Author Topic: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings  (Read 4187 times)

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Knitterly

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Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« on: March 02, 2014, 03:05:34 PM »
I believe I've mentioned this before, but I design knitting patterns.  I just had a major push forward on my career and a particular magazine picked up THREE of my patterns to run in a single issue.  This is kind of a big deal for me.  Kind of huge, really.  I've been jumping up and down and dancing around screaming wildly at random intervals as the excitement hits me.   ;D

I posted about it on facebook almost immediately.  I don't think I can possibly understate how excited I am over this.  Almost immediately I got an influx of congratulations from some friends, but also offers to test knit from some other friends.

There's no way I can possibly knit all 3 projects for photography in the less than 2 months I've been given, so the thing is, I actually *will* need help knitting the samples.  Two if the three projects have been fully written and tested and techedited and are complete, except for the final samples in the yarn chosen by the publishing company (these patterns have been submitted to and rejected by several magazines over the last year and two years respectively).  I have decided to hire out the sample knitting for these two projects.

Here's the thing:  I haven't gone to people who have been asking and asking to test knit for me.  I did hire out to friends, but I hired out specifically to friends whom I know are up to the challenge of knitting complicated work accurately on a tight deadline.  I approached two people who have tested for me before, one of whom is a regular tester/editor for me.  I am paying them each a fair amount for their work. 

I am left with the possible hurt feelings of those people who specifically *asked* to help me out, people I know will counter with "Well, I would have done it for free."

The thing is, I don't want people who will do it for free.  I don't want people whose quality and speed is in question for me.  I *need* people that I can have a comfortable business relationship with, without it impacting our friendship.

How do you even begin to say that to a friend, though, without hurting their feelings?  Especially since the people I approached are also friends.

jmarvellous

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Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2014, 03:26:15 PM »
I don't know the first thing about knitting, so maybe there's something I'm missing here.

I would just tell them, "Thanks so much for the offer! I'm all set for test knitters, though."

I might add in a line about how you hope they'll show you their finished projects once the magazine comes out.

It doesn't seem like a big deal to me. They'll get access to the patterns eventually, in the magazine. They have to know that you don't need a dozen testers. It's not personal unless you make it personal.

sweetonsno

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Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2014, 03:28:16 PM »
Congratulations! Knitting is so much fun. I'm trying to work up the guts to start knitting things done in more than one piece. I have color work down, but shaping scares me.

I understand what you're saying. I like what you wrote here: "I *need* people that I can have a comfortable business relationship with, without it impacting our friendship."

You could also emphasize the necessary time availability and experience/skill level if you have reasons that emphasize why the people you chose are great for the job (as opposed to why you aren't choosing the volunteers). "This pattern has a lot of cables, and Jenni's the one who taught me how to do them" or "This project will probably take at least 80 hours; Maura's kids are all out of the house, so I figured it would be less of an interruption for her."

SPuck

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Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2014, 03:32:27 PM »
Since the magazine probably doesn't want you discussing/releasing information of your project because it is going to be their story you could always go with "I can't discuss the details of this project because of it's publishing/commercial nature." Or something along those lines depending on the circumstances.

sweetonsno

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Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2014, 03:32:40 PM »
Oh, another thought… when you're done with this, maybe you could start a service knitting project. There are lots of organizations out there that connect knitters with people who need knitted things. The book Knitting for Peace is a good  resource if you're interested. It's one way to get your friends all involved in something meaningful without needing to worry too much about whether or not something is professional quality. (For instance, it's probably okay if a blanket for a shelter animal has a couple of dropped stitches.)

AmethystAnne

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Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2014, 03:36:08 PM »
First thing first:

<happy dance!!!> congratulations woowoo yea!yea!

Okay, now that my joy on your behalf is expressed   8) ....................

You and each reliable test knitter (friend or not) have a business arrangement that is none of anybody's business. If a friend did your taxes, it would be out of line if another friend got their feelings hurt because you didn't choose him/her instead of the professional(who just happened to be a friend).

You really don't need to say anything further to those that offer for free to test knit your patterns. When they bring it up, say thank you and then subtlety change the subject to something that the other people are passionate about.


TootsNYC

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Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2014, 03:46:01 PM »

I would just tell them, "Thanks so much for the offer! I'm all set for test knitters, though."


This.

And don't tell them so much info. They don't need to know who you picked, or what you're paying them, or why you picked them.

Let them have their hurt feelings, that they weren't included on the project. They'll get over it.

