Food for Thought…

By November 28, 2007General

I have stepped away for a few weeks to focus on my family, along with taking the opportunity to analyze some thoughts and feelings I have been forced to deal with recently.  I don’t feel as though I can "continue with your regularly scheduled blog posts" without putting a voice to these feelings.  So here it goes…

I have been on all sides of the stamping world.  I remember a time not to long ago, when I was on a very limited budget of $20 per month for supplies.  I also know what it is like to have a fairly open-ended budget.  I have had the experience of being involved in direct sales, as I was an SU! demo for a few years.  I am now involved with the manufacturing & design of my own products.  So I feel that it is accurate to say that I have experienced it all first hand.

With that being said, I want to provide you with some food for thought. 

You are surely looking for innovation when it comes to your purchases, no matter which of the aforementioned categories you may find yourself in. That’s one of the aspects of this craft that is so exciting.  All of the new products that are constantly introduced, providing you with ongoing possibilities.  These innovations are what keep everything fresh and exciting. 

Where would this industry be without a core group of "thinkers" who work hard to continually bring you something new? 

I would like to think that I could include myself as part of this group, along with a few close friends of mine who are affiliated with their own companies. 

I know in my particular case, many hours of thought & contemplation go into each set that Papertrey produces.  Many characteristics of the images we create are designed with the stamper in mind, making them both user-friendly & trendy at the same time.  There are many sets that we currently contain in our collection that I spent as much as 80-90 hours designing, getting everything just perfect and being sure that they were as versatile as possible.  I can honestly say that my heart & soul are poured into each and every thing I do. 

So back to the question at hand… Where would this industry be without a core group of "thinkers" who work hard to continually bring you something new?

What is your answer?  And is your answer reflected in how you choose to spend your crafting dollars? 

Other companies that take a concept and make it their own virtually get a "free ride".   The "thinking" was already done by someone else, so it is easy for them to reproduce the idea within their company and gain profits without any true contributions to the industry as a whole.

It is very easy as a consumer to not give a second thought to this philosophy.  We want what we want at the lowest price possible. 

But in the end, what type of company do you want to maintain longevity?  The one that puts the time into innovating new concepts continually or the company that likes to take advantage of a free ride?

I know that this subject may seem controversial to some, and I am prepared for that.  But I think this issue needs to have some attention.  I look forward to sharing some stamping related posts within the next few days, but today I really needed o share my thoughts & feelings on this particular subject.  Thank-you to all for your support!!!


Nichole Heady

Author Nichole Heady

More posts by Nichole Heady

Join the discussion 158 Comments

  • 1

    I truly appreciate you taking the time to share your feelings with us Nicole. It can’t be easy with everything that you do to create your sets and keep us customers happy with new innovative projects, and still have time for yourself. While I’m not exactly sure what you are referring to at the heart of this post, I want you to know that everyone that has ever purchased your products know where the ideas came from, the extraordinarily long hours that went into their creation, in addition to the first-rate quality product you consistantly bring to us. Thanks for all you do!

  • 2
    Denise Rose says:

    My answer is I appreciate all the time and energy you put into the thinking part so I don’t have to! I reflect this answer by spending my stamping dollars with Papertrey every month! haha! But seriously, I think this problem exists in many areas in the world today and it is definitely evident in the stamping/scrapping industry. It is my opinion that there will always be others who are going to try to make money off of others’ ideas, and it can be very frustrating for those “thinkers” such as you. I just think you are so cool and I admire you so I want to buy your products, and feel some sort of loyalty because of these feelings. I do this in other areas of my life too (not just stamping) so I guess it is just the way I am.

  • 3
    Joan B says:

    Your sets are gorgeous. All of them. And particularly, the set designed to fit on the avery labels was innovative, beautiful and useful. I’d rather support the original creator of an idea even if it means spending a few dollars more. I think a lot of folks feel the same way so you hang in there!!!

  • 4

    Nichole..I am touched by your thoughts and agree with you completely..I have to say I came across your blog a month ago and was drawn to your work..and this is coming from someone who had never stamped in her I read your entries and discovered your unbelieveable creativity I knew this was someone very passionate about their work..It was because of this attribute I purchased my first set of stamps from your company(is that just awesome to read??) and you have truly inspired me!! Keep up the amazing work and continue to blossom into the person you have always hoped to be!!

  • 5
    Katie Skiff says:

    I truly appreciate the time you spent on all of your sets and love the veritility of them.
    I was just thinking to myself about how easy it has become to create your own stamps now and how there are many of these new *companies* popping up. I think that is great. However some of them are copies of what is out there, not that great, and sloppy to begin with.
    So I truly appreicate you talking the time to create beautiful, clean images, and sets that are not already out there.

  • 6
    Janet says:

    I am so glad you posted that, Nichole. I have seen the many “PaperTrey” knockoffs that are coming out and none are as good as the original. I think you will find in time that those companies will fade away, but your quality and devotion to concept and detail will stand in the end. I think it is sickening that others are trying to ride your very brilliant coat tails for a buck. I will always spend my hard earned money here at PaperTrey.

  • 7

    I recently discovered Papertrey Ink and one of the things that brings me back and makes me spend my oh-so-hard-to-part-with dollars is your attention to detail. I love how everything is crafted so perfectly, your designs are beautiful and innovative, and one of the things I love most of all is the quality and the fact that your products are made in the U.S.A.! I truly appreciate your hard work and the products your company produces. Thank you, Nichole!!

  • 8
    Melissa Flieg says:

    I have to say Nichole that since discovering your blog and company about 5 months ago I have loved everything that you have come out with. I think your designs are so great and inovative and you will get my money every month over a company that is just copying what you are truely creating. Your stamps are top in quality and I love all the design ideas you share on your blog with us. Your stamps are worth every penny I have spent and you will continue to get my business every month. Keep up the great work and thanks so much for all you do for stamping and papercrafting in general.

  • 9
    Kris Tolman says:

    I am sad that you have to deal with all the garbage that goes on in the money-making industry. You are so talented and brilliant. Your company will stand the test of time while the others fade away. I have told all of my friends and aquaintances and strangers on the street about your website and products. They look at me funny because they assume I would be trying to sell them SU! products since I am a demo,ha… but I want Your kind of businees to have the longevity you spoke of. Therefore, I spend my money and try to get others to spend their money as well! Hang in there! You are amazing!

  • 10
    Janine says:

    I too have just found your company and blog and love everything you put into both. I truly hope you will continue. My husband and I own two businesses and I know what it is like and know exactly what you are talking about. Take the time you need for yourself and your family but if you truly love what you do you will find a way..

  • 11
    Jacque (SCS: Petals) says:

    I have seen the knock-offs of your sets coming out and feel horrible for you. On the one hand, it’s great, people realize you’ve got a really GREAT product and they want to capitalize on that. On the other hand, those who either are shopping thrifty, or aren’t aware of the original (and definately better) product may be purchasing these knock-offs, essential paying credit to the imposter.

    I realize the bottom line comes into play, but I’m sure for you that this is probably far more about the ethics. But, as someone else mentioned, it seems to happen in every industry. I guess the thing you will have to decide is how you will let this influence your future decisions. I’m sure there is no easy answer in this. But, for what it’s worth, I will say a pray of guidance and discernment for you.

    Chin up!

  • 12

    My answer is simple. Being a daughter of a small business owner, and now an employee of that same small business, I strive for excellence in my customer service and ethics above all else. My goal is to be DIFFERENT. I will continue to support Papertrey, because you have been different from the beginning and continue to push the envelope to set yourselves APART from other companies and stamp manufacturers. You are clearly a force to be reckoned with as far as ingenuity is concerned, and I think that combined with your amazing products, your stellar customer service, and your desire to do the right thing will carry you much farther than those who choose to just ride coattails.

  • 13
    Jacki j says:

    I would love to see the thinkers prosper and it annoys me to no end to see those companies that create the latest ‘_________’ and put their own spin on it, but it’s not an original idea. I do look for new and innovative at this point in my stamping life. The trouble is I cannot possibly know what is going on everywhere in the stamping industry. Stampers need to unite and alert others stampers when they see a knock off. I think your company, Nicole, will stand the test of time.

  • 14
    Kris Carpinello says:

    I think I understand what you are saying. I too was distressed to see a stamp set way too similar to a Papertrey set online. After the shock wore off, I went to your site and immediately purchased the particular stamp set. I will not purchase from this other company again. You have your heart and soul invested in your creations, and it just is not right for someone else to copy them.

    In the end, you will survive because you have the talent and work ethic to create new, inspiring designs. You will definitely be getting my business.

    While we are talking about new creations, I would love to see a set devoted to BIRTHDAY SAYINGS!!!! It is so hard to find a nice message for the inside of the card. I’d love to see gender-neutral (as well as gender-specific) classic, nice sayings in classic (and pretty) fonts.

    Hang in there, you have much support.

  • 15
    R.W. says:

    Brilliant post. As an independent jewelry designer I can relate to everything you said. I have been making jewelry for eight years. I have done the same events for years. Sometimes at the next seasons shows, I’ll see imitations of my designs. Everyone always says imitation is a form of flattery, but hey, let’s be honest, it still gets under your skin. However, being copied is inevitable. And, like spilled milk, not much to do about it without expending a lot of energy. So, why waste my energy being upset? Instead, I try to put that energy into the creation process. (Course, I do have my temporary moments of frustration. I am human.) I try to make the best of the situation and my perspective is this:
    The knowledge that there are people out there ready to copy me, keeps me on my toes. They push me to constantly create and invent, and stay one step ahead of them. So, in an indirect way, they inspire me. Not my inspiration of choice, but it is inspiration nonetheless.

    I will continue to buy Papertrey stamps because your quality, design, passion and customer service are exceptional. And, I have no problem spending extra money for those qualities in a product. I don’t like knock-offs (no matter how good the deal) because they are rarely ever as good as the original. And, as a fellow “artist”, I believe in supporting the “arts” and not the “industry”.

    Shake it off and keep up the great work!

  • 16
    Debbie Leonard says:

    Nichole, While I am not sure what has happened I do want to express my gratitude for th exceptional product you produce and the wonderful way you package and care for your shipments. I am always so impressed when I open a box from PT and see how neatly evertything is packaged. You run an oustanding business. You just add special touches that keep your customers coming back.

  • 17
    R.W. says:

    Sometimes it helps to chant..”I do this work because I love it, because I love creating…because I love it, because I find joy in creating….I make money doing something I am passionate about….

    While those “copiers” do it for the sake of making money. Where’s the joy in that?

  • 18
    Elizabeth says:

    Dear Nichole-

    I saw the website of the PT “knock-offs”.. and I thought “those jerks stole Nichole’s idea!” so sorry that happened to you!

    But look at it this way.. YOUR ideas are so good.. others want to imitate. It’s a bit of a compliment in a way.

    I am sure their polymer will yellow and crack in the hands of their customers and i will still be loving my PT stamps!

    So as someone else said.. chin up Nichole.. your legions of loyal followers will not let you down. We are too addicted to your fantastic ideas and images!

