Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It's a sad, sad day for me...

I have been struggling since yesterday as to what to do. It came to my attention that I am not allowed to sell my own personal templates on my personal blog. Apparently it is against CTMH policy. So I have removed my templates from my blog.

I have been really struggling with what I want to do. Do I quit CTMH as a Consultant??? Or do I remove my templates??? For some people it might be an easy choice, for me it wasn't. My templates quickly became my passion...

What I have finally decided to do is to keep creating my templates, and I will most likely keep posting pictures of them on my blog, and then one day, when I am no longer a Consultant, I will then be free to post my templates. So please be patient with me. I am not ready to quit as a Consultant. CTMH really is an awesome company and I understand that they have policies in place for a reason, as do all of the companies I have ever worked for.

I am hoping that with all my policy clarification questions to them yesterday, that maybe they will do some more updates with the Policy Manual, because there is just too much grey area and not enough clear information, especially when it comes to personal blogs and what is allowed and what is not allowed. I know that I am not the only Consultant who was unclear on these policies. Oops. Now I know I made a boo-boo and I've made the required changes.

But for now, I am sad...

21 comments:

Mel Horn said...

Hi Vicki! I have been following your blog for a while now. Your work is beautiful and inspiring. I am also a CTMH consultant. I was surprised to see your post today. I would think that selling a product that doesn't directly compete with CTMH would be OK. Especially since it is a download, not paper. That's too bad. Definitely don't let it stop you from creating, though!!

Lori said...

This is your personal blog after all and you should be able to post whatever you want on it. It's not a CTMH sponsored website. That I could understand, but this doesn't make any sense. I have seen other "consultants" that CTMH deems as important people selling things on their blogs. If I were you I would continue as you are. It will be CTMH's loss if they have to let you go. Just my thoughts.

Tina said...

Although you can't sell or promote your items on your blog, I would think you are more than capable of selling them on your Etsy site. After all, Etsy has nothing whatsoever to do with CTMH and you are not representing yourself as a CTMH on Etsy either. Not like you are manufacturing a stamp and trying to compete with CTMH. CTMH doesn't sell templates for the things you are making so you are definitely not "competing" with them in that perspect. Hang in there. Whatever you decide has to be in your best interest. All us followers will simply keep following until we see your "Templates for Sale" sign once again. :)

Kandi said...

Hi Vicki,
Tina beat me too it. I was going to suggest selling your templates on etsy. I saw your photos, but didn't get a chance to inquire about your templates. Can't you just make them up using some paper from a LSS and sell them that way? Were they CTMH specific or just a pattern? Wish I would have purchased one. I'm sorry you're having to worry about this.
I love your work and would hate for you to become uninspired because of this!
Take care.

Sarah said...

I am so sorry Vicki! I have seen this happen on another talented consultants site too. I don't understand the policy as...
#1 it's your personal blog
#2 its your personal template that you made up!
#3 it does nothing but promote CTMH products

We all know you have templates on ETSY and I am pretty sure CTMH cannot stop you from doing that. Or can they?
If you make something on your blog we can always check your ETSY store and see if you have a template for it.
This is one of those policies that just does not make sense.

Paige Dolecki said...

Vicki -

I hope CTMH fixes their policy so talented artists like you can actually profit from their own work. I know they are usually pretty good about reviewing policy when questioned so I sincerely hope they change their policy to one more in keeping with the internet as it is today. I'll be looking for an ETSY sign on your site soon...

I saw a message on the boards raging on this topic but had no idea who she was talking about. If I did I would have piped up!

Paige

Penny said...

I read about this on the boards. Did corp actually say it was against policy??? That doesn't make sense, Nona has stuff for sale on her site... virtual workshops they are called, but isn't all pretty much the same thing???

I'm just curious if corp actually said it was against policy or if it was other consultants that feel that way....

Hopefully you'll find out soon and can put your templates back up.

Melissa C. said...

Vicki, I just wanted you to know that, as a new consultant, you have been an inspiration to me. I admire all of your work, not just the CTMH portion of it, and would be happy to buy your templates. Your talent deserves not just recognition, but perhaps some compensation, too. Please keep us posted with what you decide to do!

Vicki Wizniuk said...

Thanks so much for all the kind words of support and encouragement! To answer some of the questions I recieved, I had origially called Corp. Services and was told that I could sell my templates on my personal blog because it wasn't a business blog. (I had made changes to make sure it wasn't a busniess blog.) But then I got a call back from them apologizing for giving me the wrong information and that I actually am not allowed to sell my templates on my blog. I really struggled with that, because it is my personal blog and really doesn't have anything to do with CTMH. I ended up calling back with many questions, one of them being which policy was actually in question? I was told that selling templates falls under the same category as competitor selling.

I'm still not really clear on what is allowed to be sold through our blogs, though. I think we can sell handmade cards and premade scrapbooking pages at things like craft fairs and such, but to sell them or promote selling them through our blogs may even be in violation of policy. So, I'm thinking Etsy may even be out, so I'm not posting my templates for sale on there either. Like I stated before, I'm sad that there is a policy like this and I'm really just feeling sorry for myself. I'll get over it... I'm a big girl. I wiped my tears over it yesterday, and let my head clear overnight, and was able to make a decision this morning as to how I wanted to proceed. I do hope that they make changes for us to be able to grow as creative people. Family shouldn't stunt your growth; they should help you strive and bloom.

