Three years ago, Kristen Hammond silkscreened and sold children's t-shirts reading, "My mom doesn't want your advice." Then, this week, she found a onesie at Target that's nearly-identical, right down to the unusual font. Target has yet to explain.
Hammond, who blogs at Mommy Needs A Cocktail, explained on her blog yesterday that she debuted her shirt on her "mompreneur site" Babybrewing.com in January 2008. "I even went to the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas in 2008 and 2009 and found twenty-five independent mom-and-pop retail shops who bought them to sell in their own stores," she wrote. "Target buyers were at ABC too, but I never had anyone self-identify as a Target buyer. I did have a few interested customers who raved about the tees but declined to give me a business card. I heard from my fellow mompreneurs that 'the bigs sometimes do that.'"
She learned that the copycat shirts were being sold at Target from a message board, and drove to Target to check it out. There, she confirmed the existence of what certainly looked like a copycat, right down to the same font, Chowderhead, doesn't usually come pre-installed on computers. In an open letter to Target, Hammond writes:
I chose [the font] because of the look and feel of it as well as my desire to have a unique look to my quality clothing for children. Not surprisingly, the other novelty tees you had for baby girls were the same old tired fonts that everyone else uses for novelty tees. Had you just lifted the hilarious saying and changed the font, only your buyer and I would know that you took it from me.
We asked Target to weigh in, and all the rep was able to tell us was "It has been and continues to be Target's policy to respect the intellectual property rights of others." They offered Hammond a similar response in a tweet adding, "We continue to look into this issue. Thanks for your patience."
Meanwhile, on Twitter and Facebook, fellow parenting bloggers are giving Target a piece of their minds.
Target Paved Paradise And Then Stole My Shopping Cart [Mommy Needs A Cocktail]