  • 19
    S Bailey says:

    Nichole, like all the others have said – your work and your company stand for great service and wonderful products. I am a loyal customer and appreciate all the work you put into making your products stand out. Keep up the good work! Being a small business owner is not easy these days. But it is extremely important to support small US businesses and if it means paying a few dollars more, so be it.

  • 20
    Ardyth Percy-Robb says:

    Nichole – You’re absolutely right. I call this the “WalMart” factor – (maybe unfairly). As long as we can get it cheap, we don’t care how the people who actually manufacture the products are treated. Your situation is different, but the same. Obviously you’re not living in China, working for pennies an hour, but you obviously feel that you’re being taken advantage of by unscrupulous people. I believe this is a global issue that we need to get a handle on. I’m sure there are much smarter people than I working on this issue, but I don’t see the solution.

    In the meantime, please don’t get discouraged. We all love you and your products. I believe that companies that compete solely on price can’t last precisely because they don’t have the valuable thinkers (consider generic drugs – no research costs, so cheaper drugs, but who’s going to discover the cures???) Anyway, I could go on for hours..
    Long way of saying, I will keep buying Papertrey as long as you keep makin’ it!

  • 21
    lynn whelan says:

    I totally understand the need to vent Nichole and appreciate what I think you are saying. I know, however, that this is the way the craft industry works and most industries, for that matter. I think though, that with the true stamping customer, as with companies like Stampin’ Up, once you have established yourself as an industry leader people will come to you for the latest and most innovative ideas. Yes, lot’s of “easy” money will be made by those who recognize your idea as something to capitalize on, that’s just how it is. If you continue to find ways to draw those customers in to your designs (like the previews)you’ll do great. And try to remember to be flattered! BTW, I’m just a nobody, and what do I really know.

  • 22
    Karen says:

    I have not heard of any knock-off companies but after reading the comments I’m sure that’s what is happening. My sentiments are with the other comment-posters … I have ALMOST every set you have manufactured and would have every set by now if they weren’t coming at 3-4 sets per month … i.e. my pocketbook cannot keep up with that, BUT I am a loyal Paper Trey customer and would always do so over a cheaper knockoff. I do believe that it does go with the territory somewhat though (unfortunately) but as the other posters say, your service, your ethics, and your sharing of your talents should keep people coming back to your store. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Keep us posted and enjoy your family time …

  • 23
    Marcia Dillard says:


    I understand perfectly what you are saying, but you have the personal touch and personality that those others don’t have. Like the others said, you will be here long after the others are gone because you give all the extras that they don’t. You are a great and talented person. I really enjoyed meeting you and taking your class at Memories in Bloom!

  • 24
    Hilma says:

    “But in the end, what type of company do you want to maintain longevity? The one that puts the time into innovating new concepts continually or the company that likes to take advantage of a free ride?”
    There isn’t much I can say as far as my own experience as I have never stamped… I just started making cards and plan to stamp WHEN I can afford the stamps and ink as I am a single mom on a tight budget at the moment… but when I CAN afford supplies I would reall like to support the companies and woam/men who put their heart and soul into the product, from the first conception to the finished product! Hopefully that was the answer to the question… LOL!!!

  • 25
    Sue B says:

    Everything you do is done with such incredible thought and care. You have my loyalty.

  • 26
    Shannon T says:

    I will continue to support PTI as they represent high quality, cutting edge stamping technology…… I love your sets and appreciate the hard work you put in to them. I can’t wait for Dec 10th!

  • 27
    Kathi C says:

    I am currently a consultant for a stamp/scrapbook company and have yet to purchase one of your designs – certainly not because I am not tempted! After nine years as a consultant, I decided recently that I am going to step back from the company I am currently with. Why? Because of companies like yours and people like you who are offering new, innovative products – who are not so “big” that you’re not listening to your customers. Finding your blog and Papertrey’s website was like finding a precious gem. I’ve told others about them, including my customers. Great designs are great designs. If I’m not selling them, I want people to know where to find them. Keep doing what you’re doing and being who you are. Know, too, that you are appreciated.
    Kathi C.

  • 28

    I’m a newbie here… Just discovered you recently and have been lurking! Anyway, I am a consumer and purchase things that attract my eye – meaning, things that look great and appeal to a particular phase I am currently in, or a project I am working on – without knowing the individual behind the product. I have paid the price for horrid quality (somewhat inexpensive yet cute stuff, that did not have a crisp image) as well as excellent quality (great rubber, great etching)… so, I give my return business to the ‘good stuff’. As a shopper, I try new companies, give them a ‘test’, and it all comes down to quality, customer service and ethics in terms of repeat business.
    I can also relate to your post about knockoffs and competition… We have been selling natural meat products off our ranch for over 10 years, and there are always new guys showing up offering promises of wonderful product, etc…sometimes our customers go with the new guy to check it out, and for the most part, they come back because we are stable, honest, and know what the heck we are doing!
    It’s business… and it’s hard not to separate business from personal – although I confess to getting very emotional – keep it at home. Don’t bad mouth your competition, just ride the wave. The customer always knows best! And, sometimes your competition will refer business to you if they can’t meet the need…
    And, you just have to ride it out. The first time is always the hardest… But I will tell you, the better you are at your product/business/art, the more often it happens over and over…
    Hang in there… deep breaths and look! You have an awesome following!

  • 29
    Tracy Durcan says:

    Dear Nichole,

    I feel like I should post a comment here where my comments in the SCS thread involving the label stamp set were in defense of the other company.

    I am very thankful for everything you contribute to the paper crafting industry. I also greatly admire your creativity, originality and innovation and know that you put in countless hours to bring us, beautiful, high quality products.

    My issue was that the individual who started the thread did not take up their concerns with yourself or the other party involved. To post accusations like that in the SCS forum (where Papertrey is greatly loved) was wrong and unfair.

    Tracy Durcan

  • 30
    Cathy says:


    I have been in this industry for well over 15 years. I’ve worked in manufacturing and on the retail side. I can tell you from experience that what you are feeling is not new. Can you imagine how Spellbinders felt after they invented the Wizard only to have Sizzix come out with the Big Shot about a year later followed by Provo and the Cuttlebug? Or Fiskars having spent years marketing orange-handled scissors only to have every possible Chinese manufacturer knock them-off? When I go to CHA each year I take notes on what I think will be knocked-off the next year. I’ve been fairly accurate in my predictions. Just remember, those who can, CREATE. Those who can’t COPY. Pat yourself on the back for being one who can CREATE!

  • 31

    This might be kind of corny…. but this is what I’ve been thinking about lately. I think the world of creating stamps is very similar to getting a tattoo. Some people just get any image permanently placed on their body because it’s the ‘thing to do’. But then, there are others who really put a lot of thought into it and design an image that means a lot to them… and has a purpose. I don’t have any tattoos myself, but when I see that cheesy flower or barbed wire… I just don’t get it! But… I’ve had people show me some body art and tell me a story about it’s deeper meaning… and I understand why they want it to be a part of them.

    Ok…. told you it was corny…
    But – I think we all can see what the ‘wanna be’ stamped images look like… and can also appreciate those that are original and meaningful. It’s very easy to distinguish.

  • 32
    JudiBlue says:

    I’ve mentioned to you before that you were the first choice for me to start using clear stamps. I’m very happy and pleased with every set I’ve received! (I have all but 2 of them I think, and don’t see any reason why I won’t keep buying them) “Why fix what ain’t broke”. I was so shocked to see “knockoffs” of your valuable work I wanted to rant to that company. I wanted to shout to the rooftops for people not to buy those “bogus” stamps! I feel it’s like stealing! You have a very loyal following and I can’t imagine anyone who buys from you now will change their habits. Your packaging is sooooo nicely done, it’s almost like opening a present to myself! You are an inspiration to us all! Also, without your greatly appreciated samples and galleries, I don’t know what I’d do for inspiration – not that I copy you – but it gives me a nice place to start. Please, please, please don’t let this get you down. Continue as you’ve been doing and it will work out for the best.
    You are a winner!! No one can take that from you. This is your passion, your joy! How many of us get to experience that which we love, as a business? Persevere and ride it out, little girl! Signed: a 70 year old PaperTrey fanatic and “I’ve seen it all” kind of gal. Keep up the great work!!!

  • 33
    Lisa K says:

    I too have seen many of these “copy cat” companies and to tell you the truth, their products (no matter how low the cost) do not compete with yours. You manufacture a great line of sturdy acrylic stamps. These other “knock offs” may be cheaper but their impression and overall quality is poor. Part of the allure of Papertrey to me is the presentation! No company can compete with the way you present your products and the innovative ideas you give us to use your products. I was astounded to see these copy cats and it amazes me that these people don’t feel guilty in the least for taking your designs and barely tweaking them before slapping their name on the cheap packaging! Your company will last and your customers will be loyal because they know quality! Lisa K

  • 34
    Jennifer says:

    It is probably hard to read every post, but I thought I would respond as well (first post to anything). I am a web designer/developer and feel the same way about my work when others lift it. The only reason I keep going is I know that I love what I do and others do as well. There will always be a first, so enjoy that it is you! (we do)

    I did read from another of your fans how reading your blog inspired her to purchase stamps, and I must say the same. My least SU purchase was over a year ago and I stopped because it was always the same. Now you and your company have come along and inspired my NON COMPUTER creative side and it is wonderful.

    Hope this season finds you and your family well and know that in the end, your details (I just love the tank you note in the packaging) and other delightful touches will be what I remember.


  • 35
    Granna on the Go says:

    Nichole, I have missed your perky blogs and comments…I am saddened to hear of the “jealous competitors” out there. I was not aware of some of the “copiers” out there. I only know that you are absolutely the very best…you have inspired me beyond what I thought I was capable of doing, your techniques and tips are so good. I look forward to each month with new releases and truly find such satisfaction knowing that you created because of your love of paper crafting and wanting others to share in that joy. Your company has such outstanding customer service and I know that you each work so hard. You have such a loyal following of fans. Please do not lose heart. You are so worthy of praise. You are one of a kind.

  • 36
    Raedeen chambers says:

    Not sure if I understand where this was all headed, but if it is for us to give thought to remaining true to a company that spends countless hours and resources bringing the customer new and onnovative, good quality products, then I think I got the jist of it.

    I have seen several companies who are copycatting your hard work and at a supposedly lesser price.

    I have purchased from your company only once, but was pleased with the service and quality of the product. My stamping and crafting dollars are spent where I receive a good level of service, a good quality product and constant attention being paid to bringing me new and different items.

    Unfortunately, some consumers only see a dollar sign and are not respectful of the fact that all products nor companies are the same.

    Please be assured that some of us cannot be swayed, and when we see companies who are basically pirating another’s ideas and products we do not give them our business.

    and if i didn’t get the whole idea behind your post, thanks for reading, anyway!!!!!!!

