Adopt a Designer

In honor of National Crochet (and Craft Month), plus teaching CJ how to turn negative things* into positive things, I am creating Adopt a Designer.

Craft Designers do have awesome jobs. They get to use their creativity every day to make beautiful, zany, and fun projects. Then they get to share their projects and in most cases connect with other creative people. It can be a completely amazing job. The biggest downside is the income. The big secret in being a designer is that you work overtime everyday for minimum wage income, if you are lucky, and have no health care or any other financial benefits. Think about that for a minute. Think about how much they truly love their job to work for so little.

So to honor craft designers, every week this month I am going to do my part to support a designer I truly respect. If you want to join me, here's a couple of ideas:

1. Buy a pattern from your favorite designer. Most patterns are just a few dollars, so the commitment is really minimal. Then don't forget to tell your friends where they can buy the pattern too.
2. Tweet/ Facebook about a project you are making and include a link to the designers website. Designers have to take like to promote themselves, so taking a minute to tweet for them can really help.
3. Write a review of one of your favorite craft books including a link to the designer's website and where to buy the book. Even though some designers do not get royalties on their books, by including a link to their website will help them with advertising that they could greatly use.
4. Buy a piece of artwork or jewelry from them on Etsy then tweet or blog about it. A number of really talented designers are over on Etsy and just taking the time to tell them you care can go a mile.
5. Talk them up at your local yarn store or crochet group. Most designers sell their patterns to yarn stores too, so just by telling your LYS that you love them can really help. LYS owners are super busy people too and do not have time to hunt down new (or new to them) designers, so you are helping both.
6. Take a class. A lot of designers teach online and off. Teaching is a real help to their income, so go a ahead. Plus you get to learn something new, and who doesn't like that.

And those are just a few ideas.

In these economic times, it really takes all of us to support each other. And if you love a designer, show them. It does not have to be a grand gesture or cost a lot of money. It just takes a minute to adopt a designer. And in that minute you can help them stay in business and keep producing those crochet and craft projects that you love.

If you can think of other ideas, please feel free to drop a note in the comments section. I'd love to hear it. If you like the idea, please feel free to spread the word. I'd like to be able to show lots of designers how much we appreciate them!

* This came from an incident that happened yesterday. In my 5 minutes of downtime (while CJ was sleeping and I was taking a minute away from working), I was surfing the web and found a blogger who was giving a pattern she purchased from me away for free to anyone who wanted it. Since the pattern was only 4$, it was ridiculous to me that she was giving it away. Yes, she was violating copyright by sharing it with her friends. But just on principal, she was stealing. It happens daily to designers and it really is upsetting. I know first hand how hard we work and how little we make in income. We definitely did not get into this line of work to make millions. We do it because we love it. So when you share a pattern that is for sale for free (even to one person) you are stealing from the designer. It all seems counter intuitive to me. If you love the patterns the designer creates why would you steal from them? So instead of dwelling on that one blogger, I wanted to show CJ that you can take something negative that happens to you and turn it into something positive for others. That is why I am starting this series. I think it is important to help designers I respect to be able to keep producing amazing designs.


Yarndancer said...

I love this idea!! I love that so many people out there are creating and designing, and I want to help support them too. Sometimes I forget to blog about artwork or things that I've bought, but your post has helped me remember that it will have benefits to do so. The impetus for this idea sucks (really, what is that person all about??? If I saw that on a blog I was reading, I would stop reading their blog and tell them exactly why) but I'm glad you've turned it into something so positive! I love all your designs BTW! :)

SAM said...

I didn't read about the pattern issue until this morning. Unbelievable. I love this idea and will do my part.

irasema said...

that's a great idea! I love to buy books and own your Blueprint Crochet (LOVE!) but I also like to find patterns on blogs. I usually link to where I found it.
If it's ok, I would love to take this idea and get it on my blog! I definitely will be adopting a designer!

Unknown said...

Brilliant! Great job on this!

Brett Bara said...

I love this Robyn, GREAT IDEA!

Designers do work really hard and the industry depends on them - not to mention all the consumers out there depend on them for the patterns they need to fuel their hobby.

We crafters need to support designers in every way possible! Thanks for taking the initiative on this.

TheHMC said...

What a fantastic idea!
Now-how do I pick just one when there are so many I love!

P.S. I just saw one of the crafty bloggers that I follow remove a lot of her free patterns because peeps are making them and selling them on Etsy despite her clearly outlining her conditions. Sucks that people work so hard just for others to take credit.

Shannon said...

I love Google Translate. That is all.

Oh wait -- also -- LOVE this idea. It's about time!

L said...

this is an awesome idea! as a fellow designer, i love to show off other designer's work whenever possible. in fact i took my sweater from blueprint crochet to my new LYS and we've sold a few of your books because of it. there is nothing like word of mouth to help out designers--and you are absolutely right about yarn shop owners being too busy to find all of the newest stuff. i'm working to make sure we have more than 2 cubbies of crochet books at my LYS (vs. 20 for knitting). thanks for reminding all of us.

MBT said...

You constantly amaze me with your spirit and generosity - and no matter what you tweet to the contrary, you certainly ARE a rock star!

Great idea!


DianeG said...

I'm so sorry about the situation that inspired this post, but I'm so happy that you wrote it. Off to buy some patterns!

Jennifer Cirka said...

Awesome post!! Off to blog about it myself!


Jessica said...

What a great idea! I will try to adopt a designer this month!! I'm sorry that unthoughtful people inspired this - but it proves that every bad situation can have a silver lining!!

Banana Moon Studio said...

I just blogged about YOU on my blog Robyn. You're awesome!

dottykatz said...

Great idea, thanks for sharing. My husband is a photographer and I have been trying to explain copyrights to people for years. Pay it forward! This will give us good karma for sure.

Marty Miller said...

Great idea, Robyn!

Sandie said...

You are right in that this happens quite often, sometimes out of ignorance, sometimes knowing better. I removed most of my patterns from my web site and am in the process of revising and listing them at Etsy. It cost a lot of time and money to keep up web sites and blogs and both Etsy and Paypal charge fees for sales, so, as you say, it's not like we're making a fortune. I put most of what I make back into yarn which goes to making items for charity. That way my husband is not supporting my efforts. But some folks are trying to make ends meet in this way. We need to support them as much as we can so beautiful design can continue to be there for everyone.

Melissa said...

This is a great idea. It's so sad to see indie designers being ripped off and it's nice to change the negative into a positive! You should post this on Ravelry too.

mercury024 said...

I've seen your "adopt a designer" idea really take off on other sites I follow! Great idea. Thanks for sharing your perspective. What are your thoughts on crafters using a pattern they purchased (or a free one) and selling the finished product on a site like etsy? Does it matter if they modify it a bit? I'm confused on this and value your insight. Keep up the beautiful work!

Stitchwhiz said...

I'm sad to hear this is happening so brazenly to so many of our talented designers! It is an absolutely brilliant idea to have an "adopt" a designer concept!!! People really need to stop and think...,,we all spend money on things other than necessity....better to give up a latte one morning and pay for a pattern that will give you hours and hours of enjoyment, rather than to steal from someone who is working so hard to provide quality patterns!!! I am off to spend some money on you all!!! You rock, Robyn!!!
Stitchwhiz623 (rav ID)