Amongst our goals here at BHL have always been to celebrate makers, and inspire more people to discover the joy of sewing. On Instagram we love sharing what our customers are making with our patterns all over the world, but our blog feels like a stark contrast - it's basically just me! I love blogging, creating tutorials and pattern hacks and hopefully inspiring more people to fall in love with sewing, but there's no denying it makes for a very one dimensional read. I've thought about bringing in guest bloggers in the past, but the idea of having skilled people create content for us for free has never sat well. Having worked in the sewing industry now for the last 8ish years, and spent many an hour creating what was essentially free content for other businesses, I can testify to the lack of paid opportunities for freelance makers and sewing related content creators, and have shared many a moan about this with my peers.
So, in the interest of literally putting our money where our mouth is, we've come up with the Creators' Collaborative. An ongoing series of guest posts brought to you by you: the maker community. We want to use our blog as a platform to celebrate the immense talent of our community in a way that truly reflects all makers, raises and promotes marginalised voices, and - crucially - financially compensates our collaborators. We want to hear from makers of all colours, cultures and religions, queer makers, disabled makers, and makers of all size, gender and age. And if you identify with a group we haven't yet mentioned, we want to hear from you too! We believe that it is our shared passion that unites us, but our differences that make us special and interesting, and the more we can learn from and connect with each other, the more we can help to foster a community-wide sense of empathy and support.
This is a paid opportunity. The aim of the Creators' Collaborative is:
- To create more paid opportunities for makers (because we all know how much this industry/community is based on freebies, gifts and unpaid insta promo favours - which is fun up to a point, but free fabric sadly doesn’t help pay the bills)
- To promote and represent the true spectrum of diversity in the maker community
- And of course to create a greater and wider range of inspiring content for us all to enjoy.
How often will you feature these guest posts, and how much does it pay?
To begin with, we will be running one guest post per month, and each guest post will be paid £250. We’re still hashing out the details, but hoping to eventually get some sponsorship on board so that we can pay more makers for more content more frequently. If you're a company reading this, and you'd like to get involved, please get in touch!
How will you choose your guest bloggers?
There will be some makers that we contact directly to ask if they would like to write a piece for the Creators' Collaborative, and indeed we have already started reaching out (and we're very excited about the response we've had so far!). These are makers that we already know or follow and admire, makers that we ourselves want to hear more from. But mostly, we really want you to get in touch with us! Or recommend someone who you would like to see on our blog! There's no way we could possibly know everyone out there, nor do we want to limit the offering to those already in our existing network - that would defeat the point of getting to know more makers, and ultimately get in the way of raising more voices.
If you would like to write for the Creators' Collaborative, please keep reading...
What will everyone be writing about?
Anything and everything, with an undertone of that which unites us - sewing and making! We really don't want to be too prescriptive regarding subject matter, as we want you to have free reign over your chosen subject matter. Passion will always make for the most interesting read!
These are the kinds of subjects we're imagining will be explored:
- Sewing - duh! Tutorials, pattern hacks, inspiration - all that good stuff that we can never get enough of
- Other crafts and hobbies - most makers don't limit themselves to just one corner of the craft cupboard; chances are if you love sewing, you probably like to dabble in other creative pursuits as well. Think ceramics, shoemaking, natural dyeing, nail art, herbalism, yarn crafts, patchwork and the like. We're thirsty for more learning!
- Humanitarian issues and think pieces - a long overdue shift is happening in the world right now, and we want to listen and learn from each other's experiences and perspectives
- Mental health and self care - what are the issues we need to know more about? How has making and the maker community contributed to your mental health?
- Craftivism - are you a yarn bomber? Activist embroiderer? Have you committed to boycotting RTW and only making your own clothes from 2nd hand fabric? How do you use your craft to make your voice heard?
This list is by no means exhaustive or exclusive. We're open and excited to hear all your ideas!
Where will these articles be published? Are you setting up a new site??
No, we're not setting up a new site. The articles will be published here on our blog alongside our usual content. You can follow our blog from your usual blog reader, subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Instagram where we will keep you updated when new posts are published.
The reason for the new name - the Creators' Collaborative - is simply to distinguish from our in house content, and this blog series. Do I wonder if maybe in time it will grow and take on a life of its own? Perhaps, and we shall see... ;)
I want to write for the Creators' Collaborative! How do I submit?
We've created a form for you to fill in, and you can find it here!
At this point, we have no idea how many people we will have submitting, but we will reply to everyone who applies. Due to the limited number of slots (12 per year if we're going on a monthly basis to begin with), we regret that not everyone will be featured. However, we will keep all applicants on file for the future, and we will remain committed to choosing our collaborators in accordance with the following guidelines:
- Representation and inclusivity across the board
- Exciting variety in subject matter
- Engaging writing style - whether it be fun and frivolous, or thoughtful and informative, we just want to be sucked in by your words!
- Decent photography - most of us don't have in house photographers, and we appreciate the work that goes into taking clear, beautiful, "blog-worthy" photos when you're on your own. We highly recommend tripods that can hold your phone, a remote control that you can take pictures of yourself with without the stress of self timers, and investing in or making a photo board for all your tutorial/flat lay needs.
We are so excited to take this next step with our blog, and we hope you will be too!
Wait, I have more questions!
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org :)