  • 37
    Melissa says:

    Nichole, I frequent your blog and have quite a few of your products lining my shelves. I can understand your irriatation. I do want to point out, though, that while others may imitate, they will NEVER duplicate! If you want the opinion of someone who enjoys a decent sized stamp budget, you are in no danger of being replaced. There is no contest! Your enginuity (sp?) is unmatched. You are an icon in the stamping world and your products will continue to sell themselves and to outsell the competition (if you can call it that).

    Thanks for sharing!

  • 38
    Julie Brooks says:

    You know I love you!!!BFF!
    Seriously though I support YOU! I can’t imagine the hours you spend on Papertrey and then to have someone make “knock off” stamps must hurt. Just know that at night when all is said and done you can go to bed knowing you have done the right thing. They on the other hand well…..who knows what they are thinking??? THERE NOT… that’s the problem! I love Papertrey!

  • 39
    Leah says:

    I just wanted to say that I too give my support to PT and am so happy to have found a good quality, unique stamp supplier that in my opinion has good prices. I just made my first order this month and was very impressed with how everything was packaged and the care given to detail. I look forward to each month and plan to buy alot more from PT. I also really enjoy and am inspired by your creativity and love of the hobby…hang in there, I think you are doing a fabulous job!

  • 40
    Mint says:

    Nichole – I think the fact that you sell your stamps faster than you can stock them shows where our loyalties lie. I am an SU! demo, but my devotion to Papertrey is probably a little disturbing (as I’m constantly blabbing about you & your designs on my blog). I’ve seen some of what you’re probably concerned about and the similarities are freakishly eery. But the quality can’t be beat and I know I will continue to buy from the passionate artist, rather than those out to make a quick buck. Continued success! -Mint

  • 41
    lorri says:

    I am not sure where you are going with your comments. I know that you previously had your idea “used” by another site and that was wrong on their part. This does happen in the world of business and with the internet there is such an open world out there now. I am guilty of shopping for the best deal, but not at the risk of quality. I work in retail and my store suffers from people looking for cheaper pricing, that being said only the strong and reliable will survive.

  • 42
    Maureen says:

    When I saw the copy cats, my first thought was, ‘wow, Nicole must be doing well if she is being copied’. I think you need to take it as a compliment and move on, unless you can sue them for copywrite infringement.

    I guess I would wonder with the knock offs – is the quality as good? If yes then how can they get such a low price point? If no, then sell that on your site (I know all clear stamps are not created equal)

    I realize this must be frustrating, but that is how big business operates.

  • 43
    Althea says:

    Thank you for reveling your feelings to us your consumers. It has just been a few weeks ago that I stubbled onto this site and I can tell you that it is in need one of the most innovative sites that I have encountered. As a “newby”: it has been just a little less then a year since I decided to make some cards for last years holidays, I can tell you that there are alot of manufacturers who just care about the bottom green line. It is so refreshing and such a pleasure to encounter someone who obviously cares about what their consumer feels about their product and not just the end results. I am so glad that I have found papertrey last week Christmas came early with my first purchases of Blooms and Snowflake Seranade. You, your staff and guests motivate me to make the best cards I can. Thank you for your thoughts I look forward to the next count down I am hoping that it might have something to do with the next big greeting card day 🙂

  • 44
    Jessica says:

    I feel for you, Nichole! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the knock-offs. What a shame; it must feel like a stab in the gut. There’s no way that artist thought of those exact designs as yours all on her own. I think it’s good that you brought this issue to the forefront to make people aware of it. You’re handling it very professionally and in a classy way. BTW, I can’t wait till December 15! 🙂

  • 45
    Kate says:

    I for one am glad you posted. It is always tempting to look for a deal. I however appreciate your innovation and focus on quality. I also appreciate your professionalism. In the long run, those firms taking a free ride will be driven out. However, in the short run, it is just wrong. Bless your work. It is an inspiration to us all.

  • 46
    Cat says:

    Your comments give us all a lot to think about. I’ve had similar questions in just the last few months with announcements of the closing of the only two stamping stores in my ‘neck of the woods’. Sure, I collect Joann’s coupons, but I honestly haven’t spent one in months. Thanks for your insight!

  • 47
    Amanda A. says:

    Nichole, I love your blog and EVERYTHING PT produces. I look forward to the 10th of each month so I can see what amazing projects you’ve put together. You are a constant source of inspiration to me and I appreciate all that you put into your stamps, designs, projects and blog.

    THANK YOU!!!! Oh, and to answer your question — I’ll stick with the “thinkers”. 🙂

  • 48
    Kris says:

    I have been buying stamps from you since the very first month. And, I have continued to buy from you….for the very reason that your stamps are on the leading edge…and they are great quality. (And, I am one of those that still prefer rubber to clear.) You have started a great company and are smart in how you produce and introduce your stamps in the way that you do.

    But, also, I have probably crossed that line you mention, and bought from those that you say take a “free” ride. I agree with your comment to a certain point. There are a few that definitely …”copy” others’ ideas and work, and gain financial benefit from doing that. I think you will always find this in any business you are in. It isn’t right, but it does and always will happen.
    You have to have faith and know that you can sleep at night for being an ethical and good person. Those others have to deal with that themselves.

    In the end, you will be the one who comes out ahead. Like the old saying sais…. what goes around, comes around… and from what I have seen in all my years…that is very true.

    I also think that there are many more “creative” people out there making stamps for us than you are giving credit to. I think that “core” group is bigger than you and most others think. I have seen a lot of stamp companies come and go. Good ones and bad ones. I have friends who also have their own own stamp companies and come up with their original ideas too. It is a VERY time consuming and involved job. It can be all consuming. I see them giving up their ability to be creative on a daily basis because their businesses take up so much time. It’s a choice many make though….thank goodness.

    I admire all who take on the endeavor of creating stamps…and those creating art with them. Most stampers do this for each other…each creation inspires someone, somewhere.

    Keep up your great work. You have a loyal following. As frustrating as it is, try not to let the situation get the best of you.

  • 49
    Kris says:

    I have been buying stamps from you since the very first month. And, I have continued to buy from you….for the very reason that your stamps are on the leading edge…and they are great quality. (And, I am one of those that still prefer rubber to clear.) You have started a great company and are smart in how you produce and introduce your stamps in the way that you do.

    But, also, I have probably crossed that line you mention, and bought from those that you say take a “free” ride. I agree with your comment to a certain point. There are a few that definitely …”copy” others’ ideas and work, and gain financial benefit from doing that. I think you will always find this in any business you are in. It isn’t right, but it does and always will happen.
    You have to have faith and know that you can sleep at night for being an ethical and good person. Those others have to deal with that themselves.

    In the end, you will be the one who comes out ahead. Like the old saying sais…. what goes around, comes around… and from what I have seen in all my years…that is very true.

    I also think that there are many more “creative” people out there making stamps for us than you are giving credit to. I think that “core” group is bigger than you and most others think. I have seen a lot of stamp companies come and go. Good ones and bad ones. I have friends who also have their own own stamp companies and come up with their original ideas too. It is a VERY time consuming and involved job. It can be all consuming. I see them giving up their ability to be creative on a daily basis because their businesses take up so much time. It’s a choice many make though….thank goodness.

    I admire all who take on the endeavor of creating stamps…and those creating art with them. Most stampers do this for each other…each creation inspires someone, somewhere.

    Keep up your great work. You have a loyal following. As frustrating as it is, try not to let the situation get the best of you.

  • 50
    Dawn says:

    I admire your ability to use wisdom in your responses to obvious recent controversy on other sites 🙂 I never saw you come to your defense or agree with the other parties either. I knew you were in the wings contemplating your response. That takes a lot of maturity in someone so young:) You are amazing and such a professional! I know your stuff is “yours” when I see it. It screams of quality and uniqueness. You didn’t have to defend your work because it speaks for itself! Yes , you have what “IT” is all about that’s why there are knock offs. Thank you for the freshness of your stamps and ideas. I respect you greatly! You didn’t stoop so low as to get in on the banter but posted to your own blog which is your very own place to say whatever the heck you want:) You have class girlie!

  • 51
    Carol B says:

    Nicole, I have been following you since you first offered your original and lovely cards and when you started coming out with your stamp designs I was thrilled – there is something about your clean, graphic design which is so distinct that no knock-off company can ever duplicate it. Your style completely appeals to me. I can see that in order to stay ahead of the curve that has been created by those who have embraced your idea you might need to continually innovate – and that must be exhausting. But I also think that in this short amount of time you have created a ‘trademark’ style that your customers can rely on and that you have pretty much created your own market – I hope so. I always look forward to your new releases and will continue to do so. Your product has revived my interest in the craft – thanks (I think…I’m spending way more than I mean too but I can’t help it).

  • 52

    Thank you for sharing what you’ve been going through. I had no idea. I’m so pleased with the one set that I chose with birthday money I requested for this very purpose that it really makes me sad to think that someone is ripping off your designs to try to make some money without doing all the hard work. Those who take those kinds of shortcuts are unethical and lazy, and I will not support them. Your heart and soul is evident in every aspect of your business, from the wonderful touches in customer service (packaging of the acrylic blocks and the thank you note for my purchase–very classy)to the fabulous and free ink pad gallery. You are a cut above, and your business shows that in every way. I vote with my wallet and I’m willing to pay more for quality I know you will stand behind 110%.

    I’m a bit curious and somewhat perplexed by the similarities out there with regard to the stamp sets being offered though. Seems that many minds are either collaborating or thinking alike. You seem to be the one thinking most “outside the box” creatively. Keep up the fabulous work, and I’ll spend my Starbucks tip money with you whenever I can!

  • 53
    Jackie Ohlmann says:

    Hi Nichole,

    I completely agree with what you are saying and I believe the crafting industry would be nowhere close to where it is today without the hard work, dedication, and “thinking” that you put into it. I wait up each and every month for the new Papertrey releases and I have gotten much inspiration and have learned so much from your blog and your contributions to the stamping world. Thank you for sharing your voice with us. I hope that as consumers we recognize those companies that use your creativity for their own benefit and send a message to them by directing our spending elsewhere.
    Keep up the fabulous work and thanks again!!

  • 54
    Dawn Burnworth says:

    Wow after reading your blog post I was shocked and thought to myself “oh no”. I hope that you have had a chance to read all the wonderful comments so far. You truely are loved in the stamping community. Not just because you have an awesome product that NO ONE can match but because you are a wonderful person. I am so glad that you shared your thoughts with all of us. Keep up the great work and don’t let the “imposters” of the world get in the way of what you do best.
    Dawn B.

  • 55
    Susan W. says:

    Nichole, you have a type of grace and class that shines through your company. Whether it be your excellent customer service or your brilliant creativity, or the way you deal with certain situations. You are phenomenal. And we, as customers, see this. We see it through your products, your sneak peeks, the many things that you create with just paper and ink. People may want to imitate you, but we all know who the real deal is. Nobody can touch your exceptional creativity.

    I also want to add that just the other day I was on the fence about who I should buy some nestabilities from. I have a limited budget since I stay at home with my kids. I didn’t choose the competitor who could give me a deep discount. I chose to give your company my business. Because of your ethics, class and commitment to your customers. I want to see your company grow and grow and grow. And I have no doubt that it will, regardless of any imposters out there. Because you my friend, are the real deal.

