We Are Killing The Crochet Industry

We are killing the crochet industry on Yarn Obsession http://yarnobsession.com

We Are Killing The Crochet Industry

Yesterday was a very strange day. It started at about 6:11 am when I got an email that said “one of your patterns is in an ebook on Amazon” and ended with me reading and listening to some amazing women in this Huffington Post Article about “Why It’s So Important That Women Empower Other Women“.  Notice I said that’s how the day started and ended, in-between there were many clear messages coming my way that I had to take a moment . . . breath. . . and allow what was happening to happen. Now, before I go on I’m going to tell you this article will likely be long. I’m not going to apologize for that because there are worst things than taking a moment to read. But I’d really like you to take a journey with me and understand who “we” is and how they are killing the crochet industry.

The Mission

When I started using the term Yarn Obsession way back in 2002 (oh my!) it was to put a name label on the crochet items I wanted to sell. My idea was to just sell some items, make a few dollars and work. Fast forward to 2015 and selling is no longer my mission. Why do I tell you that? Because what I want to share with you, the mission I so strongly believe in now, is light years from that woman who wanted to sell a few things and make a few bucks. The fact that you’re here, reading this is proof of that. The Yarn Obsession mission has nothing to do with me selling crochet pieces or patterns or books. It has everything to do with empowering women in a women dominated industry to take control, believe in their worth and create a women dominated revolution in the business world and in the crochet industry. It has everything to do with changing the crochet industry from within instead of allowing malignant growths to take root, fester and infect various aspects of the industry creating weakness and a feeling of “I told you so” in the business world. “They” tell us (women) all the time that we can’t be leaders of industry and we believe them. Not only do we believe them, we join them in tearing ourselves apart and then wonder why we aren’t gaining more.

Who are “We”

The “We” refers to us, women, who dominate the crochet industry. We, collectively are killing the crochet industry. How? By collectively being non-supportive of each other and thinking that there is shame in profiting from our skills. We collectively are killing the crochet industry by believing it’s okay to “get” a  for sale pattern for free in a secret group where each person buys a pattern and shares it with the others. We collectively are killing the crochet industry by shaming those who create amazing patterns and dare to ask to be paid for their work. We collectively are killing the crochet industry by saying over and over again to ourselves and to each other “no one is going to pay that, for that”. We collectively are killing the crochet industry by not paying each other, or asking for payment for services rendered on something that will bring us profit. We are killing the crochet industry at a time when it should be commanding greater respect, profits and allowing the women who take the time to master their skills the opportunity to support themselves and their families on the income they make.

Lean In

That’s why the Yarn Obsession mission is to empower those who know the worth of their skills, who have a true passion for the crochet industry and who are sincerely interested in the building up of crochet. Now, before you begin to throw rotten tomatoes my way because you aren’t one of “those” people I want to say this, there is not a person that I’ve met in the crochet industry that I have not liked and who hasn’t been willing to help me and I them when I could. There are also some amazing crochet artists (if you crochet, you are an artist) out there who are incredibly sincere in their desire to support the creators in the industry. I’m not talking about them when I refer to theft and lack of integrity or support. However, what I have come to realize in this women dominated industry is there is a permeating truth to Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead that says, women will tear down another woman if she is perceived to be too “bossy” or “strong”.  So, what do we do? We show them, by not buying from them and by leading them to believe no one will buy from them.

My Mistake

To be fair I am not immune to having been ignorant of the etiquette of the industry. I’ve made my mistakes. A few years ago I decided to make a tutorial video of Sarah London’s Wool Eater Blanket because it was a free pattern. I didn’t ask for permission, I just did it. I did lead all viewers back to Sarah’s Blog and the pattern on her site and I made sure to let them know it was her pattern not mine. Because I did that, I thought everything was okay. However, on my video I had advertising so when viewers clicked or watched those ads I made money. I made money off of someone elses’ hard work and didn’t realize how wrong that was. When I realized the error of my ways, I did contact Sarah, but I didn’t hear back. There may be a lot of reasons for that, but I’m sure she wasn’t inclined as it was a breech. I have since taken down the Wool Eater Tutorial and I will contact Sarah again to see if putting up the tutorial without ads would be okay with her. You see, we can all get caught, but as Maya Angelou said “when you know better, you do better.” And that’s what needs to happen. More of us need to stand up for each other so more of us can do better.

Believe

Here’s a quick study: when I showed my brother what I could do with crochet, way back when I first started, and I asked what he thought the price should be, he said “think of a price and go up until you begin to laugh, that’s the price you should ask for it.” How incredible is that? Men don’t give their talents and skills away in the same we women do. Men believe that what they can do is valuable so they charge accordingly and we, men and women, pay them. I want to see that same respect in the crochet industry. We’re not all trying to get rich, but if we are, so what? Women can want to get rich because women have families. To get rich doing something  you’re passionate for is the best way to live life.

Let’s Build Up Together

So the bottom line is this. I filed a complaint with Amazon about my copyright infringement because although you have the right to do whatever you want with the finished product from my pattern, you DO NOT have the right to take my pattern and sell it as your own. You also do not have the right to make copies and give them to your friends or group partners or anyone. Even if my pattern is free online, you should direct anyone you want to share the pattern with to my website and be supportive of my work. Being supportive is not only making items from patterns but it’s understanding that the revenue from the traffic and ads on a website help feed the pattern designer. It’s understanding that just like you wouldn’t make 100 copies of a book, you can’t make 100 copies of a pattern and think it’s okay. Going forward it is my mission to create an environment where crochet artists and crochet professionals will come together in support of one another and with full integrity to help build the crochet industry and NOT kill it!

Tell me, what will your part be?

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Comments

  1. says

    Thoughtfully written article! I buy and grab patterns all the time (usually only ones I want to make or that have an unusual stitch or helpful technique that I want to try). I have never shared a pattern. When I have used someone else’s pattern, I give credit. I have things that I would like to put in my Etsy shop, but can’t find the original pattern, so I don’t list it – it wouldn’t be fair.
    Most patterns I have used get altered in some way by me, sometimes a lot (ha!), but I give credit. And applaud anyone that can transcribe accurately what is going on with their hook!

    One question for you, Sedie – when I am giving credit, if I don’t know the real creators name (sometimes bloggers are seemingly anonymous), is it all right to just give the blog or website name that I have? Should I put in an actual link? (sometimes those pages are ‘long gone’ (dead-ends))
    Thanks for your response and good luck!

    • sedruola says

      Kudos to you Ginger! We all need to be so diligent in making sure to give credit where credit is due. My answer would be, if you don’t know the name, but you know the company and the link doesn’t work, just name the company or website where you found the pattern. There really isn’t much more you can do beyond that. However, it should not keep you from creating since that is what the pattern was designed for. 😉 Great question!

