I hope that it’s clear that PLY loves indie businesses. It’s not hard to do, is it? I can’t think of many fiber businesses that aren’t indie! It’s the nature of our community, even our big companies are still small companies, you know? Often dyers work in the kitchens. Spinners set up shop in their family rooms. Tool makers park in their driveways so they can use their family garage. Even many of our biggest wheel makers work out of converted garages and make our beloved wheels on a skeleton crew of 5 or less. Trust me, I’ve seen this in person and it made me love our community even more.
One thing that I really wanted to do when I started PLY was to support these people. I know how hard it is to make it, to get noticed, to support yourself and your family with craft, but I also know that it can be done and it’s amazing when it works.
It’s what the independent spinner page in each issue of PLY is about. Notice how it’s always at the beginning of the issue? That’s no accident! It’s where we put the indie businesses that supported that issue of the magazine. We’ve worked with several now but I want to diversify! I want to use and support different spinners and dyers and photographers each issue!
However, I’ve found that organizing that diversification has been a bit beyond what my already taxed brain can handle. I’ve tried e-mail organization, spreadsheets, and trello boards but none have worked super duper well. So, here’s my new attempt — a trello board that spinners, dyers, and photographers input and update themselves!
Yep, I couldn’t do it so I’m pushing it off on you. My life coach (if I had one, boy, I need to get one of those) would be so proud!
Do you know what Trello is? Trello is awesome. Leanne of stitchcraft marketing introduced me to it about a year ago and I use it for everything! Some of my boards are totally private, just I can see them, some I share with Levi, some with Kitten, some with Kitten and Bernadette, some with Kitten, Bernadette, and Levi…you get the idea, yeah? Seriously, I’ve got 12 separate boards and a board for each issue of the magazine! I’ve got a editorial board, an advertising board, a workshop board, a personal home-to-do board, a kid-stuff board. I have found it incredibly helpful and intuitive.
I know I sound like a advertisement but it’s all true. It’s free, it’s easy, and I’ve never gotten any e-mails from them (except the activation one). So while you do have to sign up for it to participate, you don’t have to use it and they’ll never contact you, but if you do use it, you won’t be sorry.
So this is what I’m trying.
I’ve created a public trello board called PLY Support. On it is different lists, some for spinners, some for dyers, and one for photographers. Under any list (or several) you can create a “card”. If you want to spin, dye, or photograph for PLY, the front of your card will contain your name/business and on the back of the card you can add additional info (links to your work, photos, favorite kind of cookie, etc). You can add a card to as many lists as you like and be as specific as you like. You can also edit your cards whenever you like.
And that’s how my job gets easier. You do the work. Whenever I need a dyer (like right now, I need 2) or a spinner (like right now, I need 3), or a photo of an animal (like right now, I need some wendsleydale sheep), I’ll go to the list instead of putting out a call that you might or might not see. So, you see, it’s not just better for me, but for you too!
Wanna get on the list ? And I really hope you do! Go here — https://trello.com/b/vtAt6YeQ and sign up! There’s instructions on the first card called “How to Participate, click on this card to read!) but essentially you do this —
1. Join Trello, this involves verifying your e-mail.
2. Return to https://trello.com/b/vtAt6YeQ (I recommend opening it up in a new window now, it’s easier than trying to find it again before you’ve joined) and leave a comment on the card with the instructions.
3. The comment will let me know to add you as a member of the board which I’ll do super quick!
4. Now make a “card” by taking a look at the lists on the right. Find the list(s) that fit your skill and click “add a card”. Once you do this, you’ll be able to fill the card out, front and back.
The front should be your name/business link (and for photographers, what animals you have). Once you save that, you can click the “edit the description” which will allow you to put more information on the back of the card. Use this area (the back) for any additional info you want to add such as your experience, what you’re really good at, links to photos (yarns, fabrics, fibers, animals) or even actual photos (using the attachment button).