  • 56
    Julie C. says:

    Have you ever bought those off-brand Oreo’s and you eat them and you say, “They are pretty good…but they are not Oreo’s?” Last weekend when I went to the grocery store there were shelves and shelves of Oreo’s and some of the off-brand too. Point being, the real thing is just that…the real thing. My PTI stamps and products are the real thing and no substitute is anything other than a substitute. PTI will be there with shelves and shelves of product!

    So, while you have been rocked to your core by recent incidences, know that right ALWAYS wins. PTI does everything right…from the concept of the idea to the customer’s hand.

    We more than know that your heart and soul is poured into everything you make and that you value every single person that read’s your blog, comments on your creations, and buys your product. It is soooo obvious.

    You work so hard to make us feel warm, fuzzy and loved we hope you feel the same! {{{HUGS}}}

  • 57
    Amanda Kazakoff says:

    Nichole, As creative people, it is hard to put a price on the time we spend away from our loved ones and the creative energy that goes into the wonderful things we create. Although I really do understand how much it bothers me when my designs are copied (recent for me as well), and no credit is given, I wouldn’t want to imagine how it feels to be a poor reproduction of someone elses creativity. Shine in the beauty of your originality and know that there are others out there who will/do support you and applaud you in all of your accomplishments. Congratulations to you, and know that these other companies will not recieve this kind of love support… which is really the best part of it all.
    Lots of Love, Amanda

  • 58
    Geny says:

    I know I don’t personally know you but I feel like I share something with you as I am sure all your other fans do. I get the opportunity to share your projects and wonderful stamps. I have seen only one set of knock offs recently and the argument that there was no way the idea was stolen. I tend to not believe these people, if you stole the idea admit it, makes you much more reputable in the future. If you didn’t, prove it! Anyhow, I am a devoted PTI fan, follower, and consumer. Lately my stamping budget has been about nothing but I want to buy every last item in your store. Thank you for all the thought and care you put into your projects and ideas! I love them all! I have missed your blog too by the way:)!

  • 59
    Linda says:

    I’m a die-hard PTI fan! I appreciate the obvious amount of thought and detail that goes into each and every one of your sets. You are a true stamping genious! I admire the ideas that you come up with and the beautiful execution of each of your projects.

    I don’t know who has stolen any of your ideas, and I am sorry that this has happened (if this is the reason for your post).


  • 60
    Tangii says:

    These are NOT trivial thoughts at all!!!! I whole heartedly agree with you! I would much rather buy stamps from you or my other “friends” who have their own stmaping businesses than to get something from say, Michaels. You gals work hard, you take good care of us…us “consumers” are very loyal and we know what is important to us…good service, good quality and HEART!! You have a customer for life in me, and I know there are countless other stampers who feel the same way!! Heres to the small business stamp companies!!!! (and to Stampin Up!) 🙂

    Happy Stamping!

  • 61
    emily says:

    Nichole, I hear ya loud and clear SISTAH. I know EXACTLY what you are talking about and what you are feeling as I go through this on a daily basis. The only advice I can offer you is to maintain your integrity, continue doing the PHENOMENAL job you are doing and as long as YOU can sleep at night with your business ethics, that is all that counts. YOU will be the one who WILL be there in the long run as your fan base “knows” you, “understands” you and will always support you. I will always be your cheerleader. Keep your head high as you are a LADY, a phenomenon and a passionate and caring person. Hang tight Sistah and continue doing what you do.

    love ya bunches

  • 62
    Ami says:


    I wonder if your post is in reference to the “PaperTrey ripped off” thread I started on SCS. If I take any liberty with this next statement feel free to correct me. That being said, I feel like your post has given me assurance that I was not “crazy” when I asked if those stamps were a blatant rip off of yours. My first thought was disgust that someone could be so bold to as to copy and sell the your EXACT stamp set and call it their own. However, what I found more disturbing were the replies that people actually made purchases from the company to support them!

    I don’t know you, I just stumbled upon your blog a couple of months ago and was in awe of your talent…I bough down to your creativity!!! Then I found PaperTreyInk and was again WOW’d by your stamps and had to purchase them. I kind of felt like I was in on the ground level of a new phenomenon and as a consumer I felt like I needed to be a voice of ethics. In this day and age, it seems that ethics, morals and values are seriously lacking and sometimes people need to speak up. That’s what I did and I’m sorry it has caused you grief.

    Just know that you and your products are top notch! I’ve placed 2 orders with PTI and I plan to place many more in the future. I appreciate your creativity and your willingness to share your passion with us!

    Thank you,

  • 63
    Emm says:

    I will keep coming back to Papertrey Ink because your designs are classic! I was so impressed when I received my first order and it was wrapped so nicely with the little card. Customer service is what makes the difference for me. A Target store was recently built near my home and I have started going there when I can instead of Wal-Mart (even though W-M is closer) for that very reason. I did see a set online of “nugget label” stamps and believe me, they don’t even compare to your stamps! I love your blog and enjoy the inspiration.

  • 64

    I would certainly hope that the innovative company lasts long-term and the “free riders” eventually fade away. Unfortunately, some people find those free riders first and never know what kind of real thought went into the original concept.

    I will forever be loyal to PTI in part due to the great quality of the stamps, in part due to the creativity and concept behind your designs and in great part due to your approachableness (is that a word?).

    Thank you for doing what you are doing. I appreciate the time you put into making sure that I can be the best little stamper I can be!

  • 65
    Janet says:

    It certainly is disheartening to know that the ‘copy cats’ are at it again.I was a clothing designer for many years and had the same thing happen often.When I confronted a large company who had blatantly stolen my design he told me that the difference between he and I was that I had a conscience!!A valuable lesson in business was learned.I think we tend to think that in the ‘craft industry’ this type of hard nosed business antics don’t apply but they do.This industry is one of the fastest growing in North America and stealing other ideas to make a profit will continue.I learned that I had 2 choices I could let this injustice consume me (which I did for a while and all it brought was sleepless nights) or I could realize that copy cats are always a step behind.Your next great idea cannot be copied.You will always be first and that means something.I also really delved into why I was in the business.That satisfaction that goes into ‘getting it right'(which yes can often take 80 to 90 hours or more)and knowing that I was being true to myself and my customer was the source of my passion and could continue to sustain me.At the end of the day that was what I needed and I also found that this seamed to drive customer loyalty.Don’t give into them don’t let them win and make you bitter about a business you love.And if you want to fight them find a good copyright lawyer ( very $).Also let others know who is copying you people will vote with their wallets and soon the copy cat will get the message on their bottom line.
    I go out of my way to support original ideas and I think others like me are your customer.I hope this discussion makes everyone think about the issue in a broad context.Supporting Knock offs wether it be Gucci bags, watches, or papertrey stamps is just plain wrong.

  • 66
    Buzzy says:

    Sometimes a dollar saved is NOT a dollar earned! The only way I could ever justify buying a knock off is if the original was no longer available. In my book, those who knowingly look for the cheaper way cheapen who they are and what they create.

  • 67
    Deanna says:

    Hello Nichole… I agree with pretty much everyone but the reality is… and all of your clients should keep this in mind when they spend their stamp money… is that if you don’t support the artist, it will end up being a lose-lose. You will no longer be able to afford to create and the other company will have no one to copy…

    Love your work and as you can see by my orders… support you 100%!

  • 68
    Kerry Fitzpatrick says:

    Sorry….hang in there! Because you are so creative…you will always have a product out there first. People will turn to you as an industry standard for new innovative ideas. You can’t do a thing about people who steal ideas. But don’t let it dry up your desire and enjoyment for creating. Just read these comments and you’ll see that you are appreciated.

  • 69
    Ketha says:

    I, like others, have recently found you and your company. The first thing that drew me to Papertrey Ink was how unique the stamps are. I think your time and devotion is apparent in your products. Your love of the art and the time you spend shows so vividly. It’s funny that you mention the cost… I have never taken that into consideration. I always look for quality rather than quantity. I was looking at the quality of your products and that’s the main reason I’m still here. It’s ashame that we live in a world of greed and laziness. One thing you need to remember is that there will always be those who will take from you whenever they can. You put so much into your company, even down to the special way in which you package and ship your products. All of that makes not only your company but you so special. Keep moving forward with your God given talent and know that those of us that truly appreciate your hard endeavors will remain loyal to you. God Bless you…

    Ketha Verzani

  • 70
    Kacey says:

    I am sorry to hear how upset you obviously are over this issue. Not sure what exactly is going on, but I do know why I will keep coming back to PTI – not only is your product absolutely FABULOUS, but I like that you are so down to earth, so normal. You have not let this success go to your head, you still feel connected to your roots and it shows. Do what you do best – design, create, and inspire! *wink*

  • 71
    bev says:

    Okay, just jumped over to SCS to see what the heck was going on. Unbelievable.
    Just so you know…I wasn’t a clear stamp stamper until I found you. And, I wasn’t a loyal follower from SCS.
    Your blog turned me on to Papertrey and your meticulous and classy designs are what inspired me to try something new.
    PTI is all about class and quality. Just like the people that stand behind the company. Just like the people that choose to purchase PTIs products over others.
    You are so above all of this. And, we know that.
    Thanks for all you do.

  • 72
    Gina K. says:

    I love your post today. I love how you spent time thinking about what you wanted to say. I love the classy way you presented your feelings without naming names, finger pointing, ranting or raving. I read your post and I could have been the first one to comment. But, prompted by your handling of this situation, I spent a few hours thinking about my response too.

    It is painfully obvious to me what has happened. Our phone conversations about these types of issues play over and over in my mind.

    The truth of the matter is, once this type of situation surfaces, it is done before it starts. One who imitates the original and gets found out, can only claim coincidence once. After that, they expose themselves as a lesser quality imitation- and nothing more.

    I’m in this business. I’ve done the side by side. I’ve done the math. I know the odds.

    You are the original. You are a thinker. You are first class.

    Gina K.

  • 73
    Rachel Hope says:

    OH NO……I hope this post does not mean what I think it means!!!!

    I buy Papertrey and the other companies I buy from for that Exact reason…they have a Unique product that was born of their Love for the craft!!!

  • 74
    Charlene Austin (Willow01) says:

    Nichole, I don’t know who they think they are! Or why they think they can do this!! Seriously I am sick for you! I would never never never support them. From day one when I saw your advertisement “Come Grow With Us” I was your #1 fan. If I only had $20 a month to spend you bet it would be with you! I will never stop purchasing your products. I will never stop supporting you. YOU ARE THE BESTEST!! Have I mentioned I would divorce my husband, sell my house and quit my job just to come live with you and be your BFF?!?! LOL. You deserve only good things in your life and this is not fair and it stinks!! LOVE YOU NICHOLE!!

  • 75

    Most stampers I know value creativity and quality and are extremely loyal to those companies who provide both while being ethical.

