Posts tagged [solopreneur]
Not only did I finish the crochet top in the Your Family Magazine of February 2018 in Nurturing Fibres Eco-Fusion Seashell, I have been wearing it! The colour suits my skin tone and the cotton/bamboo mix is light and soft and such a pleasure to wear.
Last time we spoke I was telling you about the great time Bren Grobler, the talented SA designer of this crochet top, and I had during the interview she so graciously granted me. If you weren't here you better read it before reading the rest or you'll not know what I'm on about! Now, where were we? O, yes.
Set the scene: cue the instrumental music in the background, glasses are clinking against each other in the distance, Bren and I sitting at a table in a quaint restaurant overlooking the sea and the waiter brings our wine order...
Me: It is evident from many crochet- and knitting-related gatherings that most crafters are very jovial and welcoming. It’s almost as if you are by default part of the club when you can crochet or knit. Does that resonate with you too?
Bren: It certainly does. I don’t really do the social crochet gathering thing, but have made many friends in the design and yarn industry. What amazes me time and time again, is when we meet for the first time. It is almost as if we’ve know each other for a long time (in person). There is this common thread that binds us together.
Me: On crochet-related Facebook groups it is astounding to see how many crafters truly detest the copyright law on patterns. It is very obvious that they dislike intensely the fact that a copyrighted pattern may not be shared freely. Why do you think some crafters feel so entitled and regard themselves ‘above the law’?
Bren: Years ago, patterns were only available in print (magazines, books, leaflets). Crafters would photocopy and share these amongst each other. Now, with everything happening on social media, they (especially the older generation) want to continue doing it. They literally don’t understand the ramifications of a shared document on social media and how intensely fast it can spread. A lot of education still needs to happen. I also think, because most people crochet or knit for a hobby, they don’t grasp the concept that designers do it for income, so they literally don’t understand the damage they’re doing. It just breaks my heart that people are ok with buying expensive yarn, but aren’t prepared to pay a decent amount for a pattern. It is an ongoing struggle, but I have decided to not let it affect me anymore. If someone want to steal my work, they must have at it. I firmly believe in Karma. What you give out in the world, will come back to you. Steal from me today and tomorrow you too, might lose something dear to you.
Me: On some Facebook groups the penalty for not adhering to pattern copyright law is to ban that individual from the group. It almost feels as if the banning of the individual just makes some more determined to continue the infringement practice by joining secret Facebook groups where patterns are shared illegally. Do you believe there is a another way to ‘rehabilitate’ these ‘offenders’?
Bren: Banning people won’t change a thing. These offenders simply join other illegal pattern sharing groups. We need to continuously educate, educate, educate. And it doesn’t help when the admin of a group leaves a rude, obnoxious message. As painful as it is to continuously having to repeat yourself, rather educate. You might convert someone from a pattern thief to a copyright protector.
I stop the recorder here. Bren and I feel like a decadent and gooey dark chocolate baked dessert with thick whipped cream and a splash of strong hot coffee over it. We call the waiter over. Surprisingly he hasn't bothered us once during our conversation. Even more surprisingly they have exactly what we want on the menu. While he scurried off to prepare our order I switch the recorder back on...
Make sure to subscribe to get the third and final installment straight to your inbox where Bren shares her tips for the Mompreneur / Solopreneur who crochet for an income.
Done, done and done! I'm elated with the outcome of the crochet top that I made over the last few weeks! And I'm not just saying that because the designer and I spent a lovely morning in a beautiful coffee shop at the seaside with the waves crashing to shore and laughing at my incredibly funny and witty conversation with our own handmade shawls cascading from our shoulders... Insert a bucket-load of eye-rolling GIFs here and read on.
Maybe Bren Grobler sat at the beach while she answered my questions on email but I certainly was not! The gifted and accomplished designer of the cover crochet top from the Your Family Magazine of February 2018 (that I'm showing off in the pic above) took the time to answer a lot of my questions that I had about the crochet industry. In this first session of three she shares what characteristic your handmade garment lacks that makes it look old-fashioned rather than on-trend.
In sessions two and three Bren shares her view on pattern copyright infringement and her tips for Mompreneurs / Solopreneurs who crochet for income. Don't miss it and get it straight to your inbox every Wednesday by clicking here: Brilliantmommy email.
Set the scene: Bren and I (wearing the top I made from her pattern with full smokey eye makeup and hair sprayed to a stiff yet modern style) are sitting at the seaside coffee shop, cue the waves crashing sound in the background, Bren laughs at my funny joke... and go:
Me: Recently you’ve been appointed as the Brand Ambassador and Head Designer at Nurturing Fibres – a natural fibre yarn brand. During your pattern designing career, was it ever a title that you aspired to or worked towards?
Bren: To be quite honest, that wasn’t even something I ever gave a thought to. I always thought I’d end up as a rep for a yarn company!
Me: Now that you hold the title, has it in any way influenced your designing process? Do you perhaps now feel obligated to design patterns where in the past you may have designed something new when a pattern developed in your thoughts?
Bren: It hasn’t influenced my designing process at all. Carlé is a terrific boss and I’m very fortunate to work for her. She gives me tons of leeway to do my own thing, in the yarn I like and my preferred colours. So yes, the yarns continue to talk to me and tell me what they want to become. As with any job, though, there will always be the ‘must-do’s’ so from time to time she would ask me to design a specific item. I don’t mind at all though, because our aesthetic in terms of colour and design is very much aligned.
Me: Most of the designs in your Ravelry store are for ladies clothing. In your opinion, what design characteristic in a handmade garment – specifically such a historic craft as crochet – transforms it from old-fashioned to on-trend.
Bren: Simplicity. Older garment patterns were very bright (lots of colours) and had either intricate patterns with severe set-in sleeves or were very boxy in design. Using classic, softer colours and softening the lines transforms clothing garments from a 1970’s vibe to something modern women (and teenagers!) want to wear.
I switch off the recorder, Bren shares something off the record with me whereby I nod appreciatively and say something like "I understand, I can so relate...", we signal the waiter to bring our wine order and I switch the recorder back on... and go.