|Sew Hip. Passionate about fabric and not paying people. It strikes me now that that photo would have been better without the carpet. You see, this is the lack of design sense that leads to tie dye beanbags|
Anyway, this is about Sew Hip and All Craft Media, and I am doing it now because I just want to add to the general clamour that indie designers should look after their work and be treated properly. People: learn from my mistakes. This is why I make them! So you can all be happier! Otherwise it'd be depressing! ;-).
I used to have designs published sometimes in Sew Hip. I had my first couple published before the difficulties became widely publicised, and I was really pleased to have them in a magazine: I imagine a lot of contributors, particularly the inexperienced ones like me, felt the same.
|The Mondrian Skirt! I was so excited to have this published that I haven't quite burned every Sew Hip I ever owned on a pyre and danced round the flames|
At that point Sew Hip got a new editor who I had worked with in the past (she had edited Sewing World) and who I knew to be extremely professional. I told her about my difficulties with payment, I believe she intervened (I think she had this radical expectation that freelancers with purchase orders ought to be actually paid...), and payment from Kerrie duly appeared (with no note, remittance advice, apology, anything: however - payment!!!). I agreed to provide a few more projects. The new editor soon resigned, because of the issues, which at that point became widely publicised: after that, I will be honest, I am not sure I even bothered invoicing any more: I chalked it down to experience. I don't advise anyone ever to do that: it was stupid, and it was defeatist (always invoice the buggers! Make them pay!): but, the energy I knew, given my past experiences, it would take, at a time when I was being forced to put all my energy into something unrelated but all-consuming and soul-sucking, just wasn't expendable. I hadn't got it in me. I hadn't, and I knew at that point that I did not have a snowflake's chance in hell of actually getting any money. I felt, frankly, that I had been utterly scammed (not in any way by the editor, who was helpful and professional throughout and beyond, and who I don't actually think got paid either: by All Craft Media), and I just moved on. I knew they went into administration and I thought, what an idiot I have been because I could see what was happening and then I made more stuff. More stuff! Including the infamous Tie Dye Beanbag.
I am sad that what started off as a nice magazine ended as it did: I feel annoyed that I lost the fabric that went into the samples, only one of which was ever returned (by the new editor, to whom, thanks. It's a double pointed needle case: if anyone wants it, leave me a comment! It's quite nice. Neutralise its karma): I feel stupid that I didn't deal with it all more energetically: and now I will be haunted by a big floppy tie-dye beanbag forever. So I'm sharing my story (my name is Susie and I'm and All Craft Media victim. Hello, Susie), to say: People! whether you're a new designer, a hobby designer, a designer who lives solely on your freelance earnings, whatever you are and at what level, value your work. Don't ever be grateful that someone's publishing you: don't be shy about asking for agreed payment: don't be shy about negotiating terms. I was a sitting duck: don't you be one! (And be careful what you tie dye. It might follow you forever...)!
(I'm sitting here wearing ASOS tie dye leggings. I never learn).