    Your stamps and your fantastic creative mind are what made you the success that you are. They aren’t going anywhere and neither is the fan base that Papertrey has acquired in such a short time.


  • 76
    Elizebeth says:

    Nichole I am so sorry that someone is using your hard work, talent and unbelievable creativity like this.
    You have a gift, an incredible gift for creating and inspiring! As long as you let it shine then you will rise above the rest.

    Papertrey is quality in every aspect, and I will reccomend it and continue to purchase from you as long as you are in business.

  • 77
    Vicki says:

    I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that there are those who are “getting a free ride” from your work or profiting from your thinking. I own my own business, and as a professional, I try not to make too many assumptions without doing some research and knowing that what I am saying is the absolute truth. I wouldn’t want to mislead anyone. I’ve been in graphics for 20 years and many of your designs look strikingly familiar to mine. I don’t think for a minute that you are copying me. I like to leave room to think that there are others who have similar ideas, especially at this time of year. Since I have been doing this type of work on a computer for large corporate clients for 20 years–printing on labels and creating custom art work for labeling–this type of art is nothing new. It’s been pretty much done to death in corporate marketing. It’s new to stamping, and your work is great. But I know there is one company who is NOT profiting from YOUR thinking. I am truly sorry that these events have distressed you. Maybe a phone call or two could have helped clear things up. I wish you all the best and I hope in the future that communication would triumph over contemplation. You have a great company and a beautiful web site, (and I’ve done a few myself–good clean design!), and a great business concept. Keep it all in perspective, you’re doing great!

  • 78
    denise says:

    As an SU demo, I confess that I have several sets from Papertrey and i {LOVE THEM GREATLY}. There is no way I’d try to save a buck and buy knockoffs since I “know” you and your team and you provide quality products in addition to your innovative stamps.

    While there are some out there who might, please know in your heart you have a loyal, devoted following who will never leave you until you shoo us away!

  • 79
    Kirsten says:

    I would chose quality anyday over something at a discount. Your stamps are awesome!

  • 80
    Ana says:

    Keep your head up Nicole…no matter how hard “they” try there will only be ONE Papertrey Ink. Hugs~Ana

  • 81
    Beth says:

    Nicole- This is truly the first time that I am aware that someone is violating your creativity! I am not an overly emotional person but the thought of this and reading the above comments of you loyal customers brings tears to my eyes. Although it has already been said many times, there is NO WAY that your product quality and customer service could be matched by any large industry producer. Your attention to detail, the ideas you share with us each month, stamps made in America, essentially one stop shopping for awesome projects- in my humble opinion- there is no better bang for your buck out there. With each purchase we get a little piece of an awesome gal by the name of Nicole Heady!!!!

  • 82
    twinks says:

    I am glad to see so many commenting about appreciating the all of you. I’ve been a fan of yours since picking up my first Paper Crafts magazine and have been happily enjoying your blog; full of genuine warmth and love in all you do.

    For me, this situation boils down to integrity and ethics because I know, even with disclaimers, what happened. Ultimately, it is left to the consumer who either doesn’t know or will make a purchase regardless so I can imagine how you must be feeling.

    In many of us, you have a very loyal following so as others have said, “Shake it off.”

    With much appreciation for the many things I have learned about paper crafting and stamping, but more importantly, about a “class act”.

  • 83

    There’s really nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said — just know that I am a true fan of you, your brilliant ideas, your beautiful sets, your attention to detail, and your belief that QUALITY is what matters. That’s what will keep all of us coming back for more!! 🙂

  • 84
    Lisa says:

    I was confused by your post, so I read the comments and then it hit me. First of all, think positively. They are copying your stamps because they are so good. Secondly, you have so many supporters and customers of you and your company. Thirdly, you are better than they are and many know that. See what you can do legally to stop them and keep on doing what you do best…create great work! I’m an SU! demo and swore I wouldn’t go to unmounted stamps. Well, guess what? I have almost all of your stamps which I just started purchasing only about 5 months ago! They are wonderful and I use them to create cards and gifts that impress my family and friends! Keep up the good work and snub your nose at the “copiers” who don’t know what real creativity is!

  • 85
    Liz N says:

    I definitely appreciate the hard work you have put into your products. I received a recent order for the Holiday Treats set was very impressed with the workmanship and quality of the product. I am very willing to patronize someone who is a true original, hardworking and has the customer’s needs in mind first. You have my loyalty as well! As people come to know your products and use them, I’m sure that you will have designers and vendors POUNDING on your door to do business with you!

  • 86
    CherylQuilts says:

    Wow! I scanned through all the comments above mine, and I can only say…Nichole, you are loved and so are your fabulous products and company…and creative ideas! The cream always rises to the top…it’s a natural law. Hang in and remember you have a loyal and loving customer base! You are the best! Blessings to you, dear one!

  • 87
    Stacy White says:

    Nichole, Keep your chin up and keep in mind that no matter who steals your ideas you have plenty of loyal customers. I myself just recently found you and your wonderful company and I place an order every month. I love so many of your sets that I don’t know what to order first. I want them all!! And your blog is really what sells me on most of your sets. After seeing what you have done with them I can’t resist. Keep up the great work and know that you are truly appreciated. Thank you for always sharing your thoughts and talents.

  • 88
    Terri E. says:

    I am not quite sure what you are referring to, but what sets you apart in my mind is not only all of the thought you put behind your product, but also all of the creative ideas you give with the set. Your blog is a powerhouse and one of the best selling tools. I am grateful for your innovation. It is such a blessing to your customers. I also love all of the 3d projects you not only think up, but also help us reproduce by having the objects for sale at reasonable prices.

    It’s a good life!
    Terri E.

  • 89

    I don’t know where to start. I have very mixed feelings right now, but I do want to say that I am sorry you are feeling frustrated. I don’t know what has provoked your feelings so it’s hard to make a good judgment call. But these were my first thoughts…

    I think it’s wonderful that you work so hard to provide an awesome product, but I also believe that there are some (myself included) who also work hard to provide a great product, but may not have the resources at their disposal as you do. I have recently started my own very small line of stamps (nothing like yours although I noticed recently that I used a very similar font to the one you like to use in one of my sets–I guess we have similar taste) because friends and family encouraged me to do so. I, too, started out as a VERY good customer and then branched into direct sales for a few years, but I felt boxed in so here I am. I do not believe my product is near what you offer, my images are hand drawn, but I can’t help but think (maybe I’m a bit defensive) that you might be talking about me and the other “little guys”. I really hope that isn’t the case. I may not put 80-90 hours into a set, but I certainly am working hard to provide something that stampers will enjoy using because I am a stamper. I am certainly not in it for the money–in fact I doubt I’ll ever turn a profit, but that is ok with me. I do it because I enjoy it. It’s fun and exciting and the thrill of seeing someone else’s artwork using one of my sets is just amazing as I am sure you feel, too.

    I think you are doing an amazing job. You have a great business sense on top of your artistic ability and that is why you have succeeded and will continue to succeed. Those of us who don’t have the business sense like you, may only be around for a little while, but I know I am determined to enjoy it while it lasts :).

    Thanks for sharing your feelings with us. I hope you don’t mind me sharing mine. I really do love your product and will continue to support you as a customer.

    Many blessings,

  • 90
    Sheryl says:

    Many people have already said it so well…I am a true supporter of PaperTrey even though I too only discovered you about 6 months ago. Between the innovation of the stamps and the way you strive to coordinate other products to work with them, you stand out above the others. I literally open up this blog everyday to see your creativity and then of course, I long for more than I can afford!…but I’m slowly trying to acquire ALL the stamp sets. Please don’t get discouraged. You have a large base of supporters and I for one will continue to spread the word!!

  • 91
    Carol says:

    We all like to save money of course, but I appreciate your hard work and effort that goes into everything you put your name on, so I’m always going to be loyal to you. I haven’t seen the website that offers the knock-offs of your creations and I have no interest in seeing it. In this world of cheaters and scams around every corner, I’d always choose on the side of trusted products and better-than-average customer service, which you’ve given without question. I’m here and I’m staying right here! You just keep up the great work and try not to worry about those who are simply looking for the easy way to make $$$$. They’ll fade away over time, trust me:)

  • 92
    Michelle says:

    I totally understand where you are coming from I really do. But this is the nature of the beast…the beast being capitalism. It is a good thing, but it has its bad side. This happens in all areas of business not just stamping. Look at a company like Crocs. They were the first to come out with these comfortable shoes and guess what? Sketchers now makes a pair…VERY similiar, so do Holey Soles and there are many cheaper imitations. You really can’t take it personally…you can’t, ot you will go insane and NOT love what you do anymore. I know it is hard. But there will ALWAYS be people looking to reproduce a product and sell it cheaper and they will always have customers, because like you say not everyone has an unlimited budget for anything. In my opinion all you can do is try to stay a step ahead and keep creating products you love and HOPE others will too. I firmly believe that the “original” is almost always better than an imitation. I am sorry you are hurting though.

  • 93
    Beth Silaika says:

    Remember Nichole – you are on the cutting edge of this industry. You are a leader and people look at you with amazement and awe! They will emulate you because of your success. You should be proud that you have created such an amazing product line. Each and every set you create is met with rave reviews. Just keep your chin up babe! You are a wonderful stamper, an amazing innovator and a great business woman!

  • 94
    Ann C. says:

    Nicole, part of what draws me and countless others to Papertrey and to your blog is the creative originality and vision which comes from your personal style. There is no getting around the fact that in a free market society, there are creative originators and there are non-creative imitators. No matter how many original ideas a creative originator comes out with, be it stamp sets, digital paper, card designs, die-cut machinces, etc., they will always be followed by imitators. Imitators can never anticipate what you will do next, they can only follow with an imitation. Imitators are in business for $$$ and are looking for something successful to copy. That is their primary motive. Even creative originators may eventually bow to imitation. That’s part of life as a business person and it happens in all kinds of businesses. Your primary motive is to create and it is evident in the quality of your original ideas. So your advantage over everyone else, is that with your personal style, you may not be able to be exclusive over the long run, but with your own personal style, you will be always be FIRST. No one can anticipate what you will do next! Many people will follow you because you blaze a path in a direction that appeals to them. I think that is evident by the response to your new releases every month. It is going to be encouraging to you to see how many people respond to your heartfelt feelings with words of affirmation, but in the end just GO FORWARD. You will look around and see all kinds of folks following you, customers, admirers, imitators, etc……but don’t waste your time and energy worrying about the people who are copying you. This happens to almost everyone who is creating something new in the public eye…we call those people “trend setters”! You must be doing something right! Focus on what is successful and keep doing it!

  • 95

    I was so glad to see your new post and then so upset after reading it. I HATE that someone has caused you to question yourself. I haven’t seen any “copy cats” because I don’t frequent many stamp companies. I have a few I am loyal to with yours being at the top of the list. I love and dread the 15th of the month because I know I’m going to be amazed and tempted by your creations. Please keep loyal to your self and your fans. We support you exactly as you are. Karma will take care of the “others”.

