Published by Shana | Filed under Knitting
I’ve been thinking a lot about the purpose of this site lately. What motivates me to go through the work of writing up a pattern, paying hosting fees, tinkering with the CMS and CSS and so forth. I check the traffic a little obsessively, but I never really had any idea of what I really wanted from those 100 visitors a day.
I don’t really want money. Frankly, being paid for my crafts usually makes me feel cheap. When I think about all the time and love that goes into it, getting $50 in return is not really emotionally sustainable. I work for a paycheck, I make things for a different reason.
Although I would like to some day be able to sell and publish patterns professionally, I don’t have the time to devote to the leg work of trying to pimp myself out to a bunch of magazines. Plus, I like the instant gratification of being able to post patterns online.
So, if I don’t want money and fame, what do I hope to accomplish?
I want to devote my site to a movement I believe in. A couple years back, Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank. The bank gave microloans – a couple hundred or a thousand dollars – to women in developing nations. These are people with no credit, so they could not get standard loans. As a result, they couldn’t get the funding needed to grow or expand their businesses or they were borrowing from loan sharks. The microloans allow them to grow themselves out of poverty.
Kiva.org is following in Yunus’ footsteps. You make loans of $25 to help fund entrepreneurs. They use the money to improve their business, and pay you back over an established timeline. I’ve been participating in the project for about a year and a half or two years now, and I’ve only had one loan default on me. Everyone else has paid me back and I’ve reloaned the money to help someone else.
I’ve made a group for needyl on kiva. My goal for this site is to get people to participate in Kiva. If you’re interested in pitching in, join Crafters Unite!