Down the road when I'm really super-duper famous (LOL, only in my own mind...hehe), I would love to be able to brag that I started with CTMH and how supportive they were to allow me to blossom. I'm sure that would be a great reflection on the company! But for now, with the policy the way it is, I will accept and follow their guidelines set in place.

Have a wonderful day and thanks again! :D

Syme Family said...

I'm bummed. I was waiting a few more days until I could buy your template! I'm off to write corp a note about how disappointed I am with CTMH corp because I don't see how this is competition for them. Maybe if enough consultants write them they will think about clarifying their policies better!

Stampin n da Hood said...

this just makes my teeth mash.

so VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS are ok to sell, but not the templates...
Ok, then let's rethink how you package your templates...
Template Workshops anyone?

nelliemaeii said...

Just a thought...what if you sold an 'example' of the 'card' or gift bag....and the template was just a bonus....

It might be a little more work to mail off a gift bag to the buyer, but the template could be an emailed freebie with their purchase and you could just increase your fee to include the cost of shipping and the cost of the card or gift bag...This way, technically, the template would be more like a gift to the buyer, not a competitive 'sale'.....

It is a fine line...but...it might work....Good luck, this is a slippery slope. I love your blog.

Jeanne said...

I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. It's truly frustrating, but I guess you have to abide by the company's rules if you want to remain a consultant.

My feeling is they are worried about how selling stuff like this reflects upon the company. Not that yours aren't professional, but if some people do things that are less than professional and it is associated with CTMH in any way, it's not good for their image.

I don't know if you remember, but there was a big brouhaha over even
"allowing" consultants to have their own blogs. Now look, even Jeanette has her own blog! Give it time and I'll bet they will be changing their tune at some point.

The question is, do you want to stay a consultant and wait or move off on your own and do your own thing? It sounds like you want to remain a consultant for now and I wish you continued success with that.

Kim said...

Well, this is just rediculous! Are all the other gals who sell templates ceasing and decisting (sp?)... I have seen another CTMH consultant regularly selling templates to supposedly promote Operation Smile... I don't see that your selling templates in any way does harm to CTMH, because they don't have them to offer! I am really sad that Big Sister is breathing down your throat like this! Doesn't leave a very good taste in my mouth, that's for sure! Last I heard, we live in a free country! This is your personal blog!! Maybe you should just remove all mention of your personal blog from your dealings with CTMH, including the message boards! Keep us posted!! I think you can see this as a closed door, or a different path. Keep us posted!!

Michelle said...

Just a thought...keep all of your emails and a log of calls between you and corp on this matter. I'd hate to, someday further on down the road, see CTMH suddenly selling templates for Gift Item WOTG. These little boxes for holding gift items and stationary sets seems to be all the rage. If you have it documented that you were doing this PRIOR to someone else, they cannot prohibit you from your work.

Amanda D. said...

My 2 cents........You and Nona and a lot of other people are getting screwed over by the policy. I have bought a TON of templates from a SU consultant.....

If you want a loophole - here's one for you - your kids could sell the templates for you. Your husband can not sell them but your kids can. ;o) Your husband can not competitive sell but......the kids aren't included in that rule...... *wink wink*

Brenda said...

Vicki, I check in with your blog often and you are amazing. Your artwork is incredible, and you have a gift that is spread internationally. In the end, that gift is what you remember first. From there, you can make a good decision.

Looking at this as competitive selling? I don't know. I guess maybe it's competition with CTMH how-to books, and they would like sales first. However, a large company should be secure enough to allow consultants do what they wish with their personal templates.

I look forward to more and more creations from you. You are awesome!

mE said...

Hi Vicki...

I want to say that I COMPLETELY empathize with you. I was in your shoes in 2006 when dh and I started our business at www.stamperstorage.com. For me, the choice was easy. I loved Stamper Storage more, plus, I was LIVID that CTMH was being such stinkers. When you are a consultant with CTMH they don't want you to sell ANYTHING that even REMOTELY competes with them... even if it's templates that you personally design.... in ANY forum (etsy, ebay, your blog, or own website). It's crazy.

Feel free to email me and we can chat in private. inkysmiles @ gmail dot com

Hugs to you!
Erin

Kim Sherrod said...

Vicki,

I love your work and your templates are awesome! I love CTMH but ended up leaving because the rules are really strict. When I left, you couldn't even post info about your CTMH business on your blog. Nona was selling some of her class instructions and she had to pull it. I think she even posted the response she received. You can find out about it on her blog at: http://nonapearl.blogspot.com. I can't remember when she posted it, it wasn't too long ago.
I do know of a CTMH right now selling her templates on Etsy for Operation Smiles.
Anyways, things have worked out much better for me since I left CTMH. You can check out my blog for my announcement on what I am up to.

Penny said...

I found another ctmh consultant selling templates here... http://flowerfootinstructions.blogspot.com/

why hasn't hers been pulled???

This is ridiculous!!!!

Anonymous said...

There are many other CTMH consultants that are selling templates on the web. I guess I think this rule should be for everyone. Love your work, thanks for the inspiration!!
Tina

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