I've been asked pretty frequently, "Why are your patterns for personal use only? A lot of designers sell theirs for commercial use at the same price."
**Please don't think that what I'm about to say is derogative or that I don't support other makers. I LOVE my maker community - the people behind the brands and everything they have to offer. I am completely supportive in helping other brands build themselves, since we all start somewhere!
The answer is pretty simple, and while it may sound harsh, it remains the same. I've worked my tail off over the last 5 years getting my shop to where it is now. 5 years of love, tears, trial and error, and figuring out what works business wise and what doesn't. I've poured countless hours and endless days crocheting or knitting, and running my business. Do I think you should be able to just make the items I've worked so hard on and sell them? No. Here's why.
While I love the idea that someone can buy a pattern and make something for themselves (or a loved one), I personally don't like the idea that I've worked so hard for something, only to give it away. I mean, $5.50 for a pattern, that contains all the information you need for you to make it endless times, is CHEAP - if you consider the amount of hours actually put behind the item. I have to turn an idea into something tangible, make it 284785932 times to make sure it's right, then translate all of that onto paper. THEN, I have to type it up, edit, have pattern testers test it, edit it again, and then put it up for sale. We're talking a lot more hours put into actually writing a pattern, versus actually making the item itself, (once you have the making part down pat.)
I think patterns are a great way to get your creative juices flowing. I've turned to numerous patterns when my creative side just didn't want to cooperate. New stitches, combinations, and new designs - sort of like a new outlook on what you can actually do with yarn - especially when you've worked the same ol' items a gazillion times over the holiday season. That's what my patterns are designed for - inspiration, leisure making, or gifts.
I had someone recently contact me, stating they were looking for something everyone liked. While I can see why that would seem like the optimal plan, and a way to make quick money, it totally takes away from the authenticity of a maker and the item that's being replicated 1000x over. It's kind of like the cheap way out. Literally. Example: While I'm not trying to knock anyone, it became quite apparent over the last few months that a hat someone designed, was beginning to be made by what seemed like, everyone. Why would a buyer shop with YOU, if they could find the same item everywhere else? If someone's looking for a strong brand, unique items, and something different.. they more than likely won't, especially if they can find a knock off for dirt cheap because the seller didn't have to put the time and effort behind the piece (usually what can increase the price.)
I believe a maker should make things that are true to their brand, and true to them. Items completely unique that make their brand their own. Don't try to knock off or sell what may seem popular in another shop - it takes away from the "original?" brand and their business. Why do I say this? Because my tireless work feeds my kids and keeps a roof over our heads. (I'll post later on my personal story, but it's just me, and my shop is genuinely all my kids and I have financially.) Find something that works for you, not everyone else. OR find a pattern that inspires you, then make something of your very own from what you may have learned from it. If a pattern is listed as "personal use only" don't abuse it. The makers behind the patterns and the items have their own reasons for listing it as marked.
YES, I know the knitting and crochet community is HUGE, and a lot of patterns/items can be easily repeated and resold (without intention).. it's nearly impossible for something to not be, especially for beginners working with the basics they know. That's totally okay! What I'm saying is, don't buy a pattern that's listed as personal use only and claim it as your own. It's just wrong. Please respect the maker behind it, and be inspired instead!
For those of you selling items made from patterns that offer reselling - please. Please. PLEASE don't forget to give proper pattern credit in the item listing. This is vital, and it shows you care .. which goes a heck of a lot further than some people think. Things may change further down the road, but for now, especially while I still sell my physical items (again, it's how I feed my children!), I prefer to leave my patterns marked as "personal use only" and keep my items unique to my brand. They are what make me, me.