The Power of The Community

Posted by on Feb 20, 2012 in Blogging | 12 comments

I’m overwhelmed.

The responses I’ve received whether via comments or private emails are huge in amount and impressive in meaning.

You guys rock.

As we all know by now, the company I directed that letter to is All Crafts Media. Publishers of the old Yarn Forward / current Knit / who knows what their name may be in 3 months time, Inside Crochet, Simply Beautiful, Sew Hip, Handmade Living and the upcoming Modern Quilting.

I thought this wouldn’t make much noise. I mean, crazy knitter berating a magazine woooo. But it’s far deeper than that. It’s a show of what not to do in business. It’s about OUR integrity and their lack thereof.

About how I’m willing to put my name and site to service to the community by outing something that has been chinese whispers for as long as I’ve been in this business. And about how they are not only refusing to change their ways but stubbornly make up excuses time and time again – and write emails that specifically request the reader not to share in a forum that the email writer herself started out to talk about the topic in question! How twisted is that?

So here’s the deal – does this company owe you MONEY or SAMPLES? Write a comment below or drop me an email (Contact Form). Because I would TRULY like to know how far this extends. As designers, we must continue fighting for a fair and timely wage. And as knitters, you should know where your money is best spent in.

A public THANK YOU goes to everyone who forwarded the Dear Publisher post. To those who RTd it. Shared it on Facebook. Told your friends about it. And to the ones who sent encouraging words about my decision to speak out. Your efforts made my post heard by thousands in the community, and made the Top Stories area of Zite (an iPad magazine app that chooses articles based on your tastes) as well as the Knitting Section – spreading the word even further. Again, THANK YOU.

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  • http://twitter.com/Mamalonglegs Mamalonglegs

    You ROCK more :)
    To do such a brave thing, lay it all out there for everyone to see, was truly inspirational.
    I really hope that your outpouring helps others who maybe aren’t as established as you in the business, and that it also serves as a warning to any unscrupulous people out there that might think knitters/ designers/ dyers are a gullible bunch of folk.
    We all face varying degrees of difficulty in our everyday lives, that weigh us down and try to batter our spirits… your example proves that you can face it all head on, and maybe make some progress.

    Many Hugs
    S xXx

  • http://twitter.com/gr33ndaygal Sam Parfitt

    I’m proud to know someone who is bold enough to speak out against these people. Business is a muddy thing that is made better and clearer for those who are new to it by forerunners like you ♥ I hope everyone gets what is owed to them.

  • Heather Zoppetti

    I’ve had a terrible time with this company. I had patterns in issues 38 and 41. Had the sample for 41 sent back to me…was supposed to be in issue 40…they had it marked as arrived in their database, but really it was sent back to the international hub. I got it back and had to post it again (from overseas, this is quite expensive). 

    To make up for that I was offered a “featured designer” thing for that issue. I wrote a two page “Designer Inspiration” article about myself (for free). Which was nice…until the issue came out and my name was spelled incorrectly on the front cover.I kept quiet about getting paid. After reading so much about the terrible trouble other designers were having I sort of wrote it off as lessoned learned. The fee was so small anyway…

    Then miraculously I was paid for my design in issue 41. Which, thank you, but it was very very very late. But when I inquired about the design in issue 38, I was told that it would be “against the law” to pay me for that work.

    That’s right, illegal to pay what you owe. She said that was under the old company and so they cannot pay. Note that BOTH my contracts were under the old (but really the same) company. Sigh. Whatever, it was such a small amount. My name was spelled wrong in that issue too.

  • Live4rabbits

    I have filled in the contact form. It is wonderful of you to do this. Thank you and well done! It is helpful to know that others out there have had similar experiences with ACM.

  • Cambria washington

    I followed the link, and then got in so deep, following other links to inappropriate business practices by ACM, that for a minute, I forgot where I had started it all!  It’s really unbelievable, and unacceptable, and I’m glad that you went with your true feelings and spoke out.

  • http://audreysteashop.blogspot.com/ AnnaE

    I think you are absolutely right to speak out on this, and applaud your doggedness and bravery in doing so. I’m a newbie in the world of knitting design and as yet the income I get is a much needed supplement to other means of supporting my family. I’ve been fortunate in getting my first (and subsequent) breaks with a very supportive and prompt-paying new magazine, which has done so much to boost my confidence and enthusiasm. I can only imagine how soul destroying it would be to have an experience like yours, especially when it’s your main business and income. I could understand, if not forgive, were the company suffering financial difficulties alongside so many others in the current climate-although that’s not an excuse for poor communication- but if they’re bringing out a new publication that suggests they have enough cash for new staff and set-up costs.

  • Auntie noo

    It might be coincidence but their mag stall at chsi trade fair today was very quiet every time I went by. The only publishing stand that was quiet too. Good luck with sorting all yr probs out with them

  • Jmc121

    Well done.  It is about time that something was done about this company.  How many more times can she just go into administration owing lots of money to hard working designers, tech editors etc  and just start again under a new name.  Some one very close to me has been affected by the whole affair and had she known the background she would not have got involved in the first place.  She was eventually paid what she was owed but so many other things have since surfaced.  Well done again, the more people who know about this the better

  • Secret Crocheter

    Braver than I, and I admire you for it. I’ve today contacted the liquidators of the old co to try to get an up to date position. We are all unsecured creditors and although we don’t have much chance of getting anything, it would be nice, at least, to know the true picture. I’ll let you know what the response is, if I get one.

  • http://twitter.com/iknitalone Jennifer Lindberg

    I appreciate your honesty about this. I’m not a designer, but I appreciate the effort that goes into it. I try to do my part by paying for patterns, not sharing PDF’s, and not supporting companies who don’t support the people who make them possible. So, by calling them out, people like me can do our part as well. Thank you.

  • http://natalieservant.ca/blog Natalie

    Nice work putting it out there on the blog. I’ve followed the discussions on Ravelry & been aware, but it’s good to have it more openly discussed.

  • http://twitter.com/ArgentGal Theressa Silver

    I’m another designer who didn’t get paid.  My design was in issue 38.  Late summer/early fall they were claiming that they had a plan to get all the designers paid but I still haven’t seen anything.  What’s really annoying me now is that since they never paid me, they don’t actually have the distribution rights to the pattern but they are still selling the issue on yudu.  They also have not returned my sample, which again, they have no right to since they didn’t actually pay for it.  I emailed several times telling them that they were in copyright violation and to stop distributing my pattern and to also point out that they had now stolen my sample too but haven’t gotten any reply to either issue.