By Alison August 13, 2005 5 Comments 3 Min Read


Ugh. I am so angry, I could spit. Seriously.

Throughout what has turned out to be an extremely difficult year I have worked hard to create what I hope has become an extremely valuable, rather scrumptious little community.  It has been an absolute pleasure to recieve all your emails and to know that day by day your world is becoming that little bit prettier. I have got to know so many of you so well, made friends I hope I will keep for life, and in the process, established the term "vintage housekeeping" as something we have all come to understand as the art of creating a home with soul…

But the thing is this: along the way I have also fallen victim, over and over again to what is in it’s mildest form, imitation and in it’s most blatant form- downright out and out plaguerism.

While I understand that I cannot lay claim to an idea, I do know for absolute certain that "vintage housekeeping" did not exist before the birth of BrocanteHome. Indeed before I started this blog it was nigh on impossible to find anyone blogging about homemaking like this at all, beyond those by "prairie muffins" or "homesteaders" whose lives, while utterly lovely, bear absolutely no relation to mine.

Of course I do not mind that my term for the way I live my life, is becoming part of  the general vocabulary of women who read this blog, and I consider it a huge honour that people want to consider themselves "vintage housekeepers", and are only glad that someone finally gave our way of life a name- that was my intention, and while admittedly the ride hasn’t always been smooth, and my little business is still in the process of establishing itself, I feel that to come as far as I have in such a short time, despite all the setbacks is a huge achievement, marred only by the astonishing nerve some women have in the way they go about stealing ideas, turns of phrase, and occasionally entire chunks of my writing.

Tonight while browsing around the internet, I came across a site so astonishingly like mine, it took my breath away, and I found myself biting back tears as I went through the site of a woman, who has since the early days of BrocanteHome been a member of the Puttering Programme, and has for reasons I cannot begin to understand, seen fit to name her site blatantly after mine,  form all the same sort of links, and rather pathetically, blogged about many of things I talk about here and on the group page and forum, even having the cheek to use my catchphrases. And this from a  woman I trusted, corresponded with and had the upmost respect for. This from a woman whose faith is apparently her sole purpose in life.

I am upset and perhaps I shouldn’t be ranting like this. It isn’t that I am raging about the fact that this woman, and indeed another one of the same ilk, has copied my work. I understand that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I also know that when something is successful it will always be copied, and that is part and parcel of being in business. Of course I understand that. It isn’t that. It is the fact that both women concerned are members of my group, and are either too stupid to realise that I will recognise my influence in their diluted versions of my work, or worse that they are too arrogant, too wrapped up in their own little worlds to care.  Talk about jumping on the bandwagon!!

I am not putting up with it. While I am comforted by the fact that BrocanteHome has a very unique voice, and it is hard to pull off copying it with any degree of style, I am still bloody angry about what I, rightly or wrongly see as a betrayal.

I might be a pussycat, but scratch my tummy too hard, and I promise you, I bite. Hard.

Ok. Screech over. Sorry.


  1. sue says:

    Oh Alison, you are unique,although others may imitate your style and ideas, they will never be able to bring those words to life,especially with the humour and honour that jumps out from the pages of Brocante Home. Try not to be too upset and realise that people always recognise true quality when they see it. Chin up.

  2. Tash says:

    Alison, i am sorry to hear about the copycats. As someone who has loved all things vintage since being small (thanks to my grandmother, i think), we all owe you a debt of gratitude for helping to spread the word. I also run my own blog, and although it's definitely not a copy of yours, it shares your ethos of 'home' being somewhere special.
    But like sue said, you're unique, as is Brocante, and people can rip it off all they want, but it won't be the same!

  3. Kerry says:

    Ditto to the other comments. Yep, they say that 'imitation is the highest form of flattery' and all that other stuff that's supposed to make you feel better when someone straightout steals your ideas. It matters little when you see someone else taking credit for your imagination and creativity … but, as Helen points out, copiers can not survive for long riding on another's creative coattails! Smile Alison … it won't be for long .

  4. Mimi says:

    Oh Alison, I feel terrible for you, and so angry on your behalf. I really felt I had come home when I found this website, and the whole brocante essence has come to mean a lot to me in these months since I discovered you. I hate the idea of something so special being abused. I am glad though that you have bought it up here so we all know about it. When such shameful things are done, the perpetrators should be made aware that we all know, and do not approve.

  5. Barbie says:

    There will only ever be one Ali Mark and Fin and subsequently only one Brocante Home.You your family and your website have a special individuality that many may want but believe me they will never have. Keep entertaining and enlightening us but most of all just keep on being you. Love to you all. Barbie

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