  2. Sheila says

    I have noticed that in a couple of groups that I belong to on facebook that they are always asking for a pattern, they don’t care if the pattern is paid or not they just want it for free. How can you tell them that it is a paid pattern and not have to fret about getting the dirty look that most of them would give. I myself will always respect the designer when looking at a pattern and if it is a paid pattern then I will have to do without. If the designer is giving them away for free on her site then yay, that is how she will get paid by getting visitors. I have been asked where do I find them and I have always pointed them in the right direction of the designer. I truly believe in this world of crochet that it is hard for any designer no matter where they are whether they live in Canada or the States to be able to make a living from their craft.

    • sedruola says

      Thank you Sheila for being supportive of the industry. We, designers, know that not everyone will be able to buy all the time, so we offer what we can for free. However, for others to simply think they shouldn’t have to pay is a big problem. Yes, I know of those in groups who are always looking for a free pattern and if anyone says anything they are looked down on. I guess the best thing is not to fret when you know you are doing the right thing. When you get those dirty looks remember you’re standing up for a person behind that pattern. I think sometimes people forget that there is a person behind the design and distribution of the pattern. They don’t think that any cost goes into making the pattern so “who cares” if you can find it within yourself to remember that there is a person behind that pattern, I think you’ll find it easy to ignore the dirty looks because you’ll know you’re right. It isn’t easy. . . this article wasn’t easy, but we do it because it’s right, don’t we Sheila. 😉

    • says

      I am a member on a couple of those groups, too. If they start getting pushy, I just ignore them. If I get an email or IM from those insisting that I share a paid for pattern, I contact the person/s running the group and let them ‘deal’ with the pushy person.
      Choose your fights wisely and do what is right for everyone.

    • says

      I agree with you bsa4two (Ginger) about contacting the group moderators and getting them to deal with the person concerned. The crochet FB groups I am part of state explicitly in their membership terms that bought patterns are NOT to be exchanged among members and that interested parties must always be directed to the seller: some members keep trying to get the patterns for free though and I agree with Sedurola that it is important to call that kind of behaviour out and speak up for doing the right thing.

      Sedurola, thanks so much for this article. You’ve alerted me to an issue I hadn’t thought of before, and that is that it is important to be diligent about referring requests for freely available patterns back to the artist as well – not just in terms of giving due credit but to support website traffic and to support interest in the artist’s future work. I rarely get projects finished (well) enough to post about them on forums or in groups anyway, but I interact regularly with other crocheters who do. I will speak up now about the importance of referring interested people to the creator’s website or shop, even when the pattern being used has been made freely available by the artist.

      Thanks once again and best wishes.

    • sedruola says

      Thank you Donna! As we each do our parts in supporting one another, things can change. :)

    • says

      Hi Sedruola, I’d just like to apologise for spelling your name incorrectly in my previous post. I didn’t check properly before posting. I am sorry.

  3. says

    I had a pattern published in a magazine 20 years ago and would like to now feature that on my blog but I’m wondering if there’s a copyright infringement or can I go ahead and do it as long as I give credit back to the magazine?

    • sedruola says

      What an amazing question Cyndi! It depends on the contract you had with the magazine. If they purchased full lifetime rights you cannot re-publish without their consent. However, if there was a time limit to the exclusivity, then all rights revert back to you and you can re-publish as you’d like. Take a look at your contract or see if the magazine has that information in their files. Do all your due diligence and if no one has any record of the agreement, consult your attorney first, but use your pattern. :)

    • says

      Following this. Since old things have a way of becoming new again, I have wondered about patterns from out -of- print and ‘vintage’ books (if I could call them my own when I am not making a similar item (wristers vs. mittens, a scarf vs. an entire afghan, etc.).

    • says

      This triggers a question for me, as well. I found a lovely three-round motif in a book containing how-to-crochet instructions and a collection of basic crochet stitches and motifs, and I’m using the three-round motif as the basis for an afghan square I’m currently designing. The first three rounds are that motif. The rest is all me.

      If the first three rounds came from a crochet stitch collection featuring commonly-used motifs, and the rest is completely made up by me, is there any possibility of copyright infringement should I wind up offering the completed square for sale or use down the road?

      This feels akin to Vanilla Ice using the main hook from Queen’s “Under Pressure” to launch his “Ice Ice Baby” song… where is the line, and at what point does one cross it?

    • sedruola says

      Hey Jeanne, my understand is that you cannot take the full motif and call it your own, however, if you are using the basic stitches in a basic way and building upon them, then the completed design is yours. Stitches are meant to be used in designs, but the full motif cannot. Hope that’s clear. You may want to consult an attorney just to be completely sure of the blurred lines. Thanks for the great question.

  4. says

    What a wonderful article! I used to go pinterest and get free patterns, so I may have gotten a free pattern, that should have been paid for. I quickly learned to follow designers, and support them.
    What I don’t think some people know, or maybe don’t care, that by following and supporting designers, they almost ALWAYS, run promotions, give away patterns, have a list of free patterns on their websites.

    I will admit to not always wanting to support fellow sellers. Why would I want to follow, or support them, they are competition! I have since banished that thinking.

    It really makes me sad when I see people selling their work for pennies.

    • sedruola says

      Yes, following designers is the best way to know that you’re getting the pattern as they intend. And you’re right, we do run promotions, coupons and sales all the time! We love to give!! You are not alone in not wanting to promote other sellers, but if we all keep in mind that the river must flow and that there is enough for everyone, we’ll all do a lot better. There are very few that I see as competition because we all have our own unique “flavor” that will draw our own unique audience. Never worry about helping out a fellow seller, you never know who you’re reaching. :)

    • sedruola says

      Thank you! Yes, especially in women dominated industry where there is so much more stacked against the industry as a whole. 😉

  5. Valerie says

    Hi Sedruola – I get what you’re saying.
    With social media available today it has changed how things are shared. I grew up with Italian/ French women who were master knitters, crochet artists. They had magazines with patterns but most of them just looked at an article & knew how to make it. They all swapped patterns on a regular basis. That’s how I learned how to crochet – by watching. My 88 year old Mom can only make something if she has the finished product because she can’t read a pattern. Yet she is such an incredible crochet artist! I think the share system is wonderful but one must have respect for hard work & not just steel patterns. I can pretty much look at something & make my own pattern but I very often buy a pattern and never ever give it away just because I have it.
    I have so many people tell me I should sell my work but I always think I will never be paid what it is worth $. Good for you for talking about this!

