Let’s Talk About Griping


a couple of years ago I started the StudioKat Designs FaceBook Group page, it was my intention that this group would be a safe place where folks could feel comfortable showing off their work and asking questions in a setting where they felt understood and accepted regardless of their skill level. And for the most part this Group page has lived up to my expectations!

I love it when I see some of our more experienced sewists helping our newbies, and it does my heart good when I see folks applauding the work of others and encouraging the hesitant ones!

But it seems that lately we’ve had quite a few folks that seem to want to use our Group as a place to gripe & complain, and for the most part these gripers have pretty much only one thing they want to complain about…

pdf patterns, or the lack thereof in our product list

It usually starts off innocent enough. Someone asks if StudioKat Designs patterns are available by pdf download, and then someone says they are unsure but they think we don’t and then it starts spiraling downhill because according to them…

“I obviously don’t know how much it costs to ship to… {fill in the blank}… or,
“I surely don’t know that my profits would be a whole lot higher if I sold pdf patterns”… or,
“I’m oblivious to how much more convenient this would be for our customers!”
etc. etc.etc….

Those of you who have been around here for a while know that I have shared several times why we don’t sell our patterns in pdf format. (For example, click HERE if you missed this post.) And if you care to read that post, you’ll see that I do in fact understand completely why some folks prefer to buy their patterns via pdf download, but the bottom line in my opinion is, that selling our patterns via pdf download is just not best for OUR business model.

So have I shared this within our FaceBook Group? Yes indeed, virtually everytime I find folks griping about our decision, I share a link to the post referenced above! But it doesn’t seem to matter, because within a few days to a week I generally find yet another thread bemoaning the fact that we don’t do the pdf download thing. And what’s worse, is that in the past few weeks these griping posts have been getting a good deal more aggressive, implying that I’m either too dense, too cold, or too insensitive to do what they have deemed is clearly best for my business (and of course for them). This is clearly against the rules of our Group which are prominently posted for all to see. They are as follows:

“It’s my desire that this be a safe, fun place for you to share pictures, questions, concerns and triumphs in the course of making bags and items sourced from our patterns! Please limit yourself only to posts that fit this criteria. All others will be removed. It is my intention that this be a positive and constructive place for you to have fun and learn!”

So in closing… while I certainly respect & understand the WHY behind folks wanting to get their patterns via pdf download, it disappoints me greatly that these same individuals seem unwilling to respect or to even entertain the possibility that I might know what I’m doing and actually have some very good reasons for our decision! But here’s the thing… I hope that it’s fairly obvious to them by now I feel good about NOT moving forward with pdf patterns, and that I will not be bullied, shamed or otherwise pressured into changing our direction on this topic until I feel its the right time and the right decision for OUR business! In the meantime, these type of posts will most likely be removed from the page. (And just so you know, I always private message folks when I remove their posts.)

And now…. it’s YOUR turn!

What do YOU think about this? Am I being ultra sensitive, and if so, how would you handle this situation differently? I’d love to know.  🙂

And remember, we love reading your comments and answering your questions too, so please feel free to leave either or both in the space provided below.


Join us in our FaceBook Group!  It’s just for StudioKat Designs customers and its the perfect place for you to post pictures, comments or questions about our patterns! How cool is that, right? And don’t forget to check out the best sewing pins with me on Pinterest, get your daily sewing fix and behind the scenes scoops on Instagram, and be the 1st to know about new patterns, discount codes and sample sales by signing up for “Kat Bytes”, our monthly newsletter.

66 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. Barbara Ballard

    I think you are totally right in holding to what works for YOUR business. I realize shipping can be expensive, especially overseas. You’ve been very up front about this, so why are they complaining? Yes, if you are in Europe or somewhere else, it can make the pattern super-expensive, but if you’ve said “no pdf’s” from the beginning, they should expect to pay the higher shipping. Yes, we’d all love it if we didn’t have to pay shipping, but it’s a fact of life. Stick to your business plan.