  • 96
    Mendi M says:

    Wow! I feel for you. It is unfortunate that we live in a world that is full of unoriginal ‘copy-catters’, but we do. We all see it in other areas as well. I, for one, appreciate your ingenuity and creativeness and I hope my purchase history proves that! For me, it comes down to creativity, quality and service. You will always have my business and loyalty. Please don’t let this discourage you from sharing with us! We love PTI and you!!

  • 97
    Kiim says:

    Well, that stinks if someone has already come up with copy cat designs! But it’s so typical, isn’t it? Seems there aren’t many original ideas anymore!

    Being someone who owns their own business and is called upon to select vendors for my clients, the biggest selling point for me is customer service.

    In my business, there are a million people who can sell me the exact same thing, with varying costs. However, I am painfully loyal to the vendors I’ve worked with over the years who are reliable, responsive, and trust worthy.

    And that’s what you find with PTI products. The stamps and other goodies are amazing and the customer support is fantastic, and don’t even get me started on how inspiring your blog is! I’m always amazed at how I’m made to feel that everyone at PTI knows who I am, responds right away to any questions I have, gets my orders out the door asap (and I order a lot! LOL!), and treats me like I’m a special customer. I can only assume that every other customer familiar with the company feels the same way.

    So at the end of the day..don’t stop doing what you’re doing! You guys do an awesome job, love the designs, the product, everything!


  • 98
    Carol B says:

    At first, I thought this post was going in the direction of a larger company buying up a smaller, mom/pop, independent company (there are a few in the scrapbook world), tout that so-and-so is now a part of them, and then over the next few months we see the superior quality of the formerly independent go downhill. But, I am gathering from all the posts that you are a victim of knockoffs. Sadly, I believe this is the way our world has become, both in the form of flattery (imitation) as well as disrespect for one’s hard work. In the end, I believe good things do happen to those of high ethics, morals and integrity, such as yourself and your company, and bad karma happens to those with low or no ethics, morals and integrity. Do not waste good energy on those lowlifes; instead, spend your energy on yourself, your family and your company and product. You will emerge the victor.

  • 99
    isabel z says:

    I have been a loyal SU customer for 9 years and have never been drawn to another company’s products until I came across your blog. After reading your blog weekly and getting to know you I am a 100% supporter of Papertrey. The time and creativity that you pour into your products shows and for that I will be a loyal customer. I am constantly amazed at the poor customer service that seems to be rampant, however, Papertrey has impressed me with it’s amazing customer service. Opening a box of your products is refreshing as the care that goes into packaging everything is evident. I was impressed that you even took the time to include a nice little note. How amazing is that:) Given all of this I will happily save my extra pennies for Papertrey products and will not even look at knockoffs. Hang in there and know that are many of us who stand behind you.

  • 100
    Sherrie says:

    I’m glad you have received this much feedback! I’ll add my 2 cents. As a fellow card designer I can appreciate the tremendous amount of “thought process” that would go into an original and marketable creation. My brother is a thriving graphic artist here in Vancouver and almost 90% of his time goes into “thinking”, this is a very vital part to a business that expects longevity. You have a wonderful business Nichole and your fingerprints are all over everything you create, I totally appreciate that and will continue to support originality!

  • 101

    Thanks for bringing this to light – now everyone is on to the imitators – let’s see if they can copy any more of your stuff and call it “coinsidence”. YOU GO, GIRL!!! We all love PTI!

  • 102
    shari walker says:

    The consumer can buy knock offs, but the quality isn’t there, every package I have recd from you I know is packed with love and caring and the quality of stamps are superb…I fly for a living and I can say we hear it all, if I took eveything personally I would be in therapy, but instead I let the nasty comments roll off my shoulder…Its hard to turn your head the other way but once you do, you end up being the winner, and thats what you are A WINNER….LOTS OF HUGS

  • 103
    shari walker says:

    The consumer can buy knock offs, but the quality isn’t there, every package I have recd from you I know is packed with love and caring and the quality of stamps are superb…I fly for a living and I can say we hear it all, if I took eveything personally I would be in therapy, but instead I let the nasty comments roll off my shoulder…Its hard to turn your head the other way but once you do, you end up being the winner, and thats what you are A WINNER….LOTS OF HUGS

  • 104
    Shelly says:

    Nichole, I have just recently “found” you thanks to SCS. You are truly amazing and talented! In the end all that matters is that you know that you are true to yourself and the people who care about you know that too. The others who don’t play by the rules will face that choice someday. My sister is in the craft industry doing shows and each one she must have something “new” because the others have copied her brilliance and sell it as their own…mind you “last year” to us. It’s sad but it’s life. I can’t wait to make a purchase from you….saving up! I am a firm believer in supporting those that deserve my dollars. You will be one, sorry to say that living in a small town, I refuse to shop at the local craft store (unless I’m Desperate..and it has only happened once) and NEVER at Wal Mart! Put your dollars where and in what you believe, I say!
    Thanks for your inspiration!

  • 105
    Carla Brooks says:

    Nicole…there will always be innovators and immitators. You’re an innovator! Just keep doing what you do and don’t worry about anybody else. Studies have shown that it’s the innovators who build the loyal customer base and companies that last. We love your products.

  • 106
    Niki says:

    Besides having beautiful stamps, the reason I buy from Papertrey is you. You have the most amazing ideas and I get so much inspiration from your work. There’s no question about where I prefer to shop! Thanks so much for always sharing with us!

  • 107
    Janine says:

    I posted earlier but wanted to let you know that we have patented two products but it still didn’t stop a large company of stealing the concept and making their own. We didn’t have the money or resources to fight them but we are still in business and basically we believe that you get what you pay for.
    I think your products are some of the best out there and I for one will continue to purchase them.

  • 108
    michelle says:

    All of your stamp sets show that you know this craft and industry inside and out. You have thought of so many ways to use each set by itself and also with punches and other tools that so many of us have. I have noticed some knock offs of your work and I feel the same way you do. I am also impressed by the quality of your stamps that I frankly haven’t found with other clear stamps. I too am an artist and graphic designer and I know how much time it takes to create production ready artwork. I fully support you and your company and I think you deserve all the success you have achieved so far and will continue to achieve in the future. You have my support and my money! 🙂

  • 109
    Jennifer says:

    I wanted to say Thank you for posting your thoughts and feelings. I appreciate the thought and care that goes into your products, they are beautiful. I will add myself to your list of loyal customers. Take care and know that we are with you!

  • 110
    Michelle Wooderson says:

    Nichole, you hang in there! I saw the shabby knock offs of your sets and I can’t even see how that company could take any credit for this work as being their own designs. My dad always told me to take pride in doing something by yourself….NO WAY that company can honestly feel good about what they’re doing. They SUCK!! What I love about your stamps is that I can take these awesome stamps and make a million and one creations with them so easily…you’ve done all the thinking for me. And then it’s fun to put my own twist on your wonderful stamp images! I will always support you 100% Nichole….no way any knock offs are coming into my stamp room!

  • 111
    Nimue says:

    Hi Nichole,

    I wonder if you’re trying to decide on whether to be a quality producer or a mass producer. Price point is really important. I’ll be retiring soon and I won’t have much discretionary income. I think value wil be important to me. Your stamps are innovative, useful in so many different ways, and they come with ideas. Your blog is a terrific learning tool. I think many of us would go for 1 really good and versatile stamp set than a million space eating stamps that are trendy for a minute but have no staying power.

    Besides Nichol, can you really be anybody different from who you are?

  • 112
    Nimue says:

    Hi Nichole,

    I wonder if you’re trying to decide on whether to be a quality producer or a mass producer. Price point is really important. I’ll be retiring soon and I won’t have much discretionary income. I think value wil be important to me. Your stamps are innovative, useful in so many different ways, and they come with ideas. Your blog is a terrific learning tool. I think many of us would go for 1 really good and versatile stamp set than a million space eating stamps that are trendy for a minute but have no staying power.

    Besides Nichol, can you really be anybody different from who you are?

  • 113
    char says:

    The many comments to your blog is a testament to the loyalty we have for your stamps – the time you spent creating these stamps to the packaging of the stamps – everything is done with thought. You have a loyal following.

  • 114
    Cindy Lyles says:

    Nichole, you, my dear, are a big dog now. And yes, you ARE leading the pack. I can only speak as a consumer, and I recognize, as many other craftspeople/stampers do, where the source of these ‘other’ stamp companies’ sudden brilliance comes from. It is not genuine but rather a poor imitation. Those stamp companies that attempt to follow you will never see nor feel the light that shines so brilliantly on you. You are amazing Nichole, pure dazzle. It is my utmost hope that all consumers realize and recognize the time, effort and energy that goes into the development of a stamp set, and when they see a poor imitation their knowledge is reflected in their pocketbook decisions.

  • 115
    peggysue says:

    I love your stuff but that old budget monster prevents me from shopping as often as I would like! 🙂 Your contributions to the stamping world are so valuable. I have noticed that you seem to be under pressure from a lot of different areas as you grow this business of yours . . . intellectual property, as a freelance writer, is all I have to offer. So I support the original work. Do I want a Picasso or a roadside stand selling Elvis painted on velvet? 🙂

  • 116
    Shellie says:

    I was alerted to one of the knock-offs last week and thought – wow, so similar to PT’s set. But now after checking the site today and seeing MORE knock-off sets all I can see is “unbelievable”! I sent this company an email letting them know how I felt about them “stealing” the hard work of others. Will they care? Probably not but I wanted to let them know that you have loyal customers and that “I” would never be buying anything from them now or in the future.
    Keep going strong Nichole, we love YOUR stamp designs and I for one can hardly wait for the 15th to come!!!

  • 117
    Stephanie says:

    I will never make a purchase from the other company based simply on the snideness of the people associated with it. Their defense has done more damage in my eyes than if no one had ever made a response.

    Your company will continue to flourish because you have a wonderful style, consistently wow us with beautiful projects
    and truly come across as a person with integrity.

  • 118
    Amandavp says:

    Where would this industry be without a core group of “thinkers” who work hard to continually bring you something new?

    Interesting question. I thing the core set of “thinkers” could be anyone and it changes. Just because the set of innovators today are creating doesn’t mean they will be here tomorrow. There will always be someone else, the industry, like other industries, evolves. Just becuase your stamps and your “thinking” are hot right now, it doesn’t mean you will be hot a year from now. Be thankful for your success, be flattered that someone had the premonition to “knock off’ your product, they may not later on. Competition is good. There are a lot of stamp companies out there, and what will distinguish one from the next is the customer service. The designs, of course, will drive the business, but it the repeat customer that you after. Keep that in mind and a focus. Knock-offs/copycats are the nature of any business.