    • sedruola says

      I LOVE that you grew up with a crochet circle, how wonderful is that?! Yes, things have changed because the industry has matured and more people are finding that this skill IS valuable and they can use the passion they have for crochet as their life’s work. I think back then, women were crocheting and not truly valuing it as the trade and skill it was. I know they were amazing, but most were not quite trying to see it or make it into a business. Everything evolves, the crochet industry is no different! :)

  6. Kathy Ludgate says

    A great article. I am relieved that my yarn group does not share patterns. We have a designer in the group who has shown us all the hard work that goes into pattern design.
    How do designers feel about borrowing books from the library?

    • sedruola says

      I love borrowing books from the library! It gives me an opportunity to see and experience a designer’s style and to know if it’s a book I’d like to purchase. I LOVE the library. What we need to be careful of is the copying of patterns from books so we can keep them and violating copyright, not to mention take revenue from the designer.

  7. says

    Thank you, Sedruola for such a well-thought-out, informative article!! I’m sure I’m guilty of some of the negative thinking, but mine probably stems from self-doubt. We do need to support each other! That’s just good business practice for men, but we (women) are taught differently by society! We have to change our way of doing things if we are to succeed in ANY business venture!

  8. says

    What a spot-on article of what is happening in the crochet world. Another culprit, I believe is free patterns – or the advertising of them. Seems all I see flooding my Facebook news feed these days is designers offering free patterns or collections of free patterns. Why not gather up a collection of patterns that are gorgeous, for sale, and worth every cent you’d pay for them? Designers know how people want freebies. But are these the people we want to keep attracting? If we have followers who are freebie-seeking groupies, how will our business thrive? I have done giveaways, and seen my stats soar to the heavens. But you know what? It didn’t increase my sales one iota. I want followers, customers – who know that my work is quality, and appreciate the cost of it. I love my art, but it is also my livelihood.

    • sedruola says

      I agree with you. I think that if everything is always free, then the audience gets used to never having to pay and resenting to pay. However, that may be the designer’s model and it works for them. What I think works best is to understand what each of us wants to do in our businesses, what we want to attract to our businesses and stay true to that knowing that we WILL attract those we are wanting to connect with. I’ve seen it happen over and over again. Not all free seekers are just out for free, some just want to know what style the designer has. But staying true and being sincere in what we offer and confident in what we do is so very important. Thank you so much for your comment.

  9. peggy says

    LOVE the quote from your brother on how much to charge for your creations!! A great method

  10. Eileen says

    Good article. However the bad experience I had buying a pattern directly from a designer left me very leery about buying more. The stitch count was off. I was able to prove it using a chart. The designer refused to help me saying there was nothing wrong with the pattern.
    As for copyright infringement, I stopped reporting it. It’s next to impossible to get infringed material removed from websites. Especially ISSUU. Worst ever.

    • sedruola says

      No one said it would be easy, but nothing worthwhile is. As for the designer who didn’t want to help you, very shortsighted. I don’t know any designers who would be unwilling to help on a pattern. I’m sorry you had a bad experience, but you can’t throw out the whole bushel because of one bad apple. 😉

  11. Dawn says

    I’m sorry that you have experienced this, but thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. And although you talk about crochet, I believe that your insight can be used across any form of crafting. :-) Makes me think twice about what and how I share too.

  12. says

    Great article! I think we all need to create consciousness. If you let me, I would like to translate this to share with Spanish-speakers crocheters.

  13. says

    Its just like writing an academic essay, you need to put your sources. It give me a lot to think about with my wishes to sell my items in the future.

  14. Lenna Brown says

    Thank you, i belong to some groups but I do not normally post because I will not give my patterns to others that I paid for. I do not understand why other women should ask for patterns that someone has spent a lot of hours of time and talent producing for free for another person that paid for it. Please pay for your patterns or at least donate to the ladies that are putting out free patterns for us to use.

  15. says

    Actually the 2 factors that drive down the value of crochet are: 1. sweatshop labor, 2. old guard feminists who still believe we must earn permission to be equal from males by proving we can do their jobs. You can’t expect a stay at home mom to take food out of her kids mouths just for her pride in her work. Sweatshop prices set the low bar in the crochet business. Kids can’t eat pride. Women’s low self-esteem is not what is keeping pricing low. Furthermore… crochet is a luxury item now that we have countless textile choices. So society views crochet as a hobby & you are seen to be goofing off if you crochet. This mindset directly comes from the scam men pulled on the early feminists when they patronized women to believe if we could just prove that we can do the same jobs as men then we could earn equality from men. To this day, women have this idea that if you aren’t out there proving you can perform both the traditional male gender role of providing AND the traditional female role of nurturing then you are doing a great disservice to all women. Both men and women devalue crochet based on this fallacious bargain for women to earn equality. Women never stopped to think that if you have to ask permission to be equal… then you really aren’t equal. Women never ask themselves what blacks had to change about themselves in order to earn equality. Nothing… they changed nothing. They earn equality by simply being born. Yet women will perpetuate this farce by shaming other women who crochet. At a baby shower where I gave crochet gifts my sister in law said “I wish I could sit around all day making pretty things but some of us have to work”. I know she said it only because she is taught that only women who have “real jobs” outside the home have value as human beings. Males dreamed that up. So when you couple that mindset most have that crochet is goofing off plus the fact that Target sells a crochet tablecloth for $20 THEN you have the true reason why women are not being fairly compensated for their art. WE are not killing our craft… society is. Most of us are being swept along in the moment without any choice in the matter. Like the author above, I learned an embarrassing lesson when I first started selling my work. I got very angry at women selling for ridiculous low prices. I demanded to know why from 2 women (the worst ones about undercutting). I got back very polite letters explaining to me they have no choice. Both are stay at home mothers. One does various other jobs & crochets in spare time to make ends meet because it’s all she knows how to do. The other one is a disabled mother of several kids who would have her kids removed by welfare services if she can’t feed them properly. I learned that my assuming everyone who crochets has the luxury of holding out for higher prices lacked human empathy for others on my part. I hope you ladies realize this too.

    • sedruola says

      You are right, the thing we need to change most are the false beliefs we hold because of what we’ve been told throughout the ages. It is the same for any craft that is female dominated and made to seem like a “pastime” you are absolutely right. I totally understand that many people have many different situations and that we can’t all do the same, but we have to honor ALL. When I say WE I also include myself since that I KNOW I hold some limiting thoughts that I also need to change. So yes, WE are hurting ourselves because of what we have been conditioned to think. . . but WE have the power to change that going forward. . . that is what I mean to do. :) Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment.