    • Thanks so much Barbara. The majority of people in this group (you included) understand this and I just don’t want the fringe to spoil the positive tone so many of you have! 🙂

  2. It’s your business!! The constant criticism of others (in my opinion) is getting way out of hand. I wonder how many of those bullies actually took the time to read your provided link before they continued the criticism

    • That’s my point Janet. Most of you have and have been very supportive of us and I so appreciate that, but I think its time to rein in a few of these gripers because they’re setting a tone here in this group that is too adversarial! Thanks so much for weighing in! 🙂

  3. Re PDF downloads – would rather have a printed pattern than download. Only reason I buy download sometimes is because the postage from USA to Australia is exorbitant for a pattern/s.

  4. It is YOUR business. I personally would rather have a printed pattern in hand. Stick to YOUR business plan. There is way too much of this bullying people to do what someone else wants you to do. Most likely these people who are complaining would find something else to complain about if you bowed to “their wishes” Bottom line is YOU have worked hard to build YOUR business. If they can’t follow the rules on YOUR facebook group, they deserve to be booted. I say STAND YOUR GROUND.

  5. Laurine Gilkerson

    Reasons 1, 2, and 3 are enough for me. Trying to print and assemble and store pdf patterns are not in my best interest. Your patterns are so well thought out that I love getting my own hard copies even if I have to wait. Thank you for all you do.

    • Don’t get me wrong. I understand completely why some folks want the pattern via pdf and i sympathize with them and wish we could comply with their requests, but its just not right for us. All I ask is that they show us the same degree of understanding that we show to them. 🙂

  6. I am in full agreement with you and your stand over this… it is your business and you know what works best for you. I am in the UK and am happy to pay for the shipping and more often than not I receive my patterns from you a lot quicker than some that I have bought here in the UK.

  7. I love having a printed pattern over a pdf pattern you have to print and tape all together. I have three local quilt shops that carry your patterns, but would order and pay shipping if I had too.

    • I love it when local shops carry our patterns and we’re always happy to promote them. You can check for a store in your area here- https://www.studiokatdesigns.com/find-a-store ALSO- if YOUR local store is not on this list but carries our patterns, please feel free to let us know so that we can include them here!

      • What? I just discovered that the sewing shop LITTERALLY AROUND THE CORNER FROM MY OFFICE has your patterns. {Singing} I know where I’m going at lunch!

  8. It’s your business and you know how best it works for you. Don’t give in to the people who want instant gratification in getting what they want when they want it. I dare say if you offered pdf the same people would complain about the cost of ink & paper to print said pdf. So you rock on & keep doing what you’re doing it sure seems to be working well for you!!

  9. This is your business, your company. If how you run your business didn’t work, it wouldn’t succeed.
    I do appreciate that you are aware of the tone of certain posts on the Facebook page and are willing to do something about it.

    • Thanks Staci. I’ve been aware of this problem for some time now and will be taking a firmer stance in the future in order to keep the overall tone of this group positive and uplifting to all. (which primarily it has been)! Thanks so much!

  10. In this rush around world we live in I feel its ‘I want it now!’ and too impatient to wait for the goodies to come in the mail. Don’t be bullied into doing something you are not comfortable with. Your dedicated followers will always support you.

  11. Mandy Mitchell

    As Janet says, this is YOUR business, and I am grateful that you do ship outside America – some companies don’t even do that – and that is their choice. I think it is good of you to spend time replying to them at all !! Time and life is precious, try not to buy into their negativity, stick with your creativity!

  12. Paula Nierengarten

    Wonderful just the way it is!

  13. Wow! It is your business which I think is run very, very professionally! Please do not take the stupid comments to heart. I love the warmth you touch us with your news letters and quotes, pictures too. Have always wanted a small business, however your site is VERY Professional and done attractively, nothing like I could ever do.
    Thank you for sharing, welcome to America and free speech!
    Hugs! Arlene

    • Thanks for commenting Arlene and while I agree its free speech in America and I’m grateful for that, not ALL speech is appropriate EVERYWHERE and thats the problem here.

  14. You are not being too harsh. In other groups that I follow these aggressive complainers don’t just have their post removed, they are removed also. They agreed to your group rules and are making it ‘not fun’ for the rest of us!

  15. Thanks for the post. I too don’t like the negatives. It is your business and you get to decide. And I appreciate the paper copy. don’t want to have to print and hope the sizes are right. I guess when I see the post is desending to stuff that does not interest me I just stop reading. So the complainers don’t have my attention.

