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 third instalment of our new monthly series where we shine the spotlight on one of our authors and find out more about them, like what resource always makes Ali smile with fond memories.
November Author Bio – Spotlight on Ali Stoffels
1. Tell us about yourself.
My name is Ali and you can find me on Patchwork Marketplace under the user name @recgympros — short for Recreational Gymnastics Professionals (check us out at recgympros.com)! I’m a crafter, maker, dreamer/schemer and adventurer. I love to travel, take pictures and hang out at my little rustic trailer nestled in the forest 🙂
2. How many years have you been involved in camping/ recreation/ any other career you have?
I’ve been involved with gymnastics since I was little – first as a gymnast, then a coach and now a manager of a large recreational program. I started Rec Gym Pros to pull together “my tribe” of like-minded people who are passionate and excited about fun and creative recreational gymnastics programs! Other than gymnastics I had a long time love affair with summer camps. I was a camper, counselor, leadership director and family camp assistant director… and for a couple of summers directed a gymnastics day camp in my hometown, merging my love of camp and gymnastics!
3. What brought you to Patchwork? Why did you start your store?
Moose brought me to Patchwork! He somehow found me at Rec Gym Pros, noticed that I had a couple of resources on my website (that were barely selling) and recruited me to join the site before it even opened! I jumped at the opportunity to be an early adopter because I knew that Patchwork Marketplace would help me get my resources out there and also give me a reason to develop some more products! It’s been awesome so far 🙂
4. What is your store’s name? Is there a story or reason behind the name?
Stands for Recreational Gymnastics Professionals! 🙂
5. What is your favourite topic to write about? What inspires your theme ideas?
I really like writing about the theme week guides — it’s fun to get creative and reflect on what I did in my gym, what worked (or didn’t) and put it on paper for other people to try out! My theme ideas are inspired by the kids, usually. Like when Moana came out at the kids were all excited telling me about it, I knew I could make a great theme week out of that. I’m also a sucker for real life board games, so Candyland was a fun one to re-imagine for gymnastics.
6. What is your writing process?
HA! I write best when I’m procrastinating something I really don’t feel like doing. Making resources is more fun than boring chores or adult things like paying bills. Once I get started it’s hard to stop myself. I swear I could tinker around with graphics using Canva for hours and I’d think it was 5 minutes.
7. What is your strategy when deciding prices for your resources?
I’m still figuring this out. For now, I’m trying to keep prices low so that folks aren’t in any way discouraged from purchasing my products.
8. What is your favourite resource you’ve created?
I really love my Candyland Theme week guide — it was fun to put together and I think purchasers will get a lot of ideas for the low price. While it’s not my “best seller” by any stretch, I think I’m most proud of my “Facilitator’s Guide to Debriefing” — which is basically a guide for processing — how to sequence great questions to get students/participants to reflect on their experiences. Great for outdoor educators or teachers/leaders of all kinds!
9. What is your favourite Patchwork resource someone else has created?
There is so much great stuff on there!! The most practical one for me was the 100 Interview questions — that was a freebie one week at the perfect time as I was about to do some hiring and I absolutely used some of the questions listed on there!
The resource that made me smile was Mike Greenfield’s Widjiitiwin Basketball — I went to that camp as a teenager and LOVED playing that game!!! I’ve always wanted to play it again and now I have the rules for it!
10. What do you think are the most important things to include in a resource?
I think strong visuals are important. I’m a visual person and if the resource isn’t presented in a visually interesting way (or at least a visually logical way) then it can be hard to appreciate the content (no matter how awesome it is). Having a preview of some kind is important when people are considering your resource… even at low prices it can be hard to invest in the unknown. Previews will help prospective buyers understand what they’ll be getting.
11. What has been your biggest challenge in creating resources for Patchwork?
Right now it’s making the time to put them together and getting them up on the site. I have a list of resource ideas I’d like to create, but making the time to get it done is the hard part for me!
12. What advice would you give someone who’s one the fence about becoming a Patchwork seller?
Give it a try!!!! What have you got to lose?
13. Please provide a way for people to connect with you.