    • says

      A male doctor sitting at the next hand therapy table made a very interesting comment after I pulled out my crochet hook and yarn to give my therapist a demonstration. He said, “Ahhh, it’s the time to drive out depression.” The gall! This kind of reaction in seeing a woman with crochet hook in hand is what makes this artful craft look like a hobby or relaxation “thingy”. Geeez!

    • sedruola says

      LOL I couldn’t help but laugh, you are so right! Until it can all be seen as viable, we have to keep the process of educating! :)

  16. Andrea says

    Sedruola Thank you for the article. Have been asked directly for the stitch and count for a pattern I wrote. I then had to take the picture down because people were trying to figure it out to keep from buying the pattern. I have invested a lot of money in patterns because I like the design and I want to support the designer. I am sure I could figure it out if I had time but I don’t have time. It is bad enough having to educate people about the value of an Artisian’s time. I no longer back down or negotiate my prices. I refuse to lower my prices to get a sell. If they wanted at the price I set I find they are loyal and the appreciate my work. If I lower my prices to me it means I don’t really value my time or talent.

  17. Deborah says

    I am new to the crochet world, but not to the way women treat one another out in the world – whether that be in business, church (sadly), neighborhood play groups – whatever…. It always grieves me when I see women tearing one another down, as if they aren’t, in the process, tearing down everything they themselves have worked for! I found myself saying YES! YES! after every point you made. I’ll be saving this to share as needed! 😉

  18. Sue. says

    Well written. In years past I thought nothing of copying a sewing pattern for a friend…I paid for it, right? I have changed my mind and practice of doing that with any item/pattern. The creator deserves the dues…they worked hard for that. At the same time, if I use a free pattern with the request to not sell the items, or to direct interested people to a website, I honor that as well. The author/creator deserves their due!

  19. gina black says

    I admit, in the past I shared patterns with family, friends and accepted patterns from them, then a friend asked if I could write down a pattern from a sweater I made up as I went along. That truly is work and heaven forbid you get to stitching and forget to write down a row. Now I’m selfish when I don’t share a pattern. When I realized how difficult it is I realized that the cost of most patterns is a pittance for the work involved. I’m sure the ladies at the shops I most frequent think I’m nuts when I return to buy the same pattern several times.

    • sedruola says

      LOL You are amazing! Yes, it is work and I so appreciate you being supportive of that. Like I said in the article, we all get caught. But when you know better, you do better. :)

  20. Gloria Philley says

    I design many patterns, for my own use and on the fly. I never write them down. However, I do share photographs in posts to my community sites. I recently saw a design and a link to the pattern, a designer calling it her own. Different color motif than mine, but looked exactly the same as the one I had posted. So weird to see this motif in a different color, but the same exact motif I had designed. Nothing was even in the advertisement saying they had copied the design, or made from the design. Just listing the design as theirs. I must say it looked like they had done a marvelous job of copying the stitches. I never said anything because they were not charging for the pattern (at least) or I would have commented on the post letting it be known that it was a stolen design. I do not want credit, I just will not trust this person and never will get a pattern from them. I can never trust they might be giving away or selling someone elses work.

    I download as many free patterns as anyone, but always give credit as to where I got it. I always give the website address if anyone wants to get a pattern I have crocheted. I always give a book name if I have purchased a pattern to anyone wanting that pattern. Never will I give a copied pattern, paperwise or filewise.

    I don’t care how many dirty looks or slurs I get. Not my place to share someone or anyone’s patterns. We all work hard to produce our work. Especially designers. I know how it is to develop a pattern, lots of hours and lots of frogging. :)

    Thank you for your article, it is spot on. Maybe more people will see the importance of being fair and there is a real person behind every pattern. :)

    • sedruola says

      Yes!! We have to show the humanity behind the patterns. Too many people forget that someone put a lot of time into creating. Thank you for standing up and thank you for your comment! :)

  21. says

    My crochet business is relatively new, having sold the freeform crochet items at local fairs. The hardest thing is to decide my worth, as I’m one to give away what people want and enjoy. Your article has given me a boost in protecting my art and to understand value in a woman’s business in this industry. You are so right when you mentioned that other women will think that no one will pay that for that, and I’ve had visitors at my exhibit booth express surprisingly, “But it’s crochet.” My answer is, “I spent more than 40 hours to create this without a pattern . . .”. Thank you for the person that shared this article in our FB group. Thank you for writing an encouraging, though stern warnings, for those who think that crochet is not a business for hard earned dollars. I’m proud of being able to make high-end fashions and happy that some of my crochet friends are very supportive.

    • sedruola says

      Yay! Thank you for your comment. I have seen beautiful freeform and my advice is to find the audience that understands. It’s not for everyone, but for the one who knows the worth, they will gladly pay a premium because the understand. We need to make sure we keep pushing through. Wishing you tons of success and keep holding on to your worth! :)

  22. says

    I am in a group where we get asked for patterns all the time whenever we post our work. No matter where I got the pattern, I link the place to purchase it. I will never give anyone a pattern I bought for free. When people post in the group a free pattern that I know belongs to another crocheter who charges, I make sure to let the admins know. I have my own crochet business, I hear all the time that my prices are too high. Apparently any talent I have and my time are worth nothing because I work with my hands. I have been teaching my children that there is no shame in working with your hands and you should be paid well for your work. So I will never participate in the horrible practice of ripping off other crocheters.

    • sedruola says

      Kudos to you! Yes, what you do IS worth money. What we need to do is educate and keep strong. Good for you for teaching your kids the lessons along the way. :)

  23. craftybegonia1 says

    Great article, Sedruola. It is true, we should support one another but a lot of people don’t. I’ve been taken advantage of more than once, but that does not stop me from believing in and trying to uplift others, because, you know, when I do that, it lifts me up too. Best wishes!

    • sedruola says

      We all get burned, but being true to what we know is right will always pay better dividends. :) Thank you!

  24. says

    Great article & a thought-provoking read. Too often I have seen lovingly crafted creations being sold for cost price (or less!) because “no one wants to pay more”. Or “they can buy a similar mass-produced thing for £xx on the high street”. It just makes no sense to me. Of course people don’t want to pay more all the time someone else is selling it for pennies! And if you want mass-produced, go & buy mass-produced! But it won’t be anywhere near the same quality as handmade. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle. Only by selling our creations for what they are really worth will our customers stop expecting them for less.

  25. says

    Love your article and all the replies to it!! I would love to share my experience here as a designer of free patterns/tutorials, but there is not enough space or time!!! ;oD
    Thank you, xxxx Alessandra

    • sedruola says

      LOL thank you. . . and I totally understand, nothing more needs to be said! Let’s push forward and educate. 😉

  26. says

    Although laughable, what would happen to our industry when someone pays more than $2500 for one of my pieces? It really is sad that many crocheters look at a finished product, say that “I can do it cheaper”! They sell at exhibit shows stuff that everyone else makes. Crocheters in this industry should be moving away from the old styles because the new generation demands change.