Remember: "least said, soonest mended."

So -don't- mention the difficulty level, etc.

This is a perfect situation in which the "do not JADE" rule applies.

"Thanks for the offer! But I'm all squared away right now."

Just don't say so much detail about the nuts-and-bolts of your business in general. Stick with the part that *is* their business, like "major coup!" 

And congrats to you!

veronaz

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Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2014, 03:46:50 PM »
Just wanted to say congratulations.  How exciting! :)

JenJay

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Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2014, 04:19:22 PM »
Congratulations!!!

I agree with a casual "Thank you, but I'm all set on knitters."

Knitterly

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Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2014, 06:11:41 PM »
Congratulations!!!

I agree with a casual "Thank you, but I'm all set on knitters."

Thanks guys.

I'll try leave it at "thanks, but I'm good."

Part of the problem is that two "volunteers" belong to the same knit group at the two volunteers that I actually asked to knit, and these two people offered whereas the other two did not - I asked them.  The two volunteers have volunteered in the past.  The two who are actually doing the work have been two I've worked with in the past.

It's inevitable that the projects are going to get talked about at knit group.  It's just a fact of knit group.  They will be bringing the projects with them and they'll get talked about as they are knitting on them.  I can't ask the sample knitters not to bring the projects to knit group, as that is where we get probably the most knitting done all week.  I can't ask them not to talk about it because knit group is the one place they can and should be able to talk about it.

I guess I'll just have to stick to not JADE-ing.  The hard part (for me) is keeping my spine shiny and firm enough to not make their hurt feelings my fault.  That's the really really hard part, because if someone feels hurt, I feel responsible.

TootsNYC

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Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2014, 08:51:17 PM »
Just say, "It works better for me." Again, no detail. And try a cut-and-paste (sometimes known as the Toots special).

"It works better for me." "It works better for me."

Remember that they are rude, actually, to press the issue. So while of course you have no need to lash out at them even so, *do* let that fact help you stay firm in refusing to go into detail.

And you can absolutely ask those knitting ladies to NOT volunteer details about the business end of things (payment, etc.), or about the fact that you approached them. Ask them to be a little discreet and not share all that much about the project in general. Of course, they'll knit at knitting night, and maybe ask you some questions while they're at it, but they can be discreet nonetheless. They seem sensible (if you're asking them to work for you yet again), so hopefully they'll comply.

Later, when this is over, you might consider whether it's in your business interests to coach the two volunteers in all the stuff they'd need to know for you to tap them on a future project. But if you think it'd be a waste of time (their enthusiasm wouldn't follow through to reliability or knitting skill), then don't even bring it up.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2014, 09:31:50 PM »
I can understand why the other knitters might feel a little hurt. If they believe they're (a) great knitters) and (b) close friends of Knitterly, they might not understand why Knitterly would choose someone else (whom she's not as close to) to knit the patterns for her. I know that I might be thinking "Doesn't she think my knitting's good enough for her?" So I don't think they're all *that* rude for asking Knitterly why she didn't choose them.

That said., Knitterly is absolutely not rude for choosing other people to knit her patterns. I think the OP has the answer. Just tell your friends: "You're a great friend and knitter, but I wanted to make this more of a business arrangement." You could even add "I prefer not to mix business with friendship - I hope you'll understand."

Runningstar

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Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2014, 07:11:08 AM »
My first thought was to let all the friends knit the projects, but pay the ones that you hired.  But then I realized what a calamity that could/would turn out to be.  I agree with pp's and also that  the less this is discussed the better.  If they want to congratulate you great, but after that their offers to help can be side stepped.  Congratulations by the way!!

Margo

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Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2014, 08:42:48 AM »
CONGRATULATIONS! That's a real achievement- well done.

I agree with PPs that the less said the better. I'd stick to "It's so kind of you to offer, but I'm all set, thank you"

If they do push, then perhaps something like "I'm lucky to have so many knitting friends ready to help out"

Luci

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Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2014, 09:03:01 AM »
CONGRATULATIONS! That's a real achievement- well done.

I agree with PPs that the less said the better. I'd stick to "It's so kind of you to offer, but I'm all set, thank you"

If they do push, then perhaps something like "I'm lucky to have so many knitting friends ready to help out"

That's it! I knew there would be a second level of questioning that should be met and was trying to figure out how to treat your friends nicely without having to go any further with JADEing and hurting someone's feelings. It can end here. Polish up that spine with smiley polish and you've got it.

Congratulations!