The world is made up of millions of communities. Each community is like a bubble in that they can cling together forming something larger or join and merge to create one larger bubble. Communities can be tiny or giant. There can even be communities within communities.
Let’s look at Ravelry as an example. Ravelry is one big community but it is made up of many other communities. Some of the communities within can be defined as knitters or crocheters. Maybe there is even a community made up of people who knit AND crochet. There are communities of designers, pattern testers, and tech editors. There are communities of dyers, bag makers, podcasters or fans of podcasts. There are so many ways to separate and identify communities and, at the same time, even more ways to overlap and combine them.
Over the last decade, it has become more and more apparent to me that, as individuals, we have the most influence on our own communities. For example, I can make a difference in my children’s school or by helping with service projects in my city. My vote in local elections carries far more weight than voting in national elections (though I do that, too). Bringing this back to fiber (because that is why we are all here), I can support fiber arts locally and on the whole. I can buy from my LYS, participate in online discussions, share knowledge with others in local meet ups or by participating in my local knitting guild. I make a conscious effort to support my local fiber festival every year to help ensure vendors return and that the the festival grows. Those are examples of my local communities, but I can also support groups on Ravelry, or independently owned fiber related businesses that are a part of my larger fiber community.
Creating FiberCrafty has helped me to combine my love of community and my passion for the fiber arts, as well as draw on the skills that I developed in the corporate world. After spending so much time working for a large corporation, I realized how strong my desire was to support my passion and make a difference for independent businesses. As a part of the fiber crafting community, FiberCrafty allows me to provide a channel for indie businesses to build their businesses. As an added bonus, many times these are women-owned business and give me a way to support them, that I might not otherwise have.
Ultimately, FiberCrafty becomes it’s own community with business owners and customers. Together we help raise awareness of different businesses, different products, different types of fibers, we can even share patterns, tips and other resources. I look forward to the day when the FiberCrafty community can help give back through micro donations that add up, or charity craft-alongs.
What communities are you a part of and passionate about? What role does community play in your life?