    • sedruola says

      If you find the right audience that understands what your talent is worth, there is no reason you cannot earn $2500 on an amazing crochet piece! There really is room for everyone, but we all need to play nicely together. :) I would be the first to congratulate you on your sale!

  27. says

    To anyone complaining how much is charged for a pattern, I say “Fifty whacks with a wet noodle!”. Those patterns are, most likely, the ones that have been tested by several people, painstakingly written out, possibly videotaped so everyone can see just how to create that special stitch, etc.
    SO MUCH WORK goes into a pattern and most folks don’t ask a tenth of what they should or could. And some don’t even ask for the credit due them.
    I don’t have the money for many patterns I would like to try, but when I do, it goes toward patterns I want to have on hand for when I find great yarns.

  28. Simone says

    We’ll said! This attitude is all-too-prevalent in crochet. I agree that women are too quick to tear each other down. I find it frustrating when crocheters don’t realise that a reluctance to pay for patterns and a difficulty with charging (or receiving) a fair price for a piece are often two sides of the same coin.
    Great article, Sedie and best wishes for your mission!

  29. says

    Sedie, I’ve been in your position where I wanted to make an instructional video on how to use a free bead crochet software program (Jbead). Because of the time and effort it would take to fully learn the program and make a tutorial on it, I thought about the possibility that the owner might complain. And I would have to take it down after all of the hard work I put into it.

    So, I contacted the owner (not expecting an answer) and to my surprise, I not only received an answer, but also the green light to go ahead and make the video:). So, my point here is, it pays to ask for permission. And even though many of us fear rejection… the big NO. It’s a natural part of everyday life. Continue moving forward in another direction and remember, when one door closes, another opens:)

  30. says

    I have never thought of it this way. I think you are totally right but… at the same time I can make what my eyes see. Most of the time I don’t need the pattern, because I already see, by looking at it, how to make it… That’s what I want to oppose… it is like something you already have, and than you have to buy it. Can you grasp my point? BUT But but but… I think you are right and if I’m really not able to make it by just looking at it, THAN I buy the pattern. Gladly.
    Thanks for pointing this out. Maybe I will dare to ask higher prices one day for my products. I will use the ‘laughing-rule’.

    • sedruola says

      I can relate with that Karin, there are some incredibly talented people like you who can look and do. We cannot ask that you change that. But, as you said, if you can’t figure it out and you do need some help then, yes, buy the pattern! :) I LOvE the “Laughing Rule” I may have to keep calling it that! Thank you for your comment!

  31. says

    I was raised by and around very smart, strong women. They knew how to survive anything and taught me the same. I want to be clear that I have a great love and respect for all they did to build from where they were but somehow I never quite fit and always seemed to go against the grain lol. Even as a child I felt why just survive it ? Why can’t we change it? Why just survive when we can thrive and be happy? Your article brought much thought and I really enjoyed reading it and all the comments ! However it is said, I think it needs to be said and talked about. How much and for how long? As much as it takes! I was taught to only charge twice the cost of materials. Crochet put food on the table more than a few times for my grandma and mom. They worked hard because they loved their family. Change is needed and I think we all have a responsibility to do what we can. We have to function around what is to some degree but can choose to stop feeding the negative and step away from it. Sometimes this means being brave enough to speak up and say it again or yes even raise your voice! To do it your way and keep going even if others discourage it. Just because someone else doesn’t see what you dream doesn’t mean you can’t do it. We can do our part to lift ourselves and each other as we go through life. Each small thing we do matters. I consider myself a quiet rebel lol. I start with myself and my life and reach out where I can along the way. I want to build my business like I work to build my life. If someone doesn’t realise their skill is of value we can speak up and encourage them. If they are ready to hear it they will or they may remember it when they are ready. We all start from wherever we are and follow the path meant for us/what we choose. I’ve learned in life that you can often choose a lot more than you think :)

    • sedruola says

      Thank you Pattie for your comment! Yes, I believe we CAN change things starting with ourselves and encouraging others. That is my mission. I believe we CAN grow and build and receive what is good for all our efforts. I am so happy when I meet others who know it to be true too. Thank you so much! :)

  32. says

    I love this and am so happy I found it! I just wrote a huge rant on Facebook today about how people have disrespected my work and it’s so great to read this and know that I’m not alone. I’ve been selling patterns online since 2006 and it seems that recently everyone is giving their patterns away, relying on ads and affiliate programs to pay them, but it’s making it so hard for people who actually sell their patterns. I think it’s great that they can make money that way but it’s teaching buyers that there is no reason to pay for patterns, devaluing the work of those who sell their patterns.

    I actually had a woman message me to shame me, basically saying I’m horrible for trying to profit off of others in the crochet community when others are giving their patterns away for free. I’ve really wanted to write about this on my own blog for quite a while now but have bit my tongue for fear of making people hate me and scaring off potential customers. I’m so glad you spoke up!

    • sedruola says

      Stick to it and more will come around! I know it’s hard, but find your own path and your own voice. I does make it hard to sell when so many are just giving it away because the believe it’s the only way to go because the audience at large is “not paying” but we have to shift that thinking. I LOVE your stuff and I’m so happy you came by and left a comment! stay strong and know you are so worth it! :) BTW I LOVE Your Avenue C Slouchy hat. I purchased it on Ravelry made it and love it! I plan on making more for gifts this year. Don’t let anyone “shame” you for anything . . shame on them for doing that.

    • says

      oh yay! I’m thrilled that you’ve used one of my pattern and enjoyed it! :)

      I hope to find my voice in all of this, to help get people to shift their thinking about selling their work rather than giving it away along with helping people realize the value in supporting designers (as well as not sharing patterns like you talked about).

  33. says

    First let me say very enlightening article. I do not consider myself a designer. I have been crocheting since I was 9 and I’ll be 50 next month. Throughout the years I have had shows and tried to sell the items I’ve made. In my experience they never want to pay what they are truly worth So I have ended up giving them as gifts. But that soon slowed too because I couldn’t stand to see my creations being mistreated. I still crochet but I keep what I make..lol. I have many patterns that I have bought over the years but I fine I very rarely follow it to a exact science…my question is the things that I make from the patterns are they not my creations?…I have never said that it was my orginal creation but I do say I made this…is that wrong?

