You know, this really isn’t a ‘crafty quickie’ – this is a crafty read these great articles to learn more about the business so you can do your part.
Abby at While She Naps wrote this great article about what fabric designers earn, including information from companies (no names). The comment section is also a really great read, people talk about their experience at Quilt Market (the cost, the benefit of attending) as well as wishing they knew the companies so they could adjust how they shop. This was eye opening. I think there are a few things that crafters, quilters, and sewists dream of from a business sense and one of those things is having your own fabric line. I mean, it’s exciting right? To see your own name on the selvedge of a fabric line! How awesome. Abby’s writing is some good, basic info about what you could potentially learn if you go this route with a company, as well as what could be expected from you.
Next up, and equally a great read, Diane talks about if it is worth it to write a craft book. This is another that tells what something would be like, and Diane is the author of two (soon to be three!) craft books. She did something I really admired, which is she gave numbers. It’s easy for someone to say well your book agent takes this much, and your supplies will cost this much, but people guess at what the overall amount are. It’s nice to see a realistic amount and the breakdown that goes along with it. This is another dream that people have, who doesn’t want to have a book! We all have dreams of what would be amazing for us, I would love to write a book or have a fabric line, and I really appreciate these articles, just two of more that I know are out there, because even with dreams we have to have our feet on the ground.
And finally, Maddie at Bad Ass Quilters Society writes about what we as a community need to do for our part of helping the quilt shops stay open. I say “need” because I definitely think it is a need, instead of a can. She describes the seeming outrage that people expressed at a quilt shop selling a product for $47, and she breaks down the costs, including any potential profit. I join in on quilt alongs that quilt shops offer, I join the block of the month programs, and you know what, we all want to save money but there are times in our lives when wanting to only buy stuff on sale just doesn’t make sense. There is a reason that big box stores move into areas and kill the small business owned stores in the area. Everyone wants the sale item because it’s cheap, but this doesn’t make the sewing and quilting stores sustainable for the long term. I do agree that online stops qualify as a small business, I have long shopped at a handful of online quilt shops and I will keep doing so because I am interested in them staying open! I have also always thought that if you spend money on quality products, you will end up with something that lasts. It can feel hard to buy something expensive up front, but once you count how long you end up with that product or how long it lasts, it makes sense. There is a reason I still have the quilt/sewing scissors I bought 14 years ago – they weren’t the cheapest ones available at a big box store. Step up and step into your role in this industry, this hobby, this business for yourself. You already love what you do, so do what you can to ensure your favorite store will stick around.
There you have it, read up, learn a lot, and be thankful we have so many people in the community willing to share their knowledge.