Tits Out Collective

Yes, you read that correctly. Tits Out Collective. What’s that all about, then? Read on …

 

A bit of background about stealing creative ideas

I make and sell accessories for the yarn crafter, such as project bags, stitch markers and shawl pins. I design and make my products myself. I have developed some products which are unique, as far as I am aware.

When someone comes along and blatantly copies the products that an indie maker has designed and produced, it hurts.

At a yarn festival last year, I saw someone taking a number of close up photos of the construction of one of my project bags. She did not buy it, but I suspect that she went off to re-create it herself – I’ll never know. Another person took a video of my stall and products, and soon afterwards was selling a very similar project bag herself. Co-incidence? Maybe. But it still upset me.

Knowingly copying some else’s creative work is not big and it’s not clever.

This happened recently to Countess Ablaze, with one of the yarns that she dyed in response to a very ill-judged request that she had received, to “collaborate” with a local business. The Countess made a donation to Women’s Aid for every skein of those yarns sold. An awesome response that raised over £3000.

So when one of those yarns was copied, the Countess’s response once again was classy. She refused to name the culprit, but instead launched the Tits Out Collective, throwing a challenge out there for indie dyers to dye their own version. Read about the Tits Out Collective on the Countess Ablaze blog.

Originally conceived with dyers in mind, the Tits Out Collective now includes pattern designers, and makers of notions and accessories. And I am delighted to say that I have been welcomed on board!

There are rules. In order to be part of the Tits Out Collective, the Countess has asked that 20% minimum per item sold is to be donated to a charity of our choice. All items launch together on our own selling platforms on July 1st. We market this together.

 

My Chosen Charity

I have chosen Breast Cancer Care (https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/) as the charity that I will be supporting. I will donate £3 from each ‘Tits Out Collective’ shawl pin that I sell.

Why this charity? Last summer, at the end of July, I received a recall from a routine mammogram. The day that I received that letter, the world stood still for me and my husband. Plans were put on hold, and tears were shed. What followed was a dreadful week, waiting for the follow-up appointment and not knowing what that issue was. Then there was a biopsy, and another anxious wait for results. It was confirmed that I had early stage breast cancer.

I had surgery at the end of August to remove the offending lump. It was of the non-invasive variety, and was all removed. Hubby and I had a much-needed holiday in Devon, then the radiotherapy started. Ironically, my knitting project for the daily 2-hour travel to and from the Cancer Centre each day for 3 weeks was a shawl knitted with Countess Ablaze yarn! The yarn was a very thoughtful gift from Jo Milmine, of the Shiny Bees podcast, when she found out I was ill. The colourway was called ‘The Undertaker’ … Jo and I share the same gallows humour, it seems!

So, my chosen charity is one very close to my heart.

And if you get an invitation to have a mammogram, please please please have it. I’m glad that I did. They picked up something that I would never have found myself, and caught it very early. Having a mammogram is slightly uncomfortable, but the alternative is much worse.

 

My Product

So, what am I creating for the Tits Out Collective?

I will be making a limited number of shawl pins. Let’s call them Booby Pins.

There will be 2 designs. The first one that I came up with was inspired by having a mammogram, and is called the ‘Squashed Booby Pin’.

 

The design is a little outside my comfort zone, but I thought I’d go for it. It is a one-piece pin which is a concept that I had in mind to develop for Fibre East this year.

I’ve also designed a slightly less risqué version, the ‘Full Frontal Booby Pin’, which could be mistaken for a swirly shawl pin, but is my interpretation of a set of knockers. It comes complete with the nipple-piercing ‘pin’ part of the shawl pin. Ouch!

  

I will be making 5 shawl pins of each design in silver-coloured wire, and 5 of each design in gold-coloured wire. Each shawl pin will cost £9 (as do my other shawl pins), and I will donate £3 from each sale to Breast Cancer Care.

These are handmade items, and although I’ve tried to make each one the same, there will be very slight variations between shawl pins. Pretty much like with tits.

They will be available to buy from my ETSY shop on July 1st. Edited to add: I’m pleased and humbled to say that they all sold out within a couple of hours! Thank you. I am considering listing some more when I’ve got over the shock! You can see the entire Tits Out Collective gallery here.

I do hope that you like my contribution to the Tits Out Collective. Please check out the other indie dyers, designers and makers that are taking part. There over 200 so far! You can search the hashtag #titsoutcollective to see what everyone else is up to.

Thank you Countess Ablaze!

If you want to know more about The Countess, then she has a short video up on YouTube here.

 

An update: The Final Score!

1st August 2018:   Wow! I wasn’t expecting that!

After a few more orders at the last minute, I’ve done the final count.

I have made 45 Booby Pins for the Tits Out Collective, and have just donated £140 to Breast Cancer Care.

Thank you so much to all who supported me and purchased a shawl pin from me. I’ve been bowled over by the response, and I am grateful to all of you. And thank you to everyone who shared their stories with me, online or in person. Best wishes to you all!

Massive shout out to Countess Ablaze and the Blazin’Squad who made this all happen. I can’t wait to see the grand total from all the participants.