Skip to Content

I am Officially a Professional Crafter & How it Relates to Cutting My Own Hair

Sharing is caring!

{This post contains affiliate links, indicated by an asterisk*. Please refer to ‘legal stuff’ in the top menu for more info.}

I have a project in the 2014 Winter Issue of ‘Modern Holidays’ from Stitch*! A little blue fox felt ornament, and since they pay their contributors I can now officially say I am a professional crafter.  The process started way back in February when I submitted my proposal, so I’ve had time to reflect. My experience both in sewing and writing tutorials has grown since then, and I’m a little surprised that they not only accepted my project but that I thought I should even apply in the first place. But I’ve never been a stranger to ignoring what I “ought” to attempt; I’ve been cutting my own hair since I was a teenager! (If you want to skip the navel-gazing, towards the end I share what exactly I submitted and some helpful articles on magazine publication)

 I started working as a waitress and a stable-hand in the middle of high school, and once my bank account started growing my Mom told me that haircuts were going to be out of my own pocket. Instead of ponying up $40 every 2 months, I went to Sally Beauty Supply and bought an $8 pair of scissors. I spritzed my hair with water, combed, clipped, and tried to imitate what I’d seen hairdressers do. It turned out just fine; the top middle picture in the collage is from the first haircut I ever gave myself.

Every two years or so, I let myself be convinced that surely a professional could do a better job than me, go to a salon, and regret it immediately. People are always mildly aghast when I confess that I cut our entire family’s hair (me, my husband, my dog, my toddler son) but it never occurred to me that I shouldn’t! I mean no disrespect to the training and licensing professional hairdressers go through, but in my opinion everyone ought to try doing it themselves. I’ve even created a handy chart to help you decide if it’s right for you:

“The worst that can happen is they say no” is equivalent in my mind to ‘the worst that can happen is you realize you have a cowlick and rely on a bobby pin for several months’. Hair grows. Rejection stings. Just try it. See what happens.

Which is exactly why I received my very first check for $100 to Swoodson Says this past week!

So, I submitted my proposal in February, shipped the fox, instructions, and pattern pieces off in late spring, and am finally seeing the finished product.  I didn’t realize it had hit newsstands yet until someone emailed me, saying how much they liked it and asking for help finding the pattern download on Stitch’s website. How flattering! As of Saturday, “The Fox Says Brr” has been downloaded 100 times! I’m sure it’s nerdy to be excited about the idea of 100 people reading my idea and making their own little fox, but I am unabashedly so.

I had never opened an issue of Stitch, never sewn a felt ornament, and didn’t see the call for submissions until two days before the deadline. I didn’t know that Stitch tends to feature projects made from quilting cottons. I certainly had no reason to believe anyone who wasn’t a “real” crafter with years of experience was ever published in a magazine or book. But I submitted anyways! And I’m glad I did.

If you’re considering it, there are lots of fun craft and sewing magazines out there! These are the articles that I enjoyed reading when I was preparing my proposal:

I wanted to share exactly what I sent over, because I debated a lot about this, procrastinated, and finally sent something in at the last moment. For future submissions I’d like to be a little more polished, have a project prototype to photograph, and now I’ll be able to add a more exciting publication list! The color ‘names’ were coordinating with their palette for each section, and was requested in the guidelines.

My “bio” answering their questions was as follows.. and yes, that is true about the poem:

“I am a new blogger who is excited about sharing handmade ideas. I don’t have any previous project designs or writing credentials, unless you consider a middle school poem published in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: The Real Deal Friends *. I have been working to create a community for sewing and crafts bloggers through social media and would love to get more experience working with print media as well!”

I think it’s relevant to link something I read and enjoyed recently, “Nobody Knows What the Hell They’re Doing” by Oliver Burkeman for 99u. While this does not apply to my hair-cutting analogy, I do find it to be true that “the more accomplished you get, the more likely you are to rub shoulders with ever more talented people, leaving you feeling even more inadequate by comparison.” I have connected with so many talented sewing bloggers since February and while inadequacy is a stretch, it does make me feel less creative, inventive, or productive by comparison some days! But I’ll keep submitting, keep sketching, and keep trying new things – I hope you do too. I am working on releasing some fun PDF patterns this winter for toddler toys, softies, and funky decor; be the first to know by subscribing to my newsletter!

Sharing is caring!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Erin Hentzel

Tuesday 2nd of December 2014

Congratulations! The fox is adorable and I loved reading your post. I've also been cutting my bangs since high school. I do go in 1 or 2 times a year to trim the rest :)

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Tuesday 2nd of December 2014

Thanks Erin!! And.. this reminds me I need to cut my hair, because I haven't since summer. Yikes!


Sunday 19th of October 2014

Congrats on getting published in a magazine! That is definitely something to be excited about.

I always say it is because I am a bit punk rock, but I have been cutting and dyeing my hair since high school. Short, long, bangs, layers. I do it all myself because I can blame myself if I screw it up ;)

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 20th of October 2014

Thank you! That's awesome about your hair - I used to be into dyeing and then.. I got cheap. Ha! I have several greys now, curious to see how long I can tolerate them :)


Wednesday 15th of October 2014

Steff!! How exciting! It's so cool that you're now a published crafter - and in a real paper magazine, no less! Crazy....

Also I don't pay a barber either. My hair cuts itself these days :).

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Friday 17th of October 2014

Thanks Kael!!


Tuesday 14th of October 2014

Congrats on this cute ornament making it into Stitch! And thanks for the further musing on what we "ought" to do, and for sharing the Burkeman article. Very good reminders to do things that we love or want to try, and not be held back by the feeling that others are more accomplished, even when they are!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Tuesday 14th of October 2014

Thank you for the kind words and for stopping by Melwyk! Glad you enjoyed the article. Any time I write a post this long I wonder how many people make it to the end :)

Karly Nelson

Tuesday 14th of October 2014

I've cut my own hair too since I was a teen and cut all of my kids hair as well! Congrats on the publishing!! That is so cool!!!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Tuesday 14th of October 2014

Gosh the savings would add up with each kid, no joke! And thank you :)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!