    • sedruola says

      Hello Frankie! Thank you for your comment. No, saying that you made them is not wrong. You did make them. The only time you really need to give credit to a designer is when promoting online because it helps their traffic as well. But if you’re selling at shows it’s not pertinent to give the pattern designer information because chances are the customer doesn’t care. On think I’ve found is that shows vary greatly and if you truly want to sell what an item is worth, they are not likely the best place. :)

  34. Lindy Doolan says

    Yes agree but I have a problem I have crochet over 50 years learnt from my mother a few years we were talking the same thing a friend said I could sell or give what I was crochet I justlaugh bbecause my mother show me when was young so anything my mother show me or I design my self I happy to give so what I trying to say I did not stolen from anyone they stolen from my mother

  35. says

    Really well written article! I agree with everything you said. And I also learned a bit about copyright and ads on pages that share your patterns – as a crochet artist I am aware that some people share my patterns on their sites/blogs but never thought of the money they potentially make in ads or the traffic they can generate. Not to mention that I’m positive my patterns are floating around where they shouldn’t be, that people are selling the finished item based on my pattern without crediting me, and that when I sell my patterns I feel like I’m over charging because no one wants to pay $6 for “just a pattern”. Your article has made me think a lot, thank you for writing this and sharing it :)

    • sedruola says

      Thank YOU! I’m so glad I could help you see some things that may be happening so you can also help others understand the impacts. Wishing you continued success in your business. :)

  36. Linda says

    Well done! An excellent article. I agree eith whats what’s been said by others here as well. A few thoughts: I think part of the reason the public in general “will not pay” a fair price is due to a couple of reasons. Firstly, there is a widespread mindset that doing something yourself is cheaper than buying it, usually made in a factory. True in many cases, certainly in decades gone by. But that’s why people think a çrocheted afghan is not worth the undervalued price of say $75-100. The poor crafter may be making only $25 profit and paying herself 50 cents an hour. I’ve started giving time quotes when people suggest I could make and sell certain items for profit. Last week a couple of coworkers suggested I make and sell the knitted shawl I was wearing. I replied I could probably get $20 or $30 for it, I guess. They agreed and said maybe even $40. I then told them I paid almost that much for the yarn and it took me about 60 hours to make. :) Also, many people seem to think because we enjoy our craft, we should not be compensated for our time, only our materials. I love the saying “Just because a chef likes to cook doesn’t mean they’ll work for free”. Thirdly, many of us grew up getting free patterns on yarn wrappers or as free leaflets available in the yarn section. Of course at the time, we don’t realize they are doing this only as an advertising gimmick to sell their yarn, which is where they make their money. I also have a story to share, will post it momentarily…

  37. says

    Last fall I was wearing a crocheted shawl I’d made. I ran into a coworker (not one of the above) who was to be married in a month or two. She stopped to tell me she loved my shawl. Then she said “Hey! I wonder, would it be possible for me to hire you? I thought, “hire”? She then she’d love to have 3 of the same or similar shawls in black for her wedding party, they didn’t have to be the same as each other, if I could work out a price and get back to her.. I was kinda stunned at first, and only got out a few words of a polite “sorry I cant”. But she interrupted “Oh never mind! What was I thinking? There’s not nearly enough time. Besides I could never afford you. Your stuff is so beautiful and creative. Wish I could though.. Gotta run, see ya!” and she was gone. I was thinking that was the strangest “almost sale” I ever had. Until I realized, she knows the value of time, and effort, and skill, and doing things over and over, and creativity. Because her second job, which is also her first love, is being a musician. That was when I realized, the right kind of people WILL pay a fair price. I know for certain she would have. Other side of this coin, I recently crocheted a few items for free, I only accepted money towards the cost of materials on the advice of my mom. Again a coworker asked if she could “pay” me to make a hat for her niece. The rest of the story was her 1 1/2 year old great niece was hospitalized on the weekend, had just been diagnosed with cancer, would be undergoing chemo. I told her no, she could not pay me for making them, but that little girl was getting a hat. I found out she liked princesses and the colours pink and yellow. I made her a few gorgeous looking little hats in “her” colours, one even had a beaded crown attached. My mom suggested I let my coworker give me money towards the yarn, so she too, could feel she was giving the hats to the little girl. So I accepted the $20, but told her I wanted nothing more. She said that probably didn’t cover the yarn, never mind my time. I said oh well, too bad, that was enough. Anyways, it was only a coincidence she wanted to buy a hat from me, as I would have offered to make a few once I knew what had happened. And the little girl is done her chemo now, awaiting results of follow up tests, for those who may be wondering. :)

    • sedruola says

      How absolutely inspiring your stories are! First, I’m thrilled about your bride story because that’s what I try to tell people all the time. Those who understand WILL pay your Fair price if you have the confidence and belief to ask it. Instead what most of us do is back down or shrink at the idea that we’re asking to be paid for our skills. Second I LOVE your hat story because it shows that even though we are in business, we have heart! Stay tuned to Yarn Obsession for some very exciting updates. . . We believe in giving and helping, but we DO NOT have to give everything all the time in order to be considered generous. We should be able to make a living from what we love as well. Thank you so very much for sharing your beautiful inspiring stories with us Linda! :)

  38. Linda says

    You’re very welcome, happy to have shared. Looking forward to reading more. And BTW both those posts are me, Linda and Linda Sh, one from my tablet and one from my desktop PC. Logged in differently I guess. :)

  39. says

    I have thoroughly enjoyed your article and all of the wonderful comments. I have also experienced some weirdness that has left me shaking my head… For example, the woman at a craft fair who asked me if my items really sell at such high prices!

    Most of my finished products were priced in the “moderate” range at that time. However, when I began charging more, customers appreciated my work more. Those customers tend to be repeat customers that come to me with special requests and bring other customers with them. I have recently become more comfortable with the quality and value of my work, and I am much happier.

    • sedruola says

      Great point Audrey! Those who pay the price you set tend to be more loyal and do bring more business. Good for you for sticking to your worth! :)

  40. says

    Hi! Great article. I admit, I’m one of those who doesn’t price her work according to the time I put in. But I want to. I want to charge $100 for a wool cowl I made. The only thing that even remotely is priced for the time is spend is my name doilies, but even then, it is priced too low to give me an “hourly” wage. I did try it. I tried to price my items closer to how they should be priced if I were paying myself an hourly wage. No one bought anything! My sales were stagnant and I was upset. So, now, I’ve slowly been raising my prices on my popular items. If I have a waiting list for a particular item, I’ll raise the price a little. I’m making a profit off the yarn, for sure.