  • 119
    Jennifer S says:

    I have to say with all honesty that I have not been able to afford any of your products yet, but I know in my heart that when the time comes to buy, I will go straight to the ‘idea originator’ and not the ‘immitator.’ I come to your site for inspiration and to dream. And to feel a part of the group, even though it may be on the fringe because I don’t have the same stamps. But you do inspire me to use what I have to try to create something new and out of the box from my typical style. When I am in a position to buy, I know where I will go, the same place that allowed me the opportunity to use the talent I do posess in a way I would have never before thought – and that is here with PaperTrey Ink. Know that you are loved and admired by many, dearest one! 🙂

  • 120
    Lisa M says:

    Nichole… First of all, allow me to thank you for making me think outside the box on this issue. Secondly.. On 1 hand, I can appreciate and respect your need to ‘vent’ but on the other hand I am curious. Why as a ‘business professional’ would you EVER take an issue such as this to a public forum. Especially your own forum of loyal followers? I think it’s important to remember that there are always 3 sides to every story.. yours, their’s and some where in the middle. Sadly, you are not giving this (or) these other company(ies) a forum to defend themselves, their designs or the many hours of thought & contemplation that have gone into each set they have produced. For all we know, their stamp sets came out prior to yours. Let’s all for just 1 minute think about the following.. Who invented the wheel? Who designed the first SUV? The first tube of mint toothpaste? The first clear stamp? Do we see Ford and Chevy or Crest and Colgate fighting their battles on a public blog? No, it’s done in a professional manner ‘behind closed doors’. My point is.. I think we are each deserving of dignity and respect and in doing so, may be this could have been better handled in a professional business manner.

    You have asked what type of company do we want to maintain longevity? One that puts the time into innovating new concepts continually or the company that likes to take advantage of a free ride?… If you ask me.. neither.. In my opinion, a good company, takes the good with the bad but always maintains a ‘professional image’ and strives for quality customer service first and foremost. A company that offers great products at a fair price but falls short when an item is defective or a shipment is damaged or has representatives that seem to be ‘full of themselves’ will in the end not be successful. A good company, no matter how big or small, always maintains (no matter how hard it may be) a professional image – even when they are burning the midnight oil to fill customer orders, stealing time away from their families, and neglecting household responsibilities. These backend issues should be transparent to us the customer. After all – these are the prices one pays for success. We’ve all see the copycat purses, sunglasses, etc. In my opinion you get what you pay for – not just with product but also with service. Yes, PTI has great products at a FAIR price but if they are interested in maintaining longevity with customers one may want to consider investing in some serious Customer Service consulting.

  • 121
    Laura G. says:

    The quality of your stamps have convinced me I can start using clear stamps. Previously, I never veered from my rubber. I know there are many “copycats” in this industry, but none of them can match the personal touch you add and your accessibility to your customers. I definitely plan to make future purchases from Papertrey.

  • 122
    Kelly S says:

    Hey Nichole, I am so sorry to read that this is weighing on your mind so much! I am a 100% Paper Trey supporter. I absolutely love your blog, your company and customer service is amazing, your creativity is unmatched and I love how versatile your products are. I beleive that you absolutely pay for what you get and there are reasons why some things are $5 and some are $25. I feel that your prices are great, the quality is amazing and you and your company will definitely stand the test of times!! Keep up the great work, I check your blog all the time and can’t wait until the 10th of every month for the countdown to begin and then for the 15th for the big release!! Your amazing:-)

  • 123
    Christine Villacarlos says:

    Nichole, I am with you 100%! I love all the thought and planning that go into each set of Papertrey Ink stamps. I love how innovative and creative you are! You and your company are amazing!!!

  • 124
    Becky says:

    I have really no idea what has just happened, but I need to tell you this. I got into stamping a couple of months ago BECAUSE OF YOUR DESIGNS. I feel COMPLETELY the same way you do about putting in the hours and making it “your own”. In everyday life, I try not to visit too many blogs or look at too many galleries, because I don’t even want to inadvertantly “CASE” someone. THAT is how passionate I am about wanting to use my own ideas. I find that my mind becomes too jumbled with “other stuff” I have seen. I am so sorry if some wacko out there is stealing your stuff. I would NEVER buy from someone who would do that…especially really knowing your product and the genius behind it. I am glad you shared your frustrations. They are, I am sure, soundly justified!

  • 125
    Linda says:


    I am another “newbie” to your blog, and, like so many others, I am genuinely amazed by your talent and creativity. You obviously have a gift!

    I would ALWAYS choose to purchase a higher-quality product, even if I had to buy less.

    What you have experienced certainly isn’t fair, but those who truly care know who put the time and and the effort into the manifestation of an original idea.

    By the way, I just received my first Papertrey Ink order a few days ago, and I could hardly wait for it to arrive. I can assure you I’ll be ordering more!

    Also, your tutorials are so well written, and illustrated, it gives me hope that I might be able to create something so beautiful if I try hard enough – you DO make it look easy, you know!

    Know that the imitations won’t last; quality will. It’s very apparent that you possess quality and integrity, personally and professionally. So please hang in there, and thanks once again for sharing your gift with us!

    Warm regards,


  • 126
    Debbie M says:

    I am more than happy to support you and your wonderful company. I’m sorry you’ve had to go through this, but I think in the end you will still be around and they won’t be here. I agree with everyone your customer support is the best. We all know you put your heart and soul into every set and it shows. I will always be your loyal fan!

  • 127
    scrapping mom says:

    Quality and integrity is what keeps a company going. Cheap knock offs will come and go but never last long. I have seen a site that has similar products and wondered how they sold them so cheap. You get what you pay for in life. I find the quality items are always a better buy in the long run. I know I can always count on your products:). I love your stamps, can’t wait to the new samples on the 10th.

  • 128
    Debra says:

    What you have done is remarkable, to take an idea and build on it to make superior, leading edge products and excellent customer service available to anyone virtually at the click of their finger. Then to provide guidance and ideas for those products is exciting, probably both for you as well as the customer. I like to think that people know ‘quality’ and will return over and over again once they experience superior good customer service combined with quality products and the quick service PaperTrey provides. Don’t look back and don’t worry about who’s copying you, just keep on focusing on the talents and opportunities you have!

  • 129
    Debbie says:

    I don’t know about a knock off version of your stamps, but just wanted to let you know that we all appreciate the time/talent you put into your designs. Thank you.

  • 130
    Trena n Naperville says:

    Your customers are speaking through your sales. Have they been increasing? I bet yes…Then keep doing what you’re doing! I like to your designs and plan to continue visiting your website and purchasing…
    Take care and STAY POSITIVE!!
    Sending warm hugs from the Midwest.

  • 131
    Victoria says:

    When I first stumbled upon Papertrey ink I was immediately impressed and thrilled about the designs you presented. I love the attention to detail and the way you pulled a small element of the design out to create a small stamp that became almost an embellishment of the larger picture. I remember telling a friend about your site and a stamp set I had seen and she laughed and said I should be a sales person for you I was so excited it was convincing! I have waited eagerly for the releases and have finally been able to purchase 3 sets, I love them all! When asked what I want for Christmas, it is simple, a gift certificate to PTI!
    I hope your loyal followers that appreciate, understand and love your work will be enough to keep you motivated and strong.
    I thought about signing up as an SU! demo just for the specials and discount, (not to demo) but after finding PTI I am saving my money for your stamps, however I will still by my adhesive at Michael’s with a coupon!

    Best of luck,

  • 132
    Jennifer S. says:

    I started to leave a comment earlier, but couldn’t decide what to write. I have 11 of your sets, with Nestabilities from you on the way. I check your blog daily! I go to your idea gallery all the time to get inspired. Let the copycats say what they will, we all know the truth. Your set came out 2 months before theirs, which is enough time to copy the idea easily. If theirs was truly original, why would they then change their design after “getting caught”? They have several sets that seem to be “heavily inspired” by either you or SU. While I can see people getting similar ideas at the same time, there is a line.
    You are such a creative person. You not only create amazing products, you give us a plethora of ideas with which to use those products. I will be a loyal customer for as long as you choose to share your creative spirit with all of us. I would also like to consider myself your friend, even though I will probably never meet you in person. So, my friend, please try not to be discouraged. You have an amazing group of fans (and friends) that love and support you. Try to remember that.
    I want to thank you for sharing your feelings with us on your personal blog. That is what a blog is for, to share your thoughts and feelings. I do not think it unproffessional at all! Quite the opposite. You chose your own personal space to share your feelings, rather than defend yourself on a public forum. I think that shows how classy you are.
    Please keep your head up (unless you are busy on a new great stamp idea) and remember we love you!!

  • 133
    diane mcvey says:

    Just let me say you are a great designer, a great person, and a great entrepreneur. I will support you always, and totally appreciate all the work you put into your designs. It’s too bad that others will copy and profit from YOUR hard work; but I’m afraid it’s a given that this is going to happen. Very unfortunate, but predictable. . . I have told many friends about your stamps, and will continue to do so. I think you are just terrific, and support you sincerely. Please don’t get discouraged, just keep doing what you love!

  • 134
    peggy lee says:

    Papertrey is by far the most creative, versatile, customer-oriented business in the papercrafting industry. I can’t say enough good things about what your company does in addition to making the best designs and quality stamps. I’m a loyal fan and customer for life! Thanks for all you do!!

  • 135
    JulieK says:

    Nichole, thanks for sharing. I have to say personally that I realize that heart that you put into your work. You can tell by the quality of everything you sell and the energy you put into your blog and web site. I personally appreciate all you do for us “stampers”. I would love to meet you in person some day. I will keep supporting PaperTrey. It’s people like you that us crafters would like to see have a long a successful career in the stamping industry. Thanks and have a great holiday season.

  • 136
    Bluett says:

    Wow Nichole, the Greatest about you is that you create from your heart and that love and dedication is transfered to any image that you create and to your artwork. You are amazing! I’m a CTMH consultant since FEB 2002. I have ever buy any other stamp than CTMH until I found yours! I felt the same way when we came with the acrylics and the next six month every company out there is acrylic now, and no good. Your acrylics stamps are awesome, your packaging, the cd, the clear label, everything is so precise and well package. The first time I received my package I was so excite it that I can contain myself, when I open that box, my jaw felt on the floor, I just loved what you do. I love that every stamp set has a stamp that it said stamped by…that coordinate the stamp set, I thought that was a great Idea. You are awesome, and Im glad that you have a great company and I would love to be part of Paper Trey for ever. Keep up the amazing work that you do, we are here for you. Bluett

  • 137
    Sharon in NE says:

    Wtih all these comments, one would think you’re giving away something…but we’re just returning the love.

    I noticed in our orders is a little card that has your signature on it. I saved that, because it well, meant something to me. Your stamps are incredible, but so are YOU!

  • 138


    like you I have been on all sides. I have crafted myself on a very tight budget, to running a retail store and dealing with consumers that only wanted the latest & greatest versus utilizing a quality product and learning about all of it’s uses to being a manufacturer of paper. It sometimes felt as though long hours of design work to create a great product just wasn’t feasible. That versus the current industries rate of growth didn’t seem to jive with the small person trying to enter into this world, no matter how unique and great the product was. With all that and so much more that I could say, I now seek out the vendor that is small and puts quality time into their design and product. Just like you. Then once you have designed a product you show all of its potential uses, you share it with many other designers and they teach more. It may seem as though it’s a slow way to go, but I believe that you have taken the higher road. It’s not about how much you can get out there or how fast. Cause when you do that it’s about cheaper & faster and not really caring about the end user. So I’m sure that I have left many blanks and questions but I would say that I am not interetsed in companies that are trying to take a free ride without the time, dedication and true design that goes into creating a quality product. And even with that said you still need to be sure that you make some $$. So I’m on your side and could get on my soap box about the industry for a very long time!! Thanks for asking a question that hopefully made everyone stop and think.

