The slogan of mine is "nurturing imaginative play". I thought long and hard, for years, on a phrase that would describe what my principal aim was. And I think I found it. I strive and work hard to nurture imaginative play. The creativity of children, left unbound by strict guidelines, left to its own devices, I believe transforms everybody who witness it. And I happen to also believe is intrinsic to their good development.
My children, quite some time ago, wanted to play with their dolls outside. Wanted to bring them out to our yard, and carry them around town. Being some sort of seamstress I decided to come up with a jiggamathingy that they could play with. I knew it needed to be simple, sturdy, with no gadgets, zippers or any sort of hardware, because they were very little and that would just create extra work for me.
Drawing on my culture, and the area of Mexico where I was born and grew up, I immediately thought of a papoose. And I adapted this idea, used for hundreds of years by native americans to carry their children on their backs. My girls loved it. It worked!.
And then I started understanding a little of the pains and sufferings of designing something. The growth process. People started asking me for papooses. Mothers started sending me photos of their children wearing my papooses, and I could see it needed tweaking here or there. I made it adjustable after one mother asked if all their five children could wear it comfortably. Then, the rest is pretty much history. I was asked to include it in a book for posterity. I was beaming with happiness and pride. That was more than a year ago.
When I published the pattern, I had no idea where I was going to be two one year later. What sort of path lay ahead of me. If I was still going to be making it or not, or making dolls or not. But I am still here, and I have an appreciation for creativity and a deeper understanding about nurturing imaginative play.
Now that the book is out some creative and crafty individuals have asked me, very kindly first, about reproducing the pattern for sale. I know there is a lot to say on the subject, with different opinions and a long history of copyright infringement, and the fact that the pattern is published in a book does not grant anybody any license or legal right to reproduce it for commercial purposes. The pattern is mine, is protected, it is copyrighted and is part of my creative wealth.
However, I have thought long and hard, pretty much the same way I thought about my slogan, and finally decided that I will not issue individual licenses to reproduce it for sale. It is a long and practically quite useless process, that does not guarantee any exclusivity to the licensees, and will create just a whole administrative load for me.
I felt at odds there, because I know that I can only make so many papooses, and that there are many women who are very creative and who can bring this design to the lives of many more children, to nurture their imaginative play, to deepen those children's doll play and enhance their connection and development. So with this in mind, I have decided to step back, and watch others bring their creative eye and their business sense to my original creation. My only hope is that they credit the original designer, as it should be, and perhaps even mention the book they got the idea from, as it should be. And perhaps, even call it a papoose, as it was originally designed after one, and let other people know that this doll carrier draws on something that was created by native american cultures and that WE are all adopting and benefiting from it. Every single time I listed a papoose I wrote where I got the idea from!
I know many will just sell it without any credit whatsoever, but I know that this papoose is now well recognized by so many as my design, that failing to do so will look plain wrong, and give an illuminating glimpse on the moral backbone of the person selling it. I do wonder why people just decline to mention the original spark that enlightened them. I see it happen so often and am just left wondering, why is it so hard to mention where you got your idