You and I have never met, at least not face-to-face, but I did want to give you an insight as to why what you’ve done is wrong, and why it could have possibly hurt someone. I have decided I’m also not going to mention your name in this post. As you are well aware, I have asked for a public apology (which you have provided) on your fan page because I feel that your fans were mislead and deserve the truth. But stating your name in this post or on my social media avenues, means that you could be subject to an attack which I feel serves no purpose and I am not a bully.
I also want to give you some background about me so that maybe you can understand what it took to create when you stole many of my blog posts and all of the contents of my Sexy Lady Balls hormone membership program.
I began this work back in 2008 when Sexy Food Therapy was just a blog and merely a pipe dream. As people began to read my work and my passion grew, I put everything and everyone aside to build my business. At times I could hardly pay rent, let alone furnish my apartment. I put myself in debt because not a single bank would give me loan to invest the thousands I needed to build this. It took years of crying and major struggles, including getting sick because I sacrificed even myself to get where I am today.
So when a fellow “Baller” (aka a member of my membership program that you were until recently a part of) contacted me because she found my Excess Testosterone protocol on your website it raised major flags and truthfully punched me in the gut.
I then proceeded to get my Operations Manager Courtney, to purchase your hormone program and as confirmed, it was mine. Every last word and recipe photo was my Sexy Lady Balls membership program. (Left is mine, the right is hers)
The image below you will see my cookbook on the left and on the right is hers
Ironically even your legal disclaimer was my copy, verbatim.
This sent my team to research you further. We discovered that you were trying to get Planet Organic Market in Royal Oak, Calgary to help you promote what you stole from me. It’s why they later received a note from my lawyer about you. I had also come to learn that you stayed in my membership because you were trying to poach every bit of content that I was putting out. For example, on your Instagram you mentioned that you would be launching a Liver & Candida Detox with this photo of Coconut Ginger Macaroons from you guessed it, my Liver & Candida Detox.
What bothers me isn’t just that you outright stole from me (because trust me that’s violating enough), but that you’re not even a Holistic Nutritionist as you’ve claimed on social media. Rather you were still attending school at NutraPhoria in Calgary since March of this year to become a Health Coach.
(*Update: Since this post, she has been dismissed from NutraPhoria and by the Canadian Association for Integrative Nutrition)
Claiming to be a Certified Holistic Nutritionist is insulting to my industry and also terrifying to those who purchased my program from you that have hired you for consultations.
You could have hurt someone.
Despite my desire to reach out to you that day, I was advised not to by my lawyer until we had all evidence in place should you try to file a counter dispute saying we had no evidence to substantiate our claims.
As our research continued, I realized that the majority of your blog content was also mine. In fact you had even took my “Tender Breasts” video and transcribed it into a blog post. Given it takes so much time and energy to produce content all the time, I felt devalued to see that on your blog, that most of them mine.
However when I noticed that one was not, I had Courtney, my right hand gal look into it and sure enough it was a direct copy from a Chatelaine article, one of Canada’s largest publications. It is absolutely illegal to post as your own content developed and copyrighted by another source.
[Tweet “It is illegal to post as your own content developed and copyrighted by another source.”]
What I found interesting was how you initially handled it: On that same day, after realizing that Courtney purchased from you; your sales page for the program went down. A couple hours later the entire site was down.
Clearly you realized you had been caught.
Thing is, you stayed silent. I didn’t hear from you but rather saw that you had told everyone on your fan page that your site had been “hacked” and further directed on how they could still get in contact with you.
The day after was when the letter from my lawyer went out, I spoke to the director from your school who was very supportive of the situation and reassured me that she would take action. It was imperative to me that she was aware that a student was giving hormonal advice when she wasn’t qualified to do so. It was a matter of public safety. She felt that you should at least apologize and I agreed.
And that’s when roughly an hour after, I received an email from you with that apology which sadly came across as completely disingenuous.
However with that said, I’m grateful that all my content has been pulled from your social media platforms and that your website is down. I am grateful that you reimbursed me for the legal fees incurred and profits made from my work. So thank you.
But do I believe you’re sorry?
No. I believe that the only reason you apologized and acted promptly to resolve the matter was out of fear of the potential legal ramifications because you were caught.
So why would I write this blog post for my entire network to read? Why not just keep this between you and I?
My reason: I want you to be responsible for your actions and use this as an example for others who may be tempted to steal to gain credibility or to be seen.
As an online entrepreneur, I get how people might feel overcome by the amount of content that needs to be produced – constantly. However this does not give anyone the right to misappropriate another individual’s content in an efforts to quell their own entrepreneurial feelings of overwhelm.
Our content is not your Valium.
I understand especially in the field of health that recipes can be similar from one practitioner to another. Chocolate Avocado pudding is a great example of this because it’s less than five ingredients and it only ever varies so much yet most Nutritionists include it in their recipe books and call it their own. So is there a bit of a grey area? Absolutely.
In fact Henry Ford and Steve Job’s reached enormous innovation by borrowing ideas from others and were quite transparent about it. The difference is that they didn’t steal someone’s entire work wholesale. Rather they took bits and pieces and mashed into something that inspired their own work. It was a form of alchemy so to speak.
I mean listen, many people will tell me, “Hey imitation is a form of flattery.”
But this wasn’t flattering it was fraudulent.
So to the woman who stole my work and to anyone reading this that may feel tempted to do the same know that it is illegal and you will be caught. It is also insulting, shows a lack of integrity and moral ethics.
And if you are sitting there idolizing someone’s work, before you rip it off I beg of you to get inspired and create something great – because you can.
In my opinion, imitation is never a form of flattery.
Innovation on the other hand is.