A Word About Supply Sources

(My sewing area on a good day.)

Now that convention season is getting into full swing, I'll be doing some workshops and the like. And sadly, I have to tackle the question of supply sources. Why do I say "sadly?" Because almost everyone has a problem with a source, whether it's Amazon, Hobby Lobby, a particular thrift store, or whatever. I mention one store in a room of 30 people, and two will hiss. One will roll their eyes. One will start to lecture me on why I should never use that source for one political reason or another. The rest sit there uncomfortably. They just want to hear about how to make a hat or make their costume awesome.

And that's my job. I'm (I hope!) teaching. I'm not there to be the PC police. 

Why yes, I do have my scruples, but I'm also a realist. I live in a suburban city in a large metro area. I'm blessed with a variety of craft, fabric, and thrift stores within a 20 minute drive. I can be choosy. Someone who lives in a rural area may be lucky to have a Wal-Mart within driving distance. And when they go to town, there may be only one craft or fabric store in town. 

And even around here, only one store may be the distributor for a particular product, or may be the only place with an item I need on the shelves. When I'm on a deadline I can't afford to be picky. I can't show up for a class and say, "I'd like to show you a particular adhesive, but only Hobby Lobby had it in stock this week." I made a commitment to teach a particular technique, and I have to meet that commitment. 

As a result, when I teach I have to be supplier agnostic. I try very hard to provide multiple sources for materials so students can follow their scruples. But my job is to teach you how to make something. It's not to share my politics with you. As a student, it's not my place to lecture the teacher on my politics. If I have scruples about a source, I'll make notes and find an alternative supplier if possible. 

Life is to short, and hats are cool. We can agree on that, can't we?

Filed under: Resources            
5/6/2015 9:10:00 AM