We love our Patchwork Marketplace authors, they’re brilliant and creative… and the whole reason we’re able to offer you such useful resources at such reasonable rates!
So, we thought it would be cool if we all got to know our authors a little better.
Welcome to our fourth instalment of our new monthly series where we shine the spotlight on one of our authors and find out more about them, like what Allison was able to purchase with her Patchwork earnings.
November Author Bio – Spotlight on Allison Vining
1. Tell us about yourself.
Hi! My name is Allison Vining. I’m the director at Camp Weed Summer Camp, and I’m on Patchwork as Summer Camp Magic.
My hobbies include reading cozy novels (look it up) and playing with my perfect nine-year-old puppy, Peeps. I love Bravo, and I hate when my sister doesn’t respond to my texts in what I consider a reasonable amount of time.
Fun fact: I work at camp, I live at camp, and I even got married (to my awesome husband Austin) at camp!
2. How many years have you been involved in camping/ recreation/ any other career you have?
I attended camp for the first time at age five, and I fell in love with it. At 15 (wild), I became a counselor, and I continued to serve in that role for five more summers. When I graduated from college, that same camp needed a director, and I was available. I didn’t expect it to be a forever thing, but three years (and a new camp) later, I can’t imagine a career that’s a better fit for me.
3. What brought you to Patchwork? Why did you start your store?
I found Patchwork through the Summer Camp Professionals Facebook group, and becoming a seller was kind of a natural thing. I had resources that I’ve made, and they were incredibly easy to share. After the first person bought one of my resources, I was hooked! I love sharing my thoughts with others.
4. What is your store’s name? Is there a story or reason behind the name?
My store’s name is Summer Camp Magic, which is also the name of my blog. At my long-time camp, we had a Friday night tradition: the Magic Campfire. It’s one of my favorite camp memories, so I let it inspire me!
5. What is your favourite topic to write about? What inspires your theme ideas?
I’m a little all over the place, but my favorite topic at the moment is probably digital marketing. I don’t have resources about that at this very moment, but I’m deep in the throes of a big one!
Themes are also one of my favorite things to plan. I love the creativity behind it – taking something and finding new and fun ways to incorporate it into camp. My theme ideas typically come from talking to staff and campers and stalking social media.
6. What is your writing process?
Writing hits when it hits for me. Some days an idea will come to me and I can crank something out, and other days I’m stuck. No special environment really helps – it’s more of a mood! I do keep a list of ideas in my Google Keep.
7. What is your strategy when deciding prices for your resources?
I’m still learning on this. I’ve generally kept them pretty low, but the things I’m working on now are taking way more time, so I’ll probably go up a little.
8. What is your favourite resource you’ve created?
My favorite current resource is Hello, Goodbye: When Campers Arrive at and Depart From Camp. I really love parodying songs, and I used some of that in this resource.
I’m also really excited about two things I’m working on, so be on the lookout for some awesome stuff!
9. What is your favourite Patchwork resource someone else has created?
Evaluations (for millennial staff) shaped the way our evaluations worked this summer, and I got a lot of comments about how the staff really liked them!
10. What do you think are the most important things to include in a resource?
A great “About the Product” section can make or break me. I like when descriptions give you enough information that you have an idea of what you’re getting but also create some excitement!
11. What has been your biggest challenge in creating resources for Patchwork?
For me, the biggest challenge is not getting sucked in! I sit down to do a little research, and next thing I know, I’m down a rabbit hole three hours deep.
12. What advice would you give someone who’s one the fence about becoming a Patchwork seller?
Why not? To me, it just makes sense. So many of us are creating resources for ourselves or others anyway, and there’s no reason not to take a few extra minutes to put it on Patchwork. My most expensive resource is currently $3.00, and I’ve still made enough in the last two months to buy a new pair of shoes. Come on!!
13. Please provide a way for people to connect with you.