  16. hmmm…it’s YOUR business, built YOUR Way through your own creative abilities, blood, sweat and tears. Your unique designs, well constructed/tested patterns, detailed instructions and Quality total package is worth the little bit extra it costs to get such a quality product. Besides, it’s a total pain to try to print things out and piece them together if anything is larger than 8.5″x11″.
    Stick with your proven business model!

  17. I total like the way you have chosen to operate your business and you go out of your way to explain why you operate as you do.
    I personally think a response beyond “we chose not to. Thank you for your input.” Is beyond appropriate.
    I wish you comfort knowing that the vast majority of your loyal customers support you fully and will continue to promote your business.
    I personally congratulate you on continually providing such a quality product that allows me to express myself. I am happier because you do what you do.
    This social media “experiment” is mostly positive but unfortunately negativity is a natural ingredient in its development. Your kindness goes a long way in providing a pathway in civility that we all can learn from.

  18. You have a very special gift for pattern making. Your business is yours. I would think those that complain don’t have any idea what it takes to run a unique business such as yours. If someone wants something bad enough they’ll pay the price. You keep on keeping on.

  19. I don’t have any problem with the way you sell your patterns. I’ve had too many problems with printers not cooperating with my computers over the years to be sold on the idea of downloading and printing something that isn’t just cutting and assembly instructions. You design bags that have many pieces to cut and keep track of. Accuracy is essential to get the desired result. I just don’t see it working well any other way.

    • I don’t think I mentioned it in that post but this is consistent problem with pdf patterns… the size differentials between the printers and the pdf copies. Colleagues of mine are always complaining about having to deal with these issues. 🙁

  20. I totally agree with what you’ve said – your lovely group can do without people such as these. I suspect you will find the individuals have a moan / gripe on every group they belong to… they walk amongst us!

    As you know I’m in the UK and still find your patterns worthy of paying the postal charges. Your patterns are second to none and I wish I had more time to make all the ones I have bought over the past couple of years.

    Take no notice of the nay sayers, I’m sure when us ‘groupies’ see their comments we can put them back in their box…

    A fantastic group – you are to be congratulated.

  21. You Go Girl! Your business, your group, your way! I miss the fact that no one has any respect for people who don’t “think” like they do. I miss manners. I think you have responded to this nicely and should not have justify your reasons other than as one of your loyal customers stated above – “we chose not to. Thank you for your input.”

  22. Shannon Maciejewski

    There will always be those that don’t like you for something. You’re doing everything right for YOU. Your patterns are worth waiting for!

  23. I read your linked post about the pros/cons of PDF. As a “younger customer” (ish?) I do like a good PDF, but after reading your other post, I understand & agree 100% that hard-copy is the better plan for your business! I do hate the thought of having to print out & tape together several dozen pieces of paper, & of course a purse or bag is going to have pattern pieces larger than letter size!

    It’s your business, & your rules. You already have the link in your pinned post in the group – I just looked! 🙂 Unfortunately it seems that the social media “tone” is degenerating rapidly, & people are becoming meaner & angrier & more entitled all the time. :'(

  24. Delete the aggressive people from your group. Pin your pdf link to your page, referencing the fact that it’s not discussed due to tension in the group. All the best to you <3

  25. Obviously some don’t u detest and that you get to decide how to run your own business. We do not have access to all of the pieces that help you make your business decisions. A kind suggestion or question would probably be welcomed.

    With that said, if I don’t care for how a business is run, I simply discontinue to support their business. I gain nothing by griping, it doesn’t help me live my life in the positive fashion I have chosen.

  26. I do love PDF patterns and wish you had them. However, you are free to run your business as you want and you have good reasons not to sell PDF patterns as you explain in your posts about them. And since I like your patterns and the detailed instructions, I buy them even though I’d prefer PDF.

  27. My 2 cents: I’ve seen other companies that do have pdf patterns and they have problems too! It is almost a full time job for them to respond to customers having problems with the pdf files. I would much rather see all these creative people spending time thinking up new things for us the customers to make. Please keep doing what you feel is best for your company. And keep those creative ideas coming!!!

  28. We seem to have moved toward a world where whining and feeling entitled to whatever. My thoughts are your rules and guidelines are clear and when not followed there should be consequences.

