Today I was messing around on Facebook, you know like you do, when I stumbled across a post shared by Keri-Lee Stroebel about Woolworths and it caught my attention so I went to have a look.
The blog post was written by Shannon McLaughlin of Ubuntu Baba – you know those awesome baby carriers?
So it turns out that Woolworths has allegedly blatantly copied the Ubuntu Baby Carrier – I say allegedly because I don’t want to get my ass into hot water, but seriously go and have a look at the blog post by Shannon and make up your own mind. When I look at that I see all the evidence that I personally need to make up my mind at this stage.
Now I was hesitant about writing a blog post about this as I am an online influencer and companies pay me to voice my opinion about them and their products. I don’t want to be seen as a negative influencer but there comes a time and a place where you have to stand up and say your thing no matter what. This is one of those times. That is not to say that I don’t speak the truth, but if I don’t like something I decline to take on the job. I try my best to keep my blog a happy and positive place.
So Woolworths you get this blog post all for free, congratulations
I’ve always been a loyal customer of Woolworths. I love their food (oh yes please!) and I love their cosmetics that is approved by Beauty Without Cruelty… BUT I am also a Mompreneur in South Africa. And I don’t know if you have noticed yet Woolworths but we are actually a tight bunch. We have each others backs.
It is NOT easy being a woman in business, add in a couple of kids and it gets really tough. What has always given me motivation and inspiration is the support and encouragement I have received from other Mompreneurs, from all over the world, but most specifically from South Africa.
Now I don’t know Shannon from a bar of soap and I have never had any personal dealings with her, but I have noticed her company and I do know of her brand. It is a well-known and respected brand that most moms have heard of. I also had an online store which I closed when I found my calling to blog. I know how hard it is to carve out a little space for yourself online and in the South African market. I know how hard it is to get your store and products ranking on search engines.
So when I read Shannon’s post and I saw all the evidence there, my heart literally sank for her. Woolworths is a huge commercial brand that can afford to come up with their own designs and market them, yet the evidence is right there. It appears they chose to blatantly and without any regard for Shannon and her livelihood to steal what belongs to her.
Until the full truth is revealed here I will not be shopping at Woolworths.
Update Wednesday 09 January 2019
Woolworths has released a statement which has left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m sorry but you call this a “lapse in process”? I call this a lapse in ethics.
What has also come to light in many of the conversations online is that this is apparently not the first time that Woolworths has done this. I keep hearing the Britney Spears line “oops I did it again” running through my head.
I’ve also seen a few people defending Woolworths saying that the Ubuntu Baba baby carriers are not patented, but really does that make it ok to just go and steal their design like this? Not in my eyes.
This half baked apology is not going to cut it with the moms in South Africa, just look at the outcry online! Have your say on my Instagram post – what do YOU think of the “apology”?
View this post on Instagram
The public half assed apology from @woolworths_sa to @ubuntubaba for blatantly copying their baby carriers left more than a sour taste in my mouth. Apparently it was a “lapse in process” and they apologise. This is not a lapse in process, this is a lapse in ETHICS and MORALS. It is quite a different thing in my eyes. When I read the post written by Shannon, the founder of Ubuntu Baba, on her website I was shocked and upset for her. I am also a Mompreneur in South Africa, I blog full time now, but I had an online store previously and I know how hard it is to be not only a woman in business starting from scratch, but a mother too, juggling all these responsibilities. It is not easy building a business from scratch. For a huge commercial business like Woolworths to blatantly and without any disregard to copy the baby carriers she designed is shocking. Saying “oh oops” is just not going to be good enough for me. Sies on you! I suggest you try again, that is if you want my business again.