Knitting and Crochet Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
811 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I love knitting, crochet and sewing. I also dabble with journalling and scrapbooks. I enjoy all these creative pursuits and additonally spend plenty of my leisure time on reading, watching movies and TV. Less reading & fewer movies would probably result in more completed needlework & yarncraft projects!

But I have one more creative hobby that I'm considering developing into a business idea. There is hardly any outlay (probably none!), and I'm capable of a fast, quality turnover that will satisfy customers who are interested in purchasing. I'm currently between jobs but have a few health issues to sort out before putting myself back in the employment market. My business idea can be easily and well-maintained when I'm in full time work just as well as whilst I'm home not working and getting my health sorted out. Just wanted to run it past KP members ...

I write poetry in rhyming verse. I've written sonnets, classic poetry, funny poetry, Limericks, tributes to deceased persons to be read at funerals, wedding speeches, love poetry suitable for Valentine cards, lengthy epic stories etc ... you name, I've written it - and it's been well-received. The only type of poetry I would struggle with is the kind known as "blank verse" (that's poetry that doesn't rhyme - some people who would find it very hard to write rhyming verse are quite good with blank verse - I'm the other way around!).

I've spotted a couple of FaceBook business pages from people offering this type of service. Apparently there IS a market for this but I'm unsure of how to go about it. Also I'm aware of some very good poets whose work is marred by weak spelling, wrong or poor punctuation and grammar problems. I have a post-graduate qualification in English so this wouldn't be a difficulty or weakness for me.

The people who have FaceBook pages (or websites) for their poetry business NEVER have any samples available for viewing. I can understand this as work is so easily copied and plagiarised - change a couple of names, alter a line here and there (even find a new rhyming word here and there) and it's entirely possible for a thief to re-customise a personal poem for themselves without making any real effort. But no samples or specimens also mean the prospective customer has no idea of the quality of the poet's work. I think this can be addressed at some level with phone calls ...

If anyone has any ideas or guidance on this matter or any original launch suggestions, I would be very grateful for your input.

Many thanks everyone!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,503 Posts
In the U.S, there is an organization called SCORE which is made up of retired business people. They will help you develop a business plan.Perhaps there is a similar organization in England.

Maybe a librarian who knows about social media and is technically savvy could help.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,841 Posts
Is there an organization in your area that specializes in assisting startup businesses? In the U.S. we have the Small Business Association. Many times those business people who have retired volunteer their time to meet with startups to mentor them in the ways of structuring and marketing. Best of luck with your idea...I think it's wonderful!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,340 Posts
The only downsize as I see it is the plagiarism. No idea how to get around it.

Even with my little craft business I get people copying my stuff all the time. Here in the States we do have copywriter laws but it's expensive to have something copyrighted and then the cost to get someone to stop copying you is astounding. The only people who can persue this means of protecting intellectual property are the big corporations like Disney. Although, as a side note, they don't hesitate to copy someone else because they know we "little" people can't afford pursuing that avenue.

Good luck on starting your business. Even with health issues you are showing a lot of initiative and I, for one, applaud you for this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
811 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've spoken on here in other threads about my friend who died recently. I've been clearing her house and as well as "inheriting" her yarn stash, knitting needles, patterns etc ... I've also got a lot of her papercraft materials and equipment (she was into making greetings cards and there was a LOT of stuff for this!). Much of it I gave away but reserved some for myself with my scrapbooking and journalling in mind.

Wondered if printing my work on nice paper in a nice font or script with possible embellishments - she had rubber stamps, shaped perforators etc ... might help make it more of a tangible product? Also, I already have sealing wax in various colours and imprint seals for my own initials.

I was thinking of just sending customers the work by e-mail but e-mails are so easily forwarded on and are easy to alter and plagiarise - this is a little different to someone messing about with a specimen poem on a website as the original would at least have been paid for, but intellectual & copyrighted property is, in my humble opinion, possibly more "respected" when it's combined with a tangible product. People who would happily forward an e-mail for someone else to use *might* be a little lazier about copying out (or even scanning) a printed poem!

This would push the price up a little - plus postage would also be involved.

