Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Floating All Boats

I belong to the Craft and Hobby Association. I am a board member of the Canadian Craft and Hobby Association which has reinvented itself as a chapter of the Craft and Hobby Association. In addition, I am a member of the Canadian Section which is a group that advises on industry activities in crafting in Canada. This is a group of talented, committed and enthusiastic individuals from across our nation.

This results in a lot of unpaid work on my part, advising on events, branding, presentations, activities and so forth. And it's not like I have a lot of spare time. Why do I do it? Because any company or organization has a moral obligation, in my view, to promote the health of its industry. Plus the returns are twofold when we get together and collaborate.

I realize it is very time consuming and sometimes we don't like to share information with our competitors. The fact is that a healthy industry helps everyone. When we all work together for the benefit of the industry, then we "float all boats".

That is great for you as crafters and seamsters, because it gives you more selection, product, education, facilities. It is very Canadian, unfortunately, to sit back and watch, or ride on the coattails of others. But it's not very helpful. So next time you walk into a craft store, ask the owner how they support the industry beyond their four walls. Before you purchase from an online supplier, ask them how they are helping promote crafting for future generations. And while you are picking up your discount supplies at the local dollar store, ask yourself if you would be happy if they became your only place for crafting materials.

Everyone likes a bargain, but if the dollar stores and discount chains become your sole source for crafting, it will be a sad time indeed.