  29. I have purchased pdf patterns and find them to be problematic. My local quilt shop carries your lovely patterns and, I have ordered directly from you. The complainers should start their own business if they think that business model is best. Thank you for your designs and your excellent instructions.

  30. Your business. Your decisions. Your rules. Don’t let the bullying that is so present in our current world destroy that which is good and wholesome. Evil always attacks good. Evil will never win. Hang in there, Kathy. Be strong and keep on doing the fabulous things you do!
    Creating in your fashion is for the good of all! Thank you for standing up and holding your ground. I have so much respect for you.

  31. You have to run your business the way it works for you. I am in UK and ordered a pattern, the postage was not exorbitant and it was fun waiting for it to arrive. In fact I would suggest that the postage costs were about the same as the cost of the paper and ink needed to print off a PDF.
    I say that if you really want the pattern just buy it and stop griping

  32. I agree with you. I personally like the way things are.
    I dislike printing multi pages and taping them together.
    Keep up your good work.
    Maybe it ones would not respond to the ones out of
    line it could stop it in the tracks.
    Have a wonderful day!

  33. I like a paper pattern, your instructions are so detailed and easy to follow and having them on hard copy I can check them off as I complete them. The postage to Canada is reasonable and the waiting time is quite short. I have gotten pdf patterns but don’t want to print out the instructions as it’s too much paper and too much ink. Keep doing what you feel comfortable doing after all it’s your business not theirs.

  34. I also love paper patterns. I do not like pdf patterns and having to find a printer that works. Keep up the good work and making more bag patterns. If people don’t like the way you do business they do not have to look at your website and buy from you.

  35. I think your very correct. I like the pdf patterns. I do have alot of paper patterns. I dont have a problem with placing an order for a paper pattern that I’d like to sew. Your patterns are great!!!

  36. Well all I can say is no matter how hard you try to please some people they will always be unhappy and, sadly, will take that unhappiness out on other people who do not deserve it. You have done nothing wrong other than have a “not think” skin and you care about what people say and think. Some people do not deserve to express an opinion because they are incapable of being civil so please do not let them get to you. For some odd reason these people can not be satisfied unless they manage to upset others and they do not deserve your time nor attention.

  37. I have nothing new to say, other than to express my agreement with what has already been said. It’s too bad when others think they can step in and dictate how someone’s business should be run. They don’t deserve much of your time. Send them the link to your reasons if you wish and otherwise delete them. Sorry if that’s harsh, but these entitled people are ridiculous!

  38. I love your patterns. Bottom line is that it’s your business and you know what is best for your business plan. For what it’s worth, I think you’re doing a bang up job!

  39. I so agree. If your not careful when you assemble a pdf patter you could be off in your cutting and/or tapping and then your fabrics would be off. Then the complaining would be about the quality of your patterns and that would only hurt your business. Stick to your business plan. You have to do what best for you in the end. You made some valuable points as to why you don’t sell PDFs.

  40. I personally love PDF patterns but I certainly support any business that chooses not to furnish that mode of the product delivery. After all, I buy your skill, design, and expertise and always trust your decisions so I can continue to have your art available in the future. As for Facebook, there are so many that just jump on whatever the drama is at the moment. I appreciate groups that quickly shut down that kind of rehash and remain a friendly and supportive environment. I am glad yours is one of them.

  41. Anymore there is so much hate on FB and I am glad for pages like yours who won’t tolerate it. I am a member of several sewing and embroidery groups. These groups are my safe place, somewhere to go and avoid all the hate and drama. So thank you for trying your hardest to keep your page drama free.

  42. I love your printed patterns. Keep up the good work Kat ! You sure can’t please everyone, and the same thing happens in other groups too. Very sad that some people are never happy.

  43. The unfortunate thing is that it does not matter what you choose to do with your business – people will still whine. If you offer pdf patterns, people will whine that they should be cheaper than print patterns because they pay for the printing of the pdf. Haters are gonna hate and there is nothing you can do to fix them.

    So, I think you do a wonderful job. I appreciate that you have your business plan / rules and I think no one else has a right to try to coerce you into anything else. No one has said that they have to buy the printed pattern…..

  44. Thanks SO much to all of you who commented here with encouraging and kind remarks. It was impossible to respond to you all, but i did read all of the comments and I very much appreciate your support! Thank you!

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