The Bead Coop is a co-op run website where designers can sell their patterns. Customers get the benefit of instant down-load when they buy any e pattern. One of the original founders of The Coop posted this to our Designer's Group e mail list and I thought you'd enjoy reading the brief history of how the Bead Coop started.
LOL--OMG--you want the good, bad and ugly of the birthpains of the Coop? Let's see, it started with Dawn and I emailing back and forth that there had to be a better way for artists to sell their work and keep more profit for themselves than the "other" option at the time. Jeesh--how long ago now?? We knew what we wanted, just not the how to of how to get the programming done. We found this guy, "fondly" remembered as the Village Idiot to do the programming. (NOT Cujo, this was before him) He built a site that worked, but all the money went through him, he was located kinda near us here in Dallas. We were getting sales, but never saw the money from it. It was hosted on his server, in his house--and amazingly, it would go down at pretty regular times each day. We finally fired him, drove to his house to pick up the money, and the "coop" on files, my dad and son went along. We got it, and found out the down time was him hosting WOW parties there for his friends that ate up all the bandwidth. We tried to figure out how to sort out the mess of files, and in stepped--CUJO!! The real man behind the coop, he took a mess and turned it into the site you all enjoy today--I think we drove him half nuts with our suggestions, ideas, requests, but he always came through with something fantastic for us.
The coop was designed to give artists a place to grow and bloom, and hopefully make a little money as well. It was written right into the bylaws that the members would control the fees charged and policies of the group. I know we always hoped that prospective artists would be judged more for their potential than what they had already done. I'm so excited to look through the pages and pages of designs and see the wealth of artistry and talent represented in so many different stitches and media! A few years back real life just kicked me good, and stomped me down into the ground, and I turned the coop over to the members. Since then, it's been operating on it's own without being "owned" by anyone other than the members. Which is the way it was always intended to be.
I've got about 12 books I think now--several with Design Originals, one with the "Putz Brothers" (Dawn and my code word for these two brothers from CA that we collaborated on a book for that they sold in Target stores I think) several self published books as well. Unfortunately, I'm like you--my vision sucks now, and even simple bead projects are almost impossible to do. Jelcy here in Rowlett gave me a head thing with a magnifying glass on it which helps, but I fondly recall those days I could bead up anything and have no problem seeing even the smallest beads. So its very hard for me to do any beading at all right now. I get people asking me about making up things for them all the time, and I have to tell them I'm sorry, but cant do it. Anywho, my daughter Sarah has been busy being artsy, which got me in the mood to work on some again, and like anything, the more you do the more you want to do!
There were a lot of people involved in getting the coop off the ground, I'm just so bad with names, but it was definitely a group project with a lot of ups and downs. We've just had a lot of really great people pulling to get this going and keep it going, and without all of them, it never would have happened.
That was the beginning. The site has just been revamped to load faster improving your shopping experience, and if you're a designer, it enhances your sales.
We're constantly accepting new designers, so if you have patterns you'd like to put up for sale, go to The BeadCoop, scroll down to Support in the left hand menu, click on Contact Us and let us know. You'll be contacted with details and requirements. Don't worry, you don't have to be "somebody", you just have to have viable, readable patterns. :) Who knows where you can go from there?
If you're not a designer come on by and see what all we have to offer. With so many designers, we have a huge variety of bead design types. You can pay for your pattern through paypal and receive an instant download.
What are you waiting for? Come on in and see what's at The Bead Coop for you.