  • 139
    Tessa (aka shastess on SCS) says:

    I am finally at a time in my life when I can afford crafting supplies. I learned along time ago from my father the importance of working hard and customer service (he is a small business owner). I have purchased cheap stamps and supplies before and that is exactly what they are CHEAP. The are not anything of value and when they don’t work there is usually no one to provide customer service or advice to get them to work. You get what you pay for! And I am more than happy to pay for your wonderful high quality stamps that are made with such love and detail. This can be seen in the packaging alone. Your devotion to your company is what will keep it going while others create cheap knock-offs because they know what a great idea you have! Stay strong Nichole! Your product will win out and you will win no matter what due to your integrity.

  • 140
    Aaron says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more, as it is clear your passion and creativity is reflected in everything you do. I run a rubber stamp company, and I have to say, I have the exact same experience. All of my products are made by hand from original designs with love and compassion. However, on the shelves, it doesn’t seem to matter as much as I would hope when my products are next to lower-priced Chinese-made products (I don’t mean to pick on Chinese only, it is just an example) that are often mass-produced, not environmentally friendly, and very often are look-a-likes to my products. I am greatly saddened by this fact. I think the only solution is we as consumers have to make the statement we do care, and the way to do that is be true to ourselves when we buy things.

  • 141
    Elizabeth says:

    Well I’m not sure about who did it, but surely in the long run it has to not hurt your bottom line. I only say this because there are so many of us out here that love your stamps and your creativity. If I were to run across similar stamps elsewhere I would know they are knock offs and wouldn’t purchase them. Your stamps are such high quality and even beyond the hours y’all took to design the stamps you also take the time to design awesome projects for us. If that doesn’t earn my devotion I don’t know what will! 🙂

  • 142
    Maureen says:


    I have to say I read the threads on SCS and went to check out the stamps. While I do acknowledge that different people can come up with *similar* ideas at the same time, after comparing the label stamps side by side (before they changed the designs) there was absolutely NO WAY their stamps weren’t a copy of yours!! I do believe they could have come up with the same general concept, but I truly believe they did directly rip off your designs (at least for the labels).

    While I think it’s ok for people to use similar concepts or fonts as others (as copyrights only go so far), it’s definitely NOT ok to steal a very specific design and sell it as your own. I will definitely not be buying any stamps from that company.

  • 143
    Elizabeth Whitty says:

    I loved you post. I started buying your stamps because they were so different and there was just something there that spoke to me. Other companies that may piggy back on you creativity just don’t have same something that your products have. Up here in Canada I tell everyone who will listen how great you product is ( I even bring out a paper craft mag and show your pic)and how you design cards that we all love to copy somehow. that you are one of thinkers in this bizz. Continue what you do please because whith out people like you none of us would grow that much as stampers.

  • 144
    Susie says:

    Reading this has disturbed me terribly since I, at one point, was willing to give the knock off company the benefit of the doubt. I just find it so hard to believe that anyone would be so dishonest as to steal another persons ideas and products… I always try to see the good in people and sometimes I’m blind. This was one of those times and I’m horrified to find out it’s actually true and there are people out there that callous…

    I am a longtime reader of your blog and have been a Papertrey fan since day one. Your stamps, packaging and customer service are exceptional. Your creativity inspires me every day. I am so sorry you have to go through this, and even more sorry I was willing to believe someone MIGHT have just happened to come up with the same idea. Not that I would have purchased their look-a-like set, but I might have bought something else from their company after the holidays.

    Thank you for opening my eyes and for posting this! I’m sure their are others out there as well who will think twice after reading this. Hang in there Nichole… your die hard fans are behind you all the way!

  • 145
    Jennifer says:

    but will those other companies wrap my purchases with such love?? Thank you for all you do. You don’t JUST put out a stamp set…… you keep us on pins and needles each month waiting for your next release. Thanks. Jennifer

  • 146
    Lisa says:


    I have been a supporter of PaperTrey Ink since you first released Paper Tray. I appreciate the quality of your stamps, your commitment to customer service, and the versatility of your images and other products. This is what keeps me coming back month after month, eagerly anticipating each new release.

    The papercrafting industry has exploded in recent years–where there used to be a few major stamp companies, there are now thousands, ranging from small ‘mom & pop’ type companies to the larger companies like Stampin’ Up! and CTMH. With that level of saturation, there are bound to be instances where companies produce similar images. As frustrating as it may be to come up with a particular design only to later see something like it somewhere else, it is the nature of the industry, and that won’t change.

    I often tell my kids, “You can’t control what the people around you do; you can only control how you react to those people,” and I think that may apply here. Yes, I have seen the images in question. Do I know for certain that they were copied? No, so I can’t make a judgment call on that one. From an emotional standpoint, I’m sure you are hurt and angry just at the thought that someone may have copied your ideas. But from a business standpoint, how you handle your frustration and anger can be either a positive or negative for your business.

    I see you as a classy, ethical person, and I know you will rise above this and continue to produce the quality products PTI is known for.

  • 147
    Erin aka efromhawaii says:

    As a long-time rubber stamper (15+ years) I was a die hard red-rubber woodmounted gal. My first experence with clear stamps was about 10 years or so ago and they were made by a pretty big company that is still around but they just could not compare with my good old-fashioned rubber stamps. Earlier this year, I had heard about some unique clear stamps from Nicole Heady and since I was a long time Paper Crafts Mag person, her name and reputation, at least to me, meant quality and excellence. Needless to say, I was very intrigued and decided to give clear stamps another try. Although I don’t own all of the PaperTrey sets, I can happily “brag” that I have most of them and have used each an every one and have received so many wonderful comments on projects that I have made and given away, especially the nugget tin projects. In fact, I constantly get requests for “refills”. My stamps of choice are still woodmounted, with the exception of PaperTrey clear stamps and every month, I anxiously look forward to the new releases.

    Congratulations of your success, Nicole.


  • 148
    Jennifer says:

    I posted earlier but don’t see it now. I don’t usually get involved in things like this, but I just wanted to comment. I loved the way you wrapped each item with love and care, will someone else do that? You are like a proud mother unveiling each new design, and its obvious that each stamp set was designed with such love. You keep us on pins and needles each month waiting for the next release..thanks.

  • 149
    Wendella247 says:

    You have a quality company and not only produce innovative stamps, but you provide great customer service and invaluable support and tutorials to help us get the most out of your stamps and products. An example is your many pages of information about the Nestabilities and how to use them, tip sheets, etc. If it hadn’t been for all your time and trouble, I probably wouldn’t have bought them at all, but because of your carefully written and detailed info., you took the “scare” out of them and I have so far purchased two full sets from Papertrey. It is THIS type of thing that will keep you on top, Nicole. There will always be knock-offs and people with less talent riding your coattails, but don’t lose your vision, because you and your company are the cream of the crop!

  • 150
    Tricia Ulberg (Lizzie) says:

    Hi Nicole!

    I can competely understand how you feel about this. This is something we also have had to deal with as a new stamp design company. While exhibiting at CHA last year, we had a few people take photographs of our stamps, only to find they were being closely reproduced in other countries. We know there are some companies who have stopped exhibiting for this very reason.

    I think that one of the great things about our industry though are our customers. The stamping biz attracts a lot of loyal, wonderful customers who can see the difference between a company who is designing innovative product vs. one who is just trying to steal other’s ideas for profit. I love talking and working with all the wonderful people in this industry, and feel lucky that we have a product that attracts this type of customer!

  • 151
    Michaelann says:

    Nichole…please know that customers value integrity above all else. Integrity encompasses value, respect for the company and the consumers, ethical decision making and a ton more. I know the company you speak of and the law of karma will come back to them. Anyone who has ordered from Papertrey,Ink. knows the quality of the products and the innovation and hard work that went into every process. Please be aware that crafters know “the real deal” and Papertrey,Ink is just that!!!

  • 152
    L.Wilson says:

    Nichole is such a sweetie for approaching the issue with class.
    It is a great thing to support a great company in times like these. How admirable a thing it is to see PTI have so many supporters!

    It is quite another thing to support a great company by choosing to send slanderous and hateful emails to the other party no matter what the truth may be.
    I sure hope no one here has had that kind of character.

  • 153
    Sonya says:

    Having just recently discovered your company, I am thoroughly impressed with all that I have purchased and all that I have seen on your website. From the few sets that I own current, its easy to see how much thought and hard work you’ve put into their creation as the sets are so beautiful and so very versatile.

    I look forward to supporting you and your company for many years to come. Thank you for posting such an enlightening message.

  • 154
    Renee V. (happystamper05) says:

    I, too, am a loyal customer. I love your stamps, your products are superior, and your customer service is wonderful.
    I know what you are referring to and I was sad for you.
    Thank you for all you do. I appreciate your talent and your hard work.

  • 155
    Tammy says:

    Innovation in the products I purchase is only one of the aspects this girl considers before slapping her hard-earned dollar down. Customer service, quality of the product, pricing, how you treat your employees, packaging and ‘does it appeal to me and my style?’ are other factors. Whoever gives me all of that gets my credit card number.

    The public, on-line airing of your feelings, questions and thoughts on this subject and the controversy that surrounds it is overall–negative to me. It doesn’t leave me with a better feeling, wiser or more inspired than when I first came here.

    There will always be a number one in a race to the top. There will always be a number two also. Perhaps it’s how you run the race that matters.

  • 156
    Janet Smith says:

    Nichole..don’t be discouraged. I do not know what I would do without your creative ideas. There are always going to be ‘copycats’ making their money off the real thinkers. For a good example take the guys who created the Crocs shoes. We love those and copycats have popped up everywhere but the Crocs originals are still leading the industry. They are a good company with creative ideas, good prices and good customer service just like PAPERTREY in the stamping industry. If you continue to be true to yourself and follow your good ethics your company will soar far higher than any ‘copycat’ company could ever do. Just so you know…everyone out here in the stamping world just loves you to pieces. Keep creating and we will keep buying. Thank You so much.

  • 157
    I am Derby says:

    Your stamps are beautiful and the quality is exceptional. I also think they are very reasonably priced. I wasnt a stamper (I scrapbook) until I came across your blog. Now I own several stamp sets, tons of ink, and two sets of nestabilities. LOL. I too saw the knock offs and thought how horrible! But I am willing to bet yours are much better quality and your customer service is fabulous. I recommend your site all the time. I used the holiday treat set for packaging my holiday cookies and everyone said they looked like they came from an upscale bakery! Thanks for all your hard work!

  • 158
    kathy says:

    I am so impressed! YOu continue to blow me away Nichole! thanks 🙂

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