    • sedruola says

      Jen, I understand the dilemma. It sounds like finding the exact right audience would really help you make the money you should with your items. :)

  41. says

    I usually just say “this pattern is from the blog Blah Blah Blah, by Username”. If that’s all the info they’re willing to share about themselves, that’s probably all they want me to say when giving them credit!”

  42. Judi Ames says

    Excellent article…the first time I sold an item, it was one I made for charity…I had *not* made it to sell; but when asked I had no idea what to charge…and when I said, ‘well, $x or $y’, I was told $y was too high and took the $x…the next time, different group, I said ‘$y’ and got it…I’ve seen this dynamic at work and know exactly what you’re talking about…I would never resell a pattern; I know how hard it is to make things and not have people realize that you put so much time into it and deserve to be paid for your time…and now back to FaceBook to share your article…keep up the good fight, sweetie! ^_^

  43. Terri H says

    Great article and I sort of saw some mention of what I’m about to discuss but nothing really clear cut about it. I’ve been crocheting for over 40 years and I can usually figure out a pattern from looking at a picture of the item. Often I see a combination of stitches that I like in a pattern without wanting to do that particular item. Some time later, when I’m deciding what I’m creating next I’ll remember a combination of stitches or even part of a particular pattern and incorporate it into my design. For example, I saw a table runner with a background pattern I liked a lot and incorporated that part of the pattern into a cover-up I was making for someone as a gift. But sometimes I’ll make something and have a vague feeling that I’ve seen that stitch combination or pattern before, I just can’t remember from where. I’ve been thinking off and on about selling some of my work and wondered if I use a pattern, subconsciously remembering something I’ve seen, should I be concerned about copyright infringement if I claim the pattern is my own design, since as far as I know it is from my head. Also I’ve noticed that there have been times when I’ve come up with a design that is very similar to a design someone else posts a while later on. Sometimes there are several differences and sometimes only the colour choices vary. Kind of weird when that happens. Since, as far as I know I’ve never seen that pattern from that designer before, should I be worried about copyright infringement? I don’t exactly record all my designs with dates of when I come up with them or even the patterns if it’s something I know I can repeat easily.

    • sedruola says

      Hey Terri, the short answer to your question is no. There are many patterns that are similar and it is almost impossible to claim infringement unless they are exactly alike. If you create a pattern and it turns out looking like another, that may be coincidence that can’t be helped. Just don’t take a pattern and claim it as your own. :) You’re fine.

    • says

      Terry, I went online to see whether my free form crochet products can be copyrighted, patented, or trademarked. A piece of art, music, and website name, etc., can be copyrighted. An invention is patented. A logo, brand, company name, or product can be trademarked. I filed a trademark for the name of my business and logo with the State for a small fee. United States Government (http://www.uspto.gov/) Patent and Trademark Office costs much more, often requiring an attorney.

  44. says

    Thank you for this great article, and thank you for having the guts to say it and be heard! I have shared this on my fb page and my blog, as it needs to get to as many crafters as possible.

  45. says

    I’m glad to read this fine article and applaud you for putting an empowering spin on a topic that is often dealt with in a “victim” mentality, which, to me, is off-putting.

    Now, I do have a question about ethical “crafting” behavior: A customer sent me a uploaded photo of some boot slippers for sale on etsy, which were knitted, and she asked me to make her a pair like them. I don’t knit very often and I asked the person if she minded if I tried to crochet a facsimile. She was a bit vague, only saying she wasn’t against it but that the pattern was hers. She wasn’t selling the pattern only the product. What do you think? Was it wrong of me to make my customer a pair of boot slippers like hers?

    • sedruola says

      Hi, It sounds a little strange to me, but if the pattern actually was hers why would she need you to create the item for her, if she had designed the pattern? But, having said that, if she just needed to see about testing the pattern etc. then it’s find that you made them for her. :)

    • says

      Apologies if I was too vague or confusing, but the customer sent me a photo of someone else’s boot slippers that they had for sale on etsy.com. She wanted me (since I’d crocheted items for her in the past) make something like them for her. Is that clearer?

    • sedruola says

      Yes, that is clearer. If you are not selling the pattern, but selling a completed piece I don’t see a problem. However, it’s important we don’t undercut another Artist because it undermines everyone. If they were selling the booties for $60 based on their business needs, but you said you could do it for $45, that undermines their ability to do business and it undermines your ability to do business for your business needs as well. Why, because when your business expenses begin to grow, and your prices are very low, you’ll have a hard time keeping up and you’ll then understand why the other artist was charging $60. I’m not saying that’s what you did, but I just want anyone reading this to be aware that pricing is not done in a vacuum and it does affect everyone else. :)

    • says

      Someone else said they were hired to make something for a customer. Hourly rate was reasonable. I hope you sold your product from her pattern at your reasonable hourly rate. If minimum wage is $17.00 an hour, what is your hourly rate? I’m selling my products at $20 per hour, and made the same in my other career plus mileage and bonus. I just told myself in this writing that my hourly rate is too low. Professionals sell their time at no less than $30 per half-hour. Wonder why I’m not for my time? Go figure!

    • says

      Minimum wage is only $8.25, last I checked, at least here in TN. I have a difficult time with your reasoning, Donna Mae, considering I used to make $28/hr as a licensed registered nurse but don’t think crocheting is worth quite the same reimbursement. It’s not that I don’t feel my skill has value, I just don’t think it’s THAT valuable, when compared. I also take into consideration that I crochet some items quite rapidly (depending on the stitch, yarn, size of hook) and some take longer. So one afghan might price at $40 while another might price at $80 (I’ve only been charging $2/hr base rate). I once read that you should double your equipment costs, then add your work value and other costs not yet considered to come up with a price. If I charged even $10 and hour for my items, I’m thinking a simple hat would cost $60 dollars minimum. Who would pay that? I’m not trying to be ugly here, I’m just trying to make sense of your pricing and make sense of my own at the same time..

  46. says

    Patti, I also as a child felt like I didn’t fit among the crowd. Most of the time I found that our society in general find survival in groups, like frats, cliques, clubs and other social groups. Most artists create alone where their creativity comes alive. Maybe our crochet industry is lacking agents who help to find artistic work that crocheters want to sell, the crochet artist not having to spend time marketing themselves. Our only exposure are arts and crafts shows. I’m blessed that a community artist program has welcomed my crochet art and featuring my work all month in their bank lobby, their workers to be models…with an elaborate reception and free advertising. Some art galleries feature 2 dimensional art, and fewer welcome an assortment of crochet art (wearable or other). The public could then be attracted to a “Crochet Art Gallery” and come to realize how beautiful and valuable our industry’s worth. If I had the finances, I’d open one and welcome the whole country to participate. This could be a way to change the direction of our industry. You think?

