Sunday 8 February 2009


Sticks head above parapet, finds people are mean, beats hasty retreat

Let me state for the record that I am rubbish at self-promotion. I developed somewhere along the way a pathological fear of being perceived as bragging. Post something on Craftster, I have to say how hard it was or tell people the mistakes I made. Someone comments on one of my kids wearing something I made, I say 'thanks', or if I'm feeling really brave, I might mummble that I made it. I don't carry around promo materials. I realise none of this is very good for my business, so I'm trying quite hard to be more confident and outgoing.

So when someone posted on Folksy the other day that Living Etc's online magazine had a new forum page called 'Show us what you've made and Win!', I had to have a look. Firstly, it's a competition, so I figured that's a bit of a 'look at me!' with a purpose rather than 'look at me!' just for the sake of it. Therefore less scary. I wasn't sure if I fitted in as Living Etc is a home magazine, but I looked at everything else that was posted and not everything was home-related. It even explicitly mentions about the chance to get commissions, so it should be okay for sellers to post on. And other people from Folksy were posting, so I had safety in numbers. On Friday night I nervously posted a thread with all of my coats and... got some really lovely feedback. Hooray, self-promotion isn't scary!

Or so I thought... Today there was a new thread entitled: 'Folksy avalanche- here's why'. Someone had found the original post in the Folksy forum telling us about the Living Etc 'Show us what you've made...' page and then the regular forum users proceed to rip through the Folksy posters with increasing vicousness. In an amazing feat of contradiction, we were derided for being 'money makers rather than geniune [sic] 'see what i made' people' and 'people who are trying to start up their own little cottage industries, ... separate from genuine 'ta-daaaaa!' people' but also ridiculed for 'making stuff out of jam pots and earwax' (not true), although it seems that felt users were the lowest ranking crafters in their estimation.

It was all getting a bit much for thin-skinned ol' me, so I posted an apology just as their rant was reaching fever pitch and emailed admin to ask that they remove my thread. Confusingly, the original poster then said I was doing nothing wrong and to enjoy my free publicity. Sure, like I'd enjoy pimping my wares somewhere so hostile. Self-promotion is scary again.


  1. I actually posted to that thread and also to the Folksy thread to mention that actually as crafters it is really not in our best interests to submit anything to that competition because their forum rules (which you have to agree to in order to post) remove all rights to your intellectual property and actually give IPC media the right to essentially rip you to shreds without having any comeback!

    You're better off out of it - your work is really lovely and will sell itself with a little promotion in the right places. Don't be so down on yourself!

    Hope you're feeling a little more positive today.

  2. Try not to let it get to you - I had a look this morning at the comments and it seems to me there's more than a hint of the green-eyed monster behind all this. Leave them to it!

  3. I'm so sorry you've had that experience. I agree with Connie - your work is lovely. And for myself - I'm wondering if a new line of knitted green-eyed monsters might find a market?

  4. Thanks for the encouragement guys! And Vonnie, thanks for alerting me to the intellectual property clause, I will be more careful in future!

    @Nifty: Forget green eyed monsters, my favourite turn of phrase into the appropriately titled 'Bitchingetc' forum was "felt wearing hemp munchers" If anyone can bring this to life, you can Nifty! :)