Ethical Dilemma, Neurodivergence, and Gratitude

 Alright folks. Long, personal update incoming. Bare with me. 

I designed a pattern for every single one of these characters you see in this photo. I shared the entire journey on social media, and I received so much love and support along the way. However, I also received a few comments about Intellectual Property theft and copyright infringement because these are licensed characters. I am aware of Intellectual Property theft and copyright laws. I have previously published knitting machine patterns for my interpretation of licensed characters, as have many, many other knitting and crochet designers. I am not "justifying" my publishing of these patterns simply because other designers have done so. It is just an observation. 

However, these comments definitely still took up space in my thoughts, so much so that I took a step away from this entire project for the last week or more. I had no idea what to say to all of you. I had no idea how to update all of you. I started to spiral quite a bit actually about the ethics of this project and any other character patterns I have done in the past and might do in the future. I genuinely began to wonder if I was the scum of the earth for profiting off of these patterns. I know that sounds like a ridiculous over-exaggeration, and I wish it was just that. 

Some of you may know, though, that I struggle at times with my own neurodivergence. I have been diagnosed with major depression at one point, post-partum depression at another, and bipolar last Fall. This is the part where this whole journey gets very, very personal, and this is the part that helps explain why I was absolutely, utterly FROZEN with decision paralysis. Eventually, I reached out to my husband and my friends to chat with them about all of this because it really started to feel like moving forward with the project was the same thing as me taking a stance on the ethics of designing patterns for licensed characters. 

I am not at all ready to take a big public stance on the ethics of many things. In all reality, I am MAJORLY introverted. I don't tend to take big public stances on almost anything. I don't like confrontation. I wouldn't go so far as to say I am a people pleaser. I have learned over the years to set boundaries. However, I am STILL learning to set boundaries. I know without a doubt that I do not owe a single person on the internet an explanation about my choices in life, but I am also trying to run this small business in a way that feels authentic to me. Social media rarely feels authentic to me, if I am being completely honest. 

I took a two year hiatus from running a craft business, and when I came back, I felt woefully out of touch with the entire realm of social media for business purposes. It has been over a year since I rebranded and returned to the scene, and I still feel relatively clueless and have yet to even scratch the surface of how all the different algorithms work. So please just know that I am doing my best. I don't know if any of you even care about all of this background or if you'd rather I just post pretty patterns and keep my personal life to myself. Most of the time, I have no idea what to post here.  If you've made it this far, I truly appreciate your patience with me and your support as I try to balance being a full-time mom of three and a part-time small business owner/designer. 

My main goal here is to use my skills in engineering patterns and designs to bring you all patterns and projects that you are excited to make, that you can go on to sell in your own small businesses to support your families, your side hustle, whatever you do with that little bit of extra money, or to give you designs you are excited to gift! It brings me so much joy when someone is excited to receive something I have made, and I want you to be able to feel that as well.

With that said, I have officially decided to move forward with the Mario project and publish all 17 of the new designs. However, I do have a question for you all at this point because these designs are going to take me much longer than the one week I had initially planned for to publish. I don't have an exact launch date because this is the very first time I have ever designed so many things at one time and the very first time I am learning to navigate such a large project around my kids and family responsibilities, especially in the middle of summer vacation. Would you all prefer that I publish them individually as they are done or wait to publish them once the full e-book is ready so that you can purchase that whole bundle at the discounted rate of 19.99 for all 17 of the designs for the first week after they are published? 

Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your time and your thoughts! Without all of you, there is no business for me to run. I cannot express in words how grateful I am for you as I learn the ins and outs of being a pattern designer. 

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