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Teaching the competition???

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  • Teaching the competition???

    Hi everybody,
    I don't know if you remember that just before summer I put a stall at school that did not go very well. Well, one thing that came out of it is that a mum approached me and was quite keen on learning about putting a stall up herself on the next event. She does make flowers (not sure what that craft is called).
    Anyway, our kids are now in the same class and I see the woman every day. Soon after starting school she asked me if I would teach her my craft and I found myself in a position where I could not really say no. She has offered to teach me her craft in exchange (not that I am desperate for that like she is desperate to learn mine). My question is, the more I think about it, the more I can see that if I teach this woman she is going to become competition in my one selling ground (the school).
    I would not be bothered if her social environment were somewhere else where I would not have to worry about her selling in the same place as myself.
    Question, am I being selfish or too cautious? Or am I been reasonable in my fear? What do you reckon?
    Have a good day,
    Monica
    Your mind, like a parachute, works better when it's open.

  • #2
    The bottom line is going to be if you don't teach her, she'll find somebody who will. Maybe building a 'professional' relationship as you teach her will give you the chance to talk about ethics between crafters and the problems of doing fairs etc when there is another stall next door, and so on. Competitors are easier to manage if they think you're friends!

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    • #3
      I'm not sure what your craft is is it something she can learn easily or is it more difficult, you could alway say your not confident to teach it or you simply don't have the time, or lastly you are looking at venues for the lessons and once you have enough interest you will get back to her with course costs. I teach my craft but never for free.
      Last edited by manda; 17-09-2008, 10:17 AM. Reason: typo
      My hats can be seen in my album

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      • #4
        I personally believe that if you have a gift, then share it. It's a huge compliment that she sees you as a guide/teacher, she obviously loves what you do You could always come to some mutual agreement whereby you don't sell her craft at the school & she doesn't sell yours.
        Jayne


        "One must have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star."

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        • #5
          I agree with Jayne but charge her for the lessons, explain that you want to ensure she gets the best training, particularly if you are not interested in learning her craft. If you want to learn hers then a swap would be more appropriate.

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          • #6
            It is difficult to gauge what her motives are. If, as you suspect, it is to go in competition with you then i would be reluctant to teach her too much especially if it is for free. If she starts asking for names of suppliers I would only tell her one or two - preferably the ones that are easy to find on the web. I like the idea of telling her you are going to sort out some paying courses.
            I would keep on the right side of her though, after all they say ' keep your friends close and your enemies even closer'

            Melanie

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Caroleecrafts View Post
              I agree with Jayne but charge her for the lessons, explain that you want to ensure she gets the best training, particularly if you are not interested in learning her craft. If you want to learn hers then a swap would be more appropriate.
              I agree with Carolee, nothing is for free these days. If you very nicely explain that you are a professional crafter and normally charge for tuition, even though you don't, and that you haven't time to learn another craft you might find that her interest has waned somewhat.
              Carol
              God helps them that help themselves.

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              • #8
                I'd contact the person who organised the last fair, thank them for letting you do the last fair and ask the to keep you in mind for the next one. While your there tell them you met another crafter, at the fair who would be interested in a stall also. (Doing flowers of course, not your craft). I can't see a problem with giving her name as she has shown an interest in a stall. I would tell her about this, she should be pleased if shes being honest.

                I would show her the basic of your craft but then give her some learning tools( book recommends, website etc.) that will enable her to continue learning in her own style. I would happly show anyone my craft but things that are unique to my style and some suppliers I wouldn't share because they have taken alot of time and effort and by sharing them localy will damage my unique selling point. I wouldn't charge her unless it would take a long time to show her.

                I think its better to be upfront about it and explain you dont want to/have time to learn another craft as your "so into" yours.

                You never know she might be genuine and I would take all this interest as a complement.

                Gosh that was longer than I intended hope it makes sense when you read it. I have read a story and put little one down for a nap in the middle of writting this so hope when I post it I'm not repeating someone else
                www.mummycupcake.misi.co.uk

                http://www.flickr.com/photos/mummycupcake/

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                • #9
                  I am happy to teach basics to friends, as Peter says they will go elsewhere to find help anyway if they are keen. After that they are on their own except if they come to me with a particular problem. My good friend helped me at the start and it was much appreciated.
                  www.littlebead.blogspot.com
                  www.twitter.com/littlebead

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by silvermaid View Post
                    It is difficult to gauge what her motives are. If, as you suspect, it is to go in competition with you then i would be reluctant to teach her too much especially if it is for free. If she starts asking for names of suppliers I would only tell her one or two - preferably the ones that are easy to find on the web. I like the idea of telling her you are going to sort out some paying courses.
                    I would keep on the right side of her though, after all they say ' keep your friends close and your enemies even closer'

                    Melanie
                    I would add that if she wants supplies, insist that you can get anything she needs cheaper (increased buying power) then if she gets her own supplier it gives you a perfect excuse to fall out.
                    Anyway she may not have the X factor that makes the difference between your craft being "nice" and being saleable

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                    • #11
                      Brings me in mind of when I wanted to learn locksmithing, the local locksmith thought of me as a threat so wouldn't take me on untill I had done the basic course. I couldn't get on the course unless I'd registered as a locksmith, I couldn't register untill I had got a job as a trainee. I got round it by looking up every piece of info I could think of, pulling apart every lock I could find even buying lesser known locks just to pull apart, analysing how they worked and setting myself up as a mobile service. sent off my aplication on my headed paper and got onto the course. which I flew through because I had studied every moving part of every lock I had seen. 3 years later I my mobile workshop down the road to his shop without his over heads I was a lot cheaper than his prices. I went into the shop and said I did it without your help.

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                      • #12
                        Its incredible how much progress you can accomplish whilst teaching others. I did it in various occasions and found that I made the bigger step forward by just doing it.

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                        • #13
                          keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer. Be friends with her. It will be harder for her to be your competition if you are friends.
                          Snowf1975

                          https://www.etsy.com/listing/1039948...polished-beads

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                          • #14
                            I've had a few people who want to learn silversmithing or chainmaille
                            (or whatever I happen to be making when they come into the shop).
                            I take it as a compliment and then refer them to a fabulous teacher
                            in Leicestershire. Her courses are about £250 - £500, last 2-4 days
                            and are excellent.

                            If it's something simple like earrings etc then I explain I don't teach
                            as I'm not insured to
                            I did once teach a friend to make bracelets and guess what
                            (she started them as a "playground sideline" - lesson learnt)

                            Nic x
                            **FREE to enter monthly draw on my BLOGS**
                            Different prize every month
                            Jewellery Creations & Shop Blog
                            PMC & Silver Clay Hints and Tips Blog

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                            • #15
                              I agree with Jayne, take it as a compliment that she likes what you do, but with the agreement beforehand that neither of you go on to sell eachother's craft at the same fairs. If you're not going to be going to the same fairs then I don't see why then you shouldn't feel free to sell what you've learnt nor her from what she learns from you. Perhaps you could share a table/stall and then you'd have the varying ideas of the same crafts on display? It'd be nice to think that she's genuinely just interested to learn what you do and not wanting to go into competition...
                              Facebook page, Cottage Charms & Cards: http://www.facebook.com/update_secur...20677888001883

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