I have gotten emails on a regular basis for years, literally, from folks who would like to make the Snack Bandolier from my tutorial for sale at craft shows and street fairs, or through their online shop. I’ve had notes from folks who are Occupational Therapists who say this design is great for their clients, learning to work with their hands and with smaller objects. Moms love it for anything from snacks to collections. Teachers love it for school trips and outings. Geeks love it because it reminds them of their Chewbacca bandolier from their youth. It has gotten so much great attention, and I’d love to see kids all over using it and enjoying it. After getting so many requests from folks who have their own shop, I have wanted to put together some sort of license for them to use this design in a way that would benefit everyone who loves the Snack Bandolier. After plenty of thinking and bouncing ideas around, I think I’ve found it!
It would have been simplest, of course, to grant blanket permission for anyone anywhere to make the Snack Bandolier and sell it. Doing that prevents me from knowing WHO and WHERE they’re being made, though, and for every request I get from makers who would like to sew and sell the Bandolier, I get another from someone–often a magazine or online aggregator–who would like to purchase one ready-made or who would like to know if I manufacture them. (I don’t.) Granting an open permission to make the Snack Bandolier doesn’t allow me to keep a running record of who is doing the making, and where they’re being sold; I really believe in keeping small businesses in business by building community around them, and in keeping as much of our spending local as we’re able, so I’d vastly prefer to send someone to a nearby maker when I can. Can’t do that if you don’t know who they are!
I could ask individuals to pay PER Snack Bandolier–but not only is it a giant headache to keep track of, it can also really cut into a small maker’s bottom line and subtract a chunk of their margin to charge per piece like that. Having been in the small-scale manufacture game myself, I recognize the on-going tension between setting a price that the public will pay and setting a price that is reflective of the value of your time and the beauty of your work (I could go on and on about this particular topic, but I’ll insert right now that I think 85% of you are charging way too little for the things you’re selling). Any single expense over and above the most basic necessities affects that margin and increases that maker/buyer tension, and I’d love to avoid adding to that.
So I’ve come up with a way that makes sense to me, to support small makers while at the same time allowing recognition for the work I did in developing the Snack Bandolier: I’ve developed a 10-page PDF pattern based on the original design I posted in 2011. I’m making it available for $1 to anyone who would like to sell the Snack Bandolier as a cottage maker. The pattern includes a limited agreement between the maker and Whipstitch enabling you to make as many Bandoliers as your little fingers will permit, in exchange for crediting me/Whipstitch Industries with the design. By making this itty bitty purchase, I am able to track the buyers, which enables every maker to have their shop or brand listed on the blog here so that buyers can locate you and purchase from you. I’m not looking to make money here–I’m looking to build a great resource for these makers and for the community. All I ask from each maker who uses the pattern to make these to sell is a brief mention of where the idea was born so that buyers can find Whipstitch, and so that I can build here a list of folks heading to makers who have Snack Bandoliers in their shops.
I think most of the craft community really value one another’s ideas, and want to honor and recognize the time and effort and originality that go into the work that each person in the community contributes. I think there is a sincere and valid desire amongst people to acknowledge the creations of others, while still looking to find a way that we can all benefit symbiotically and in collaboration with one another. Most of us are really seeking to find ways that we can do business with integrity and without having to give up the camaraderie and mutual respect and support that are important to us, to find ways to compensate people within the craft community for their ideas and their time and their efforts. By taking the content of the original tutorial, expanding it and creating a printable document that has added value to you as a maker, I’m hoping to experiment with ways as a community for us to share our ideas, work with one another, and all benefit from that relationship.
You can also purchase a copy if you’d just like to have a printed PDF on hand for your own use! It includes all the original text and instructions, every step-by-step photo in full color, and most of the larger “beauty” shots from the original tutorial, along with some additional information not included in the initial design. At the rock-bottom price of $1, it’s a nice way to have a permanent document for your own use, even if you’re not planning to manufacture, and the cost becomes simply a compensation for the hours I spent putting the PDF together.
Here’s a quick sample view of one page of the pattern as it appears in the new PDF document:
I hope you all love the idea and will make a zillion of these for the coming spring and summer craft fair season!
To purchase a copy of the Snack Bandolier pattern and the license that comes with it, simply click the button above. You’ll receive a PDF document in full color via email within 24 hours of your purchase; instant download is in progress, and when it’s available, this button will be replaced with one that permits instant download. Thanks so much for supporting independent design!