Post Traumatic Panda Syndrome

It was a dark and stormy night. The 13 bricks family had just settled down for the night, locked up the store and had gone home, unaware of the horror that was about to go down. Hours later, in the middle of the night, Big Bad Business (sort of looks like the monopoly guy, just fatter) sneaks in through the chimney, huffs and puffs and blows their clothing racks down, picks out a shirt and runs with it! He didn’t pay for it, he didn’t check the size, or even put it on.

He didn’t even say thank you.

No glass slipper left behind, not even a monocle.

Several months later the family found themselves looking through the Big Bad Business’ website. The BBB had been very kind to the family last year, and to five other artists, choosing them to participate in a marketplace, where the company promoted local artists by giving them a spot in the store for a day.

Low and behold, right there on the screen was a shirt “designed” by a certain minion company that depicted a panda in boxing gloves. (cue thunder and lightning.) This was the day that the family realized one of their most popular designs, the boxing panda, had been copied and was being sold nationwide.

Emily Quintero, the mother of this panda design, is one of the OG family members and helped found the company. This design was one of the first to become successful, and is still sold in the store. We would contact the authorities, but Big Bad Business was smart, and spent some effort covering their tracks.

The design on their websites is not exactly the same design that Quintero drew. It certainly looks like her design; the panda on BBB’s shirt certainly acts like her design, however the only real difference is that the panda seems to have gained a lot of weight and changed the camera angle on his selfie.

All stories aside, this is not okay. Does that even need to be said? Small businesses and artists have it bad enough, so why do big businesses need to swoop in and steal our babies in their sleep like the vampire stork of the stock room?

The worst part wasn’t  not having enough proof of the theft. It wasn’t the crappy character of a popular brand, or their reputation for kidnapping other people’s pandas on more than one occasion; it isn’t even the money (though, it wouldn’t hurt).

It’s the fact that the intellectual property of a local artist, one near and dear to our hearts, will stumble upon a page from her sketchbook on the rack at a store that didn’t recognize her talent. They didn’t afford her the first “big break” party with family and friends when BBB mailed her a fat check for her art. Big Bad Business will never steal her fairytale, they will never steal the beauty that comes with being a talented artist, or a successful, mindful and community conscious new business. However, they did try. We will not let this happen to another artist. We simply will not stand for it.

The panda isn’t the only one with boxing gloves on.