Hello, oh so great summery hello!

We have been doing inventory here at our miniFarm and realized we have a box full of old prototypes, PR samples and little damaged good. All of these are in good condition but we cannot actually sell them anymore as they are “old”.

So the question is what should we do with them? We thought about giving them away to charity but finding  the best of the best “target” is something maybe you could help us with? Any suggestions?

You can comment on our facebook page!

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I think most of you have come across with the news about one of Marimekko’s fabric designs by Kristina Isola being exposed as a copy of work by Ukraininan artist Maria Pryimachenko.

Of course these news were shocking to all Marimekko fans around the world, but especially the fans here in Finland.  To many of us Finns, Marimekko is a strong part of our national identity, especially when it comes to design. But also because Marimekko is known from its personal and unique style and heritage.

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I could carry on about the sadness of this “tragedy” but I decided to bring up this subject mainly because us, smaller design companies, are dealing with issues like this all the time.

For example titiMadam’s original designs have been copied by biggies like UK’s Topshop, Swedish Monki and Finnish Seppälä but also by smaller brands.

Our copy stories are pretty straight forward. About four years ago we were negotiating a deal with Topshop’s jewellery design department. After sending samples and talking about details, the deal was suddenly cancelled. The explanation was simple. Topshop decided to carry on with their current contractors. After a while (still living in London at the time and visiting Topshop quite often) we pumped into an exact copy of our Zuzanna Zebra pendant at Topshop’s jewellery department, soon followed by Snowhite pendant. They had not changed a single detail or material. Only the size was little bigger.

After few anger relieving vodka shots we tried to figure out what to do. How could we fight against a company who’s whole business concept is to copy other brands? The sad answer was: absolutely nothing… We talked with our layer but the answer was not with him either. Topshop has 100 000 layers defending their “rights”. Of course we contacted the head of Topshop’s design department, but her answer was similar to what Marimiekko is saying now: “we had no idea about this, nothing we can do about it”. From their point of view it was a mistake done by one of their designers which means no need to take any responsibility. In this case it was exactly the irresponsibility that annoyed us the most, not the money, time or fame.

Big against small, experience against inexperience, dollars against pennies, known against unknown…

 

Case 2: “Are you selling your jewellery in Seppälä?”. After checking out where did the comment come from, we realized that Seppälä was indeed selling a very similar design to our Yaseed Unicorn pendant BUT it was not our Yaseed Unicorn pendant. The shape was pretty much there, chain lenght, the position of the unicorn… It was it but still not. Well, we did not even bother to contact the design team at Seppälä that time. We had kind of lost the boogie after the Topshop case.

Then Monki… Well the story is so similar to the ones above.. I could show you pictures if you like?

On top of these annoying and i-feel-used-by-giants -stories, I must sadly say that this kind of “copying” is quite common also between smaller companies. I could mention several brands who have taken on with titiMadam’s business ideology. The designs are not the same, but the feeling, mentality, material, graphics and the use of those are. I am not saying that product-wise titiMadam has reinvented the bicycle, but we have created something special and at a time it was one of a kind.

 

Lets stay one step a head.

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Fortunately we have learned to take copying more as a compliment than harassment. It makes us feel special and that we most certainly have done something right. It is just the “embarrassment” we feel towards the companies without their own imagination. It is hard to think that they can not see the similarities between the designs, but even harder is to understand that they do not care about them.

Karma.

Our suggestion is simple. Respect the mind flow, imagination and productivity of other smaller (and bigger) designers and brands. I am a designer. I understand that the inspiration can come from anywhere, our minds work in mysterious ways. That is why always negotiate with yourself where, when and how you ideas came about. And mostly question yourself before launching them. Everybody makes mistakes. If you do, take your action on it. Be responsible. People, our customers, are not blind, just like the Marimekko mess has proved.

 

With kindest respects to my fellow designers and entrepreneurs,

Tiina Hakala

CEO // titiMadam

Owner, designer and a lover of unique imagination

 

 

PS. Here’s a link to article from Helsingin Sanomat (English) about Kristina Isola and the exposure of the copied work.

PPS. Stars can’t shine without darkness.

 

Hey all you little pet lovers in Finland!

In a need for tickets to PetExpo? We got 3 set of 2 tickets which we will gladly give away!

How to get them? Well, this time we want to try something different… Email us (hello@titimadam.com) a picture of your titiMadam jewellery. If you dont have any, be creative! We would love to see where your zoo is located, how is it hanging, where is it hiding.. The winners get the tickets and some extra goodies to show off at the fair.

As usual we will raffle the tickets next week, lets say Wednesday. So you few days to play with your camera.

Good luck!

 

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More about the fair here.

Last week we started to wonder what would be the best way to find new locations for our zoo. There are so many spots and places around that it feels almost impossible to reach all of them.

The answer was quite simple though, you guys! Of course you know what to do, where to go and where to shop in your city.

We got answers from Italy, Stockholm, Paris, Germany, Mexico, Finland, etc, etc, etc…. Thank you for all of you who took a moment to help us.

But, that’s enough of blaablaablaa.. SO we raffled the winners:

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TATTADATATTADAAA!! (hear the drum set playing!!)

The lucky winners are:

45 € gift card to Wendy from from Belgium (Public Image, JuDe Loves U, Mieke Shop)

35 € gift card to Katja from Finland (etsy.com)

25€ gift card to Hanna T. from Finland (asos.com)

We will contact you shortly!

Bliss! x

 

 

 

 

We have a question for you guys:
Is there a shop, online store, boutique, museum, amusement park, post office, department store, etc… where you would like to see titiMadam jewellery? Is there are place where you constantly go but THE one and only zoo is missing?

If yes, you should let us know. We are constantly looking for new retailers and you are the ones who know where should we go (see, little poem there!).

As we are grateful for your help we will raffle three gift cards (25€, 35€, 45€) to our online store  between all the answers.

Send your hint to hello@titimadam.com by 9th of April. We will let the winners know the day after.

Bliss ♥

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Afwosh, Paris

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Five Fridays, Antwerp

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La Habitacion Kate, Madrid

Easter is full of symbolism. For example did you know that in the Finnish epic, “The Kalevala”, their greatest god, “Ukko”, formed the earth, sky, sun, moon and clouds from the broken eggs of a teal? Or that the first symbol of Easter was the chicken braking out of its shell? What’s even weirder is that 76 percent of people eat the ears on chocolate bunnies first…

We tried to paint our own eggs here at the miniFarm but they looked so deformed that we decided to treat you with something more titiMadam-like (although somebody told me that she cannot decide is the picture more easter or Moulin Rouge like).
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Anyways, enjoys the loooooong weekend, eat some, not tons, of chocolate and keep it real!

And, of course, the treat!!

Hey Earthlings,

you keep asking us where do we work, where do you design all your items, where can we see the full collection of titiMadam jewelry.. So we decided to give you a sneak peak of our office, the miniFarm, where all this happens!

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Check more info about Design District Helsinki from here!

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Galatee Goldfish wall mirror found its place from a tree.

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Our sofa-ish.

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Happy worker with the display.

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We are in a farm, so we got some fence.

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The chest of drawers hides pretty much the whole zoo.

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Our shapes are seen in flower pots…

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..as well as in our table tops.

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So that’s about it. Come say hi if you ever walk by!

The opening times change weekly, so keep an eye of our facebook page and the gossips  for more information!

titiMadam miniFarm, Merimiehenkatu 23, 00150 Helsinki, Finland