Modfire's Brandon Williams Says Target Stole His Fireplace Design

Categories: Morning Buzz

modfire.jpg
Facebook / J. Chris Mobley
Imitation is the highest form of flattery.

At least that's what Phoenix-based metal artist Brandon Williams posted on the Facebook page of his company, Modfire, after noting that his signature fireplace design was ripped off by retail giant Target.

See also: Judgmental Map of Phoenix Stereotypes Your Neighborhood

On Thursday, March 6, Modfire posted a photo of a the Steel Chiminea from Target's Threshold line on Facebook The product bears a striking resemblance to Williams' iconic Urbanfire, a modern mid-century-style fireplace that won the 2011 Dwell on Design award for Best Furniture and Accessory.

While the original Urbanfire typically sells on the Modfire website for a starting price of $1,350, Target's Threshold Steel Chiminea is currently available online and in stores for $99.99.

On Monday, March 10, Williams sent Jackalope Ranch a Facebook message saying:

"As a small business owner, I'm stunned. Our Modfire is made in America, sourced locally and we handcraft each and every one. When I designed the Modfire I was charting new territory, crafting a design that was completely original and we have been rewarded with allocates and awards from the design community at large. We have worked tirelessly to build a wonderful brand around Modfire So to see Target simply steal my design instead of using their in-house talent to make a budget priced chiminea, well that undermines the very foundation of the American Dream. I would have be elated if Target had reached out to me and asked me to design an affordable fireplace they could distribute it to their customers. It's the issue of simply stealing the design out of laziness or greed that has me appalled."

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3 comments
donkeyshow
donkeyshow

I advise everybody to purchase the $100 target version and donate the $1250 savings to sheriff joe's reelection fund. sheriff joe keeps the pressure on the illegal mexicans and makes their anchor babies cry.

Hotch75
Hotch75

How is your first step NOT contacting Target? I would understand starting a social backlash if Target had told you to suck it, but to push a social media campaign prior to talking to them seems awfully counter productive. 

shelahjohnson
shelahjohnson

@Hotch75  

Since when do you have to be "polite" to the people who plagiarized and ripped off your business? 

Small businesses owners need to use whatever tools they have at their disposal to stop such egregious behavior from companies like Target who support off shore manufacturing.


If you don't see what's wrong with this picture, you'd better start teaching your children Chinese!

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