  47. Carol says

    I really enjoyed your article. Some things are never to be taken for granted. And a crochet item for sale or gift is just as valuable as the person who made it. However, the idea of a handmade item doesn’t always get the appreciation of the reciever. I have had people scoff at my items and make fun of my designs. On the otherhand, i have had people go nuts over my free patterns, and then be disappointed when I didn’t give other patterns away. I have had people beg me to sell my finished items and currently I have about 20 people on a waiting list to buy my first paid pattern. I believe I am in the right group of people here. I have a lot to learn about getting started. I really want to market my pattern or patterns. I am sort of retired, actually disabled. I ‘m legally blind and hearing impaired., but can still knit and crochet. I’m 60 years old and have been crocheting since I was 17, and knitting since age 22. I’m really looking forward to any advice or help I can get/ learn here. Thank you for this site.

    • sedruola says

      Carol, Kudos to you for continuing to work with your yarn. There are always those who will scoff, make fun and not appreciate what we do. We don’t need to worry about them. The people we need to find and cater to are those who understand what we do, what it takes to do it and appreciate our value. It sounds to me like you are on track to find and enjoy success with those people. Keep holding on to your value and what you will attract are those who will see your value. If you keep coming, I’m going to keep writing! :) Thank you for being here.

  48. Barbara says

    There really is a difference between men and women when it comes to paying for our efforts! Thank you for this thoughtful article!

  49. says

    @cwoverfi, Here seems to be that “perceived value” notion coming up. Yes, a doctor or nurse spends years in school to get licensed to do their work. A knitter or crocheter does not go to “school”, per se, but learns from experience, other fiber artists (often a family member) and now, YouTube and the Internet.
    That does not diminish the ‘value’ of their work.
    If that were the case, then a few bad doctors and nurses would make the entire medical profession be on par with the alchemists of the Dark Ages.
    Sorry if this may sound snarky, but this is the kind of thinking that is currently preventing me from being able to get artist’s grants. Many on the board of grant approval are in the medical profession and deem crochet as unartistic (and you should see some of their paintings – hoo boy!), and lump it into the grade school arts & crafts league. Therefore, I struggle to run a business with an 11 year old computer.
    If a basket weaver can ask hundreds of dollars for a small basket (and get it!), we should be able to ask a decent, livable wage for our efforts and minimum wage is not a livable wage.

    • says

      @bsa4two and @carmenarce. I kind of see it like sewn apparel. If it’s designer brand, then you pay more. Or if it’s made from silk or wool or some other more expensive fabric – you get my drift. I don’t mind charging more for something I’ve made and designed that I consider truly beautiful and one of a kind, but a simple acrylic hat or scarf, that I’ve followed a free pattern for, no. I want regular folks that barely make ends meet to be able to buy something handmade and be warm &/or feel fashionable, too. That said, I also make higher end afghans and charge more but they’re still affordable.
      I don’t think my perhaps plainer crochet items undermine a high end crochet shop that I can’t afford to shop in ($60 for an acrylic scarf? Really?). As a matter of fact, the high end shops seem to do quite well, so there are folks out there that obviously have money to spend.
      I do want to be supportive of the “crochet industry” so I’ll certainly think about all that’s been said here and mull it over next time I make something to sell and price accordingly. Crochet and knitting is becoming popular again, so I think there’s room for everyone out there.
      Also, @bsa4two, the grant approval board needs to be sent some of the gorgeous crochet items coming out of the Ukraine and South America. If they were exposed to that type of fiber artistry perhaps it would open their eyes. They probably think it’s all hats, scarves, socks and afghans. Of course, I don’t know what type of crochet you do, maybe you could share a link?

  50. says

    Hello, I enjoyed your article and the responds from others.I am a firm believer of buying patterns that I like. I have also been subscribing to magazines for years.I do not share any of my paid patterns. I get some of my patterns through testing for pattern writers. Some patterns I like more than others, but, it’s a way of learning new terms. I always wanted to write some hat patterns because I’ve been crocheting for 50 plus years which I learned from my mom. She was one of those that did not read patterns but, could crochet some beautiful things. I admire those that can write patterns and yes it’s sad that some don’t see how much work goes into it. I never sold my items until 5 years ago when my daughter said it was a way to make a little extra money which came in handy. I did like everyone else and could not charge what I should have. I think that things will change as long as we stick together. Crochet and knitting is becoming very popular. I see it everywhere. Hang in there.

    • sedruola says

      Thank you so much for your comment Carmen! Yes, I will hang in there and keep going because I too see that things are moving in the right direction. :)

  51. says

    Audrey, I am so new in designing fashion, and newer to crochet than most everyone. I’m happy that you began charging more and found customers willing to pay what your products are worth. Also, it would be so nice to see other vendors and online crochet sellers sell their patterns at prices that reflect their ‘VALUE’. People want to make what others wear. Handmade crochet takes time, and pattern making are time consuming. Why are crochet patterns priced so low? Yes, it isn’t finished. Are these low prices of $5.00 or so a competitive price to “China” or other offshore goods? Value in pattern-made items shouldn’t be made to compete with manufactured items. I come from computer components industry, selling processes. If a customer wants only one sheet of a gold-plated copper panel for their integrated circuit here’s how I priced our process: Cost of prototype (1 sheet) artwork minimum $250 for setup; Minimum of five panels according to labor, plating, inspection, added. Basically, our prices was approximately twenty-five cents per square inch. Plus, cost to set up equipment and chemical baths, and so on. If it was a government small quantity, they understood that small quantities made to their specifications would be priced higher than large quantities–they paid the high price because they needed it. Industries selling processed items make a lot of profit. Crochet (handmade) is a long process industry involving “SELF”! One person can make a vest in a month or less. Educating the public that we buy our supplies and tools and classes and, others, is one of the biggest need. Crocheters that pay for exhibit costs and sell their products cheap don’t help our industry. Our crochet industry doesn’t have the respect of the buying public as other handmade crafting industry. When I sold a free form crochet item, the buyer tells me they are buying as appreciators of art, style and uniqueness. Had I not participated in three different venues, I might never have found the value of my work. I’m going to be selective as to where to show my work, and only for exposure. I’ve need to partner with someone who has marketing and sales experience in handmade goods. She knows the value of my work (she bought one of my high end items). Good luck, Audrey! I hope others who are reading these wonderful comments can glean what I have from Sedruola’s great article. I’m very grateful.

  52. sedruola says

    I’m thrilled to hear you say that you had to go to several shows before you found the right one with the right audience. That is SO IMPORTANT! Until we offer to those who truly understand the value of our items and truly value our talent we will always feel that no one will buy. :)