I look back on the last 5+ years I have been in the blogging/crafting world and I can say “when I first started out, I did indeed sell my soul for product to whatever crafting company would have me.” I worked my fingers to the bone on projects that I didn't particularly like with products that were not at all my style. As I continued on, I was picked up by crafting companies that I really enjoyed working with and I did “like” their products, but I was slaving away to keep up the schedule they demanded.
A little over a year and a half ago I was picked up by the "ultimate crafting company" (in my eyes). I was excited and thrilled they wanted me. I couldn’t believe I was good enough for them. But there was something off. It took me a year to see they really didn't have any care for me what so ever. In fact, they were willing to use the DT as a push off for themselves and would literally "harass" us into advertising for them. At points we were verbally assaulted by their “so called” social media person for not sharing their sale or featured items immediately. It was truly sad. My heart hurt and there was definitely a voice deep inside that told me to quit but I didn’t listen. I liked their products so much and honestly I think the owner was probably a nice person but (I am hopeful) totally clueless to how we were all being treated. My final straw was when we were told the owner wanted to gain a celebrity status among the crafting community. This was presented to the DT in a “we (you) need to give her more exposure on your blogs and social media sites”. I stepped back and took a look at their company blog, and realized that they were not even sharing our projects that were demanded to be turned in "on time". They were not using our names in Facebook post that included our projects, that's right the proper credit was not even being afforded to us. It was selective, so some DT members would have the honor of having their name next to their projects, others were not. And they wanted us to share more?? We were working like dogs to meet deadlines and for nothing...product??? I mean how much of one company’s products can you have? And to be treated like a grunt laborer??
So you ask, “Why did you stay?” Well, for one, the DT coordinator was extremely nice. I would even go as far as calling her a friend. Two, I wanted to stay for the commitment I agreed upon. Three (and the most important), I thought I would be "nothing" without having a design team. I thought my followers would leave me and I would not be able to have my creative voice heard. My heart truly hurt from the inner struggle and I was having trouble deciding on the one thing I didn’t know would be the best I could do for myself and my blog… being free of commitment!
So, after a year and a half, I had ENOUGH! I QUIT! I AM FINISHED! And I DON'T CARE! Oh WOW, that was the greatest feeling to not be a part of a team, not have an obligation. Now, this didn't mean I quit them all. I stayed part of one team because the owner is involved, kind, understanding and BEYON GENEROUS! She doesn't expect that we stop our personal lives to be part of her company and I can truly say that her team is like a little family. She has shared feeling about the crafting industry and is TRULY my friend regardless if I am on her team or not.
Believe this, I have not had any contact from the other team. So I can say that all of my speculation were proven correct. They were in it for themselves. They were selling their souls to be bigger and better, but at what cost? It will catch up to them. You eventually miss your footing and fall. Karma is always there waiting.
My beginning has just started. I am free from underneath the thumb of the crafting industry. I am joining an elite group of others that have figured out that being a part of any company that doesn’t allow you to have a voice is not what craft blogging is about. This subject can expand into other industries I am sure, but I personally only have the experience of being in this industry and I want my voice heard. I want to be able to go on summer vacation without having to work night and day to make up 20 plus projects that are due during the time I am gone (and to have them never be seen by the public eye). I want to be able to take 2 months off from blogging without feeling guilty and worrying that I am going to lose followers. In fact since I quit the “unnamed” designed team, I have gained over 300 followers between all my crafty social media sites. I think I will be fine….don’t you?
I have to say a HUGE Thank you to Sally from sallylynnmacdonald.com/. Her recent article Titled: “Selling Your Soul for Things” was the trigger to me wanting to have my story heard. Please take a moment and stop by her amazing blog and read her article. If you are in the crafting industry, it might open your eyes.
Thanks for reading.