Last week I mentioned that I don't wholesale my designs. This week I thought I would share my reasons behind the decision I made last year.
No. 5: I'm a Rule Breaker.
I've never been one to follow rules, but rather use them as guidelines for a way to get started, or as a basis to make things better. Most designers go into this business to get picked up by a distributor and have their designs in shops all around the world. After attending Quilt Market several times, I quickly learned it was not my cup of tea. All it did was stifle my creativity and put a ridiculous amount of pressure on me to "pump out" another design. I felt like I lost my creative voice and the reason I took the whole "hop of faith" in the first place. Plus, my designs don't follow the rules for wool applique. My style, techniques and materials don't fit into the wool applique status quo. I rather like that. It's kinda fun being a rebel. hee,hee,hee.
No. 4: Brick and Mortar shops are disappearing.
Now, I know from teaching around the country that there are lots and lots of shops in the Midwestern states and some big ones out West, but here in the East, there really aren't that many and those that are here, don't sell wool. Also, since my designs aren't primitive or traditional, and I use wool blends instead of 100% wool, many stores are not interested in what I have to offer. Thus the reason I spent a fortune to open my own online shop. There is an exception though. I do offer my designs to ONE brick and mortar shop and that is because the shop owner, Lana Dunkerly, is a really dear friend of mine and is also a fellow bunny mama. Lana's shop is It Seams to be Sew. She is in Texas and you should visit her. Just say'in. ;)
No. 3: Some people are just naughty.
Well, there is always the ugly side to things isn't there? I tend to see the good in people and believe that they will treat me as good as I treat them, but that doesn't always happen. I have been burned soooooo many times now by shop owners, guilds and individuals. I had one shop owner order three patterns from me and then take them to the copy store where she proceeded to make copies and sell them in her shop. Another shop owner purchased my book and then taught classes out of the book making copies of the pattern pages for all the students. Then don't get me started on the guilds who copy hundreds of patterns for guild members, or the shops in other countries who steal because there is no way to press charges against them. Now I know you might be thinking "well it's not that big of a deal," but for me it is. This is my job. Let me give you an example. Let's say twelve students took a class and didn't buy my $19 book, twelve students didn't pay $12 for my pattern and 125 guild members didn't pay $12 for my pattern. That comes to a whopping $1,872.00 that was stolen from me and the bunnies. Honestly, I don't know of anyone who would want to keep working if their boss said, "I'm taking $1,872.00 from you this month because I don't feel like paying you. You should just continue to work and do a wonderful job making things for me to enjoy for free." Ok, enough on that as it makes me so upset that I cry. I just keep repeating this to myself. "I deserve to get paid for my work like everyone else, I deserve to get paid for my work like everyone else, I deserve to get paid for my work like everyone else."
No. 2: My patterns contain lots of color photos and details.
I'm a visual learner. I don't always understand what a person is trying to relay in written form. I know a lot of people are like this and thus, my patterns contain lots of color photos to back up my written instructions. This is especially nice with digital formats as you can zoom in to look at tiny details that don't always show up in a paper format. It also allows me to give you more information because you only have to print out what you need. You can store the patterns on your computer instead of adding clutter to your sewing room. In addition, the cost of printing my designs is ridiculously expensive. Not to mention, I love trees and try not to contribute to the death of them.
No. 1: You're my family.
I will admit it. I'm selfish in the respect that I want you all to myself! LOL!!! I have a certain love and fondness for my customers. You become part of my bunny family. With all the choices out there, you find my designs worthy of spending your pennies on and you enjoy the challenge of making something different. Like me, you enjoy doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing. Also, working alone can be, well, lonely. Receiving emails and notes from you about what you have made makes my entire day! Plus, when I wrap your order and tie it with a ribbon, it's a little love and a hug I send along to you and it can only come from me.
So there you have it. I know a lot of my designer friends think I'm nuts for not wholesaling, but that's okay with me. Sometimes, you just have to follow where your heart leads you.
Hugs and I'll see you right back here next week!