Any thoughts on this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
811 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Goodshepfarm said:
make your own line of greeting cards?
This is a very interesting idea, Goodshepfarm - and it raises several points that I will go into here! I've already tried the card-making combined with poetry idea. With some degree of success, I might add - though it was just word-of-mouth advertising! A few years ago I was making greetings cards - just on the computer - so they were printed, rather than crafted by hand. I was using photos people gave me (either electronically or prints which were then scanned) in some cases and also using appropriate Google images. Each card also contained a personalised poem for the occasion. The front and back cover of the cards were in glossy photo paper, the interiors were a single fold of ordinary paper with the poem on (and further pictures from clip art sources & Google images). It eventually dwindled to my only creating cards for family members with birthdays, anniversaries etc ... The ones I sold were £4 each.

When I did "proper" handcrafted cards, although the cards were reasonably attractive and of an original design, they were a little below standard because I used wet glue which warped them a bit! These were the wedding invitations for my own wedding - they were well-received and admired. I know where I went wrong and wouldn't be using wet glue again in a project of this nature!

Then, my friend who died (from whom I've obtained a lot of craft and knitting materials and tools when clearing her house), gave me a large amount of card-making materials - I actually received the first two - very large - batches of these whilst she was still alive. Another friend and I loosely discussed starting a business together - and including customised poetry in the cards we produced. She had more experience of card-making than I did. At the time we were both working full time. I was mindful of my usual likelihood of making a mess whilst getting creative (I nearly always make a mess, regardless of how beautiful the finished product might be!) and that the time spent making cards - compared to being able to produce a long and lively piece of poetry in 20 minutes or less - might hold up productivity. Getting my friend (who's NOT a poet) to do most of the practical work would have seemed unfair given that my own input was something I could do very swiftly.

Then, another friend of mine got himself a girlfriend, who is employed by Hallmark Cards as a graphic artist. This immediately brought the idea to me that I might possibly find employment writing the verses that are found inside greetings cards. I was unsure of how to go about it though. But the main problem with this idea is that the picture on front of a card seems to be of more "value" than the verse inside. Browsing amongst cards in stores, I've noticed some very expensive cards with lovely pictures and designs on the front only had "Have a wonderful birthday!" or "Best wishes for Christmas and a prosperous New Year" inside - no verse at all, just a very basic greeting. At the same time, I also noticed the opposite was true of those very inexpensive packs of Christmas cards. They'd be fairly small, printed on cheap quality paper, with a picture on the front that wasn't all that special or attractive - but were often found to have a lengthy verse printed in the interior, that was actually a very good, meaningful poem! My conclusion was that the "look" of the finished product was valued far more than the verse inside. So I felt that particular avenue wasn't worth my while.

I could type & print a poem on paper, then possibly mount it on to a fancy, attractive cardstock without too much mess or difficulty though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,422 Posts
flhusker said:
The only downsize as I see it is the plagiarism. No idea how to get around it.

Even with my little craft business I get people copying my stuff all the time. Here in the States we do have copywriter laws but it's expensive to have something copyrighted and then the cost to get someone to stop copying you is astounding. The only people who can persue this means of protecting intellectual property are the big corporations like Disney. Although, as a side note, they don't hesitate to copy someone else because they know we "little" people can't afford pursuing that avenue.

Good luck on starting your business. Even with health issues you are showing a lot of initiative and I, for one, applaud you for this.
Copyright belongs to the artist as soon as the written word or painting has been completed you don't need to register copyright.

However what you are describing concerning Disney is Trademark and that costs a lot of money to obtain a Trademark. All of Disney business is Trademarked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,422 Posts
Do not use images from google they don't belong to you they belong to the person who created them ie the copyright holder, and it's illegal to make profit off someone else's property. Bascially it's stealing and not a way to start a business.

Create you own images and if you want to start you won business, and I don't mean create your own drawings, paintings knitted or crochet items or patterns of Trademark items. As you can not only be shut down but face being sued for large amounts of money and have you equipment ie sewing machines, computer, knitting needs crochet hooks etc anything that could be used to manufacture/make your counterfit items.

If you create your own artwork and want to sell it via email then you new to make sure you have copyright date and company ie what name you are trading under. Then create your item in pdf form that once created can't be altered by your customer. I sell my knitting patterns in pdf form a and send them to my customers as an attachment to an email.

