipping. I don't know if this applies in this case, but if you do tend to pull the fabric, try letting it go on it's own, by just guiding it instead. I just let mine feed through on it's own, and have had great results.
Does anyone have a contact person for the Teddy Bear Reunion Show in Iowa? Unfortunately, the Chamber of Commerce knows nothing and the only contact person they have a number for has not returned any calls, and is now out of town for a couple of weeks. E-mails are not answered, and the contact number on the website is the same number the people at the Chamber gave me.
I can't believe that this show would only have one contact person, but it appears to be the case. I'd appreciate any help.
One of our local churches hosts an "Angel Food" program. In light of the comment about people maybe being afraid to pick up an item just left somewhere, I think I'm going to drop a batch of these softies off at the church. The ladies that run the program know me, and I will ask them to either set them out on food pickup day or offer them to the kids.
When I saw these mugs, I immediately ordered one, as I thought they would sell out in no time at all. Mine arrived in today's mail, and it is just incredible! I can't wait to drink my morning coffee in it!
These are so incredibly well done! I'm going to enjoy this mug for years to come.
Well, you guys just come on down anytime you are ready. The door is always open, and the BBQ will be ready. As for the pralines, no problem. Maybe I just need to send you a "care package". Hmmmmm.....Are you going to be at Daphne's Chicago show? If so, I will bring some with me then. If not, I can surely send you a box before. Of course, I could always do both. some for now, and some for later.
I live in Austin, and it hit 105 yesterday. We've had temperatures over 100 for the past 12 days now. It was not supposed to get below 95 during the night. I think it's just a matter of getting used to it. The humidity in Austin is not as bad as it can be in Houston or even further East Texas. It's pretty miserable there in the summer time. On the flip side, I never wore more than a sweater all winter long here.
People are moving here in record numbers and I have to wonder how long they will last onc they've spent a summer with us. LOL
We work outside as we do construction work, but are finding it much easier to start earlier in the mornings as it is a little "cooler". If you find yourself in Austin, let me know. I'd be happy to give you a tour!
Liability - If you do smaller shows, I might not be too concerned. However, if you do large trade shows, liability insurance is usually a requirement. A number of years ago, I did a large, 5 day trade show and was required to show proof of insurance. Thank goodness I had it. I had the customer from hell show up at my table and she had her full fledged, 5 year old, monster in tow. This kid either lagged behind her or ran way ahead, literally clearing merchandise off of tables. "Mom" did nothing - and I mean nothing. He got to my table, where I had 5 pound bags of glass beads displayed on the table. He touched everything on the table, knocking off as many things as possible, and her still doing nothing. Other vendors were helping me pick things up, and this kid suddenly poked holes in all of those bags, scooped a handful of glass up, tilted back his head and screamed "Watch this!" His mother came to life, and started screaming about how I'd better have a good lawyer, because she would "own" me and my business by the end of the day. Fortunately, another vendor had alerted security, and the kid and his mother were advised to get a good lawyer in the event that either I or the promoter decided to go after her. They were escorted from the building. I had a good scare, and have not been without insurance since.
Sheesh! I could write a book! Luann
Be aware of the implications of offering discount coupons without thinking it through first! I learned this the hard way.
Many years ago, I sent out postcards to all of my customers and offered a 10% discount on the purchase of a bear - basically the amount of tax. A customer came up, picked a bear, then negotiated a better price on the bear. After we agreed on the price, she presented me the discount coupon and then pulled out her charge card! After the price reduction, the discount and the charge card fees, I should have just wrapped the bear up and given it to her.
I learned a very tough and expensive lesson that day, and have never repeated it.
Charge cards - check with whoever will be providing the service and make sure that there is not a minimum amount that has to be charged each month. If you don't charge a certain amount, they will charge you a flat fee every month. As every question you can about the equipment. Will you be purchasing or renting it? Weigh the options. Leasing it can be expensive and if you decide not to use the service anymore, you will still have to pay until the lease runs out. If you are using a charge card service, find out if you will have access to a phone line at the shows you do, as well as electricity. This can be a very costly adventure. I do one show where the charge for the phone line and power are close to $600 for the week. One day shows may charge $100 per day, which is pretty typical. Some charge card companies have you submit everything over the phone, and they deposit the money directly into your account. Others will charge you extra for not swiping the card and doing everything manually and mailing it in. Again, ask all of the questions you can think of.