Don't forget you will have to comply with any laws where you live.

If you make things with fabric please check the fabric is not for private use only. You can't make things for example from fabric with trademarked items in the design pattern if you are going to sell the end product. You can resell the fabric as long as it's not been made up into any thing.

I hope some of this helps if you want more advice please feel free to pm me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
811 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
flhusker said:
The only downsize as I see it is the plagiarism. No idea how to get around it.

Even with my little craft business I get people copying my stuff all the time. Here in the States we do have copywriter laws but it's expensive to have something copyrighted and then the cost to get someone to stop copying you is astounding. The only people who can persue this means of protecting intellectual property are the big corporations like Disney. Although, as a side note, they don't hesitate to copy someone else because they know we "little" people can't afford pursuing that avenue.

Good luck on starting your business. Even with health issues you are showing a lot of initiative and I, for one, applaud you for this.
So true, flhusker! An interesting point I've noticed with Disney are the names given to the seven dwarfs in any non-Disney production of the story. The names we're all so familiar with from the Disney movie are NEVER used in any commercially available rendition - whether it's a story in a children's book or comic, a production in the Pantomine season at some theatre - or another movie. The original story of Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs is from Grimms Fairy Tales and was published in the early 19th century. Since the Disney movie, where each dwarf was given a name, those names have become famous. But those same names, from Disney, can't be used in other presentation of the story. I've been to a few pantomime shows and despaired of hearing the dwarfs called names like Skippy, Speedy, Nosey, Dozy, Smarty, Messy and Fussy! I'm always thinking of Happy, Doc, Grumpy, Sleepy, Bashful, Dopey and Sneezy - but Disney has the copyright on those names!

Aisles said:
Copyright belongs to the artist as soon as the written word or painting has been completed you don't need to register copyright.

However what you are describing concerning Disney is Trademark and that costs a lot of money to obtain a Trademark. All of Disney business is Trademarked.
Yes, you're right Aisles, images do seem to have more "value" than words. Though if you Google the origins of the well-known Christian prose poem "Footprints" three different poets claim to have written it - additionally it is often reproduced in books and on cards & ornaments and credited as "Anonymous". I'm assuming none of those 3 poets are claiming/receiving any royalties.

In my home town, a taxi company called "Super cabs" used the Superman logo on the bonnets (hoods) of their cars - DC comics swiftly put a stop to that and the taxi company were forced to remove these logos.

There have been wide (possibly global) issues by the partial use of copyrighted, established and well known business names. The one that springs to mind here is "Toys R Us". Several (mostly small) businesses who copied the "R Us" part of the business name ran into trouble doing so. Someone selling all manner of bags, purses, luggage etc … used the name "Bags R Us" and were stopped. Another small local business selling alcohol - essentially an off-licence - called themselves "Booze R Us" and also were forced to change their name. They settled on "Booze 4 Us" which wasn't too much of a change and lowered the price of their hired signwriter who was amending their existing sign! None of the businesses who used the "R Us" part of the business name were selling toys at all.

A local charity, near where I live now, who help homeless cats, stood up to Toys R Us - who objected to the charity being called "Cats R Us". The story was published in a local newspaper and also a national paper. Their stance was that their "enterprise" was in fact a charity and not a business. But realistically, this doesn't change the rights of Toys R Us. The media coverage of this story though may well have had people wanting to help the charity whilst possibly boycotting Toys R Us.

Theft of intellectual property is a lot harder on a small business because, as flhusker has pointed out, they do not have the resources to fight this. Disney and the big organisations DO and WILL defend their copyright - and furthermore, just as flhusker as said, have no compunction in stealing from the little person as they have more power, more money and more "clout" in order to be able to get away with it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
811 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Aisles said:
Do not use images from google they don't belong to you they belong to the person who created them ie the copyright holder, and it's illegal to make profit off someone else's property. Bascially it's stealing and not a way to start a business.

Create you own images and if you want to start you won business, and I don't mean create your own drawings, paintings knitted or crochet items or patterns of Trademark items. As you can not only be shut down but face being sued for large amounts of money and have you equipment ie sewing machines, computer, knitting needs crochet hooks etc anything that could be used to manufacture/make your counterfit items.

If you create your own artwork and want to sell it via email then you new to make sure you have copyright date and company ie what name you are trading under. Then create your item in pdf form that once created can't be altered by your customer. I sell my knitting patterns in pdf form a and send them to my customers as an attachment to an email.

Don't forget you will have to comply with any laws where you live.

If you make things with fabric please check the fabric is not for private use only. You can't make things for example from fabric with trademarked items in the design pattern if you are going to sell the end product. You can resell the fabric as long as it's not been made up into any thing.

I hope some of this helps if you want more advice please feel free to pm me.
I understand what you're saying 100%, but my business venture as a poet would not involve using Google images or any other online sources of clip art - including even free clip art from online. As I stated earlier, I have amassed a fair amount of card-making and paper craft materials with which I could present and decorate my work as a tangible product (rather than simply e-mailing it to the customer - which invites copying, forwarding on, altering etc …). I propose to print, mount and possibly decorate/embellish my work using the craft materials I have. People appear to have more respect for a tangible product than for "intellectual property".

My dabbling with card creation and production was mainly for personal use rather than business, though I admit to having used Google images very occasionally in some cards which I sold - mostly people wanted their OWN pictures on the cards and provided photos for me to copy.

I didn't use any copyrighted online images when making my wedding invitations. I was in a chat forum though for Brides-to-be and some other Brides had also made their own invitations.

One Bride in particular had found the website of a stationer who made some very striking black & white invitation cards. All of these were shown in a gallery section of the website. This Bride, liked the invitations but didn't want to pay the high price for them and additionally wanted a finished product which was a little different. She copied the images, added just a little colour here and there to the black & white pictures and made herself some stunning wedding invitations.

She didn't sell them, she didn't make a profit, they were just for personal use, for her own wedding. Her mistake was to basically brag about what she'd done online, on the Bridal chat forum we were all members of. She said how easy it was to do and how proud she was of how they turned out. Many of us admired her work - and she gave a link to the designer's website. Someone must have notified the original designer. Obviously the designer had to join the chat forum as a member before she could comment on this topic. But she was threatening the lady with legal action and everything. Many existing members who'd admired what the copy-cat had done defended her to the designer which of course enraged her more.

The one that copied the invitations withdrew from the conversation and when I privately messaged her, she said she was frightened. Nothing ever came of it - possibly because the copy-cat had not made a profit out of someone else's copyrighted work, she never used it in a business way but just for her own private use. The designer knew this, of course, but was possibly extremely concerned that the copy-cat had shown others exactly how easy it was to copy something like this!

It served as a warning though for both sides - if you copy someone's intellectual property (on a small scale for personal rather than commercial use) you may have every chance of getting away with it - if you don't brag to others (especially online)! If you want to put images up of your work when you're creating visual items like cards and stationery, don't make them too easy to copy! Commercial photographers use web programs where it's very difficult to copy the image - their own intellectual property and copyrighted work. Perhaps others should use these web programs too?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,730 Posts
Good luck with you business idea. The plagerism is the drawback. It seems more rampant these days due to social media & the internet. Putting a sample in an email is a good way to record the time & date you wrote & affixed your copyright symbol on it. You do have an admirable talent & I applaud it.

My sister is also a very talented poet. The first publication of her poetry was for her HS yearbook. It comes so naturally to her; but she writes more for pleasure & for friends. She can come up with a poem for any occasion & has written 'custom' poetry for weddings, memorial services, etc. for many of her friends. Most of her poems rhyme; but she does do some free verse. She even wrote a special sister poem for me for my birthday. She prints out her poems on good quality stationary with artistically decorated borders & also the year alongside her name & copyright symbol. They look very professional. She doesn't sell her poetry as she tells me there is no money in it. I've jokingly mentioned to her that she should try hiring herself out as a lyricist as I think a lot of her poetry would make good song lyrics. However, I have no clue as to how she would even try to get into that. You'd probably have to be a musician & she has no musical background. I would just love for her to publish her own poetry book so I could get a copy. I've tried to encourage her to do something with her poetry; bit she just doesn't want to bother. So I just enjoy what she writes and refer to her as 'my sister, the poet'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
811 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
laceluvr said:
Good luck with you business idea. The plagerism is the drawback. It seems more rampant these days due to social media & the internet. Putting a sample in an email is a good way to record the time & date you wrote & affixed your copyright symbol on it. You do have an admirable talent & I applaud it.

My sister is also a very talented poet. The first publication of her poetry was for her HS yearbook. It comes so naturally to her; but she writes more for pleasure & for friends. She can come up with a poem for any occasion & has written 'custom' poetry for weddings, memorial services, etc. for many of her friends. Most of her poems rhyme; but she does do some free verse. She even wrote a special sister poem for me for my birthday. She prints out her poems on good quality stationary with artistically decorated borders & also the year alongside her name & copyright symbol. They look very professional. She doesn't sell her poetry as she tells me there is no money in it. I've jokingly mentioned to her that she should try hiring herself out as a lyricist as I think a lot of her poetry would make good song lyrics. However, I have no clue as to how she would even try to get into that. You'd probably have to be a musician & she has no musical background. I would just love for her to publish her own poetry book so I could get a copy. I've tried to encourage her to do something with her poetry; bit she just doesn't want to bother. So I just enjoy what she writes and refer to her as 'my sister, the poet'.
laceluvr, I'm very, very wary of putting any kind of sample of my work anywhere electronically - except the definite ordered & finished "product" to a paying customer - and I would still be wary, even then! Putting it in "print" electronically speaking, makes the whole copy/paste/alter/plagiarise process so much easier. Typing or writing something out from scratch from a printed "hard copy" is always still possible but people generally are lazy … so it would therefore present a lesser problem.

I'm a bit "precious" about my poetry, I'm afraid. It's probably the only attribute I have that is 100% MINE! Like everyone else, I have various skills, talents and aptitudes. I learned knitting & sewing at my mother's knee, I learned to drive from the guidance of a driving instructor, I learned to type at secretarial school - and I got my degree at University. No-one taught me to write poetry so it's mine altogether and no-one's going to steal it or mess about with it (if that's possible)!

I have devised a system for avoiding plagiarism - not sure whether it will work … When a customer commissions a poem on a certain topic, I feel it might be helpful to get a home phone number (a landline rather than a mobile/cell phone number) and ask them to advise me of 3 or 4 times when they'll be home. Then I can randomly select one of these times, call the person and read them the poem over the phone. Since many cell phones have a feature where one swift click of a button records the entire call, I feel a landline may be more secure? Then when they say they're happy with the poem they've just heard, I can mail them the hard copy.

But the other issue with sending out the finished work, typed as a hard copy, attractively mounted etc … means they might just send the hard copy back and say "Not satisfactory" and ask for a refund. Once they've seen the finished work, I'm vulnerable … The fee they'd be paying isn't for a printed poem mounted nicely on decorative card stock. It's for the time, the creativity, the imagination and the original words and thoughts that went into composing that poem.

I found your comment about song lyrics very interesting as well. I can read & write music and song lyrics would come to me quite well. Perhaps this is another angle I could offer?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,747 Posts
I am still not really sure what your business idea is. You started out with wanting to sell poems over the internet with no initial cost outlay. That turned into greeting cards, then not greeting cards because you have done it before. Then possibly song writing. Now it’s framed or mounted hard copy poems.

Even if you have seen Facebook pages offering some sort of similar service, have you actually looked into the market interest for such products? Just because someone advertises on Facebook doesn’t mean they actually sell anything. I can honestly say that I have never purchased a poem nor do I know anyone who has. Libraries have poetry books; verses can easily be found on the internet for free. It wouldn’t take much effort to print and mount a poem to hang in my home, if I had the desire to do so. I don’t. Although you want to think that the customer would be paying for time, creativity, and imagination, I believe the customer would think they are paying for a printed poem that has been mounted on card stock. I guess I’m saying that I don’t really see much of a demand for this service, even if yours are the most lovely poems.

As for concerns of using a phone, there are plenty of people who no longer have landlines. Additionally, calls can easily be recorded on landlines as well as cell phones. If I was at all interested purchasing this type of service, I think that having to put forth this much effort to do so would put me off.

I’m sorry to be such a Debbie Downer, but these are things that have to be considered when starting a business. It’s not just about what works best for you, but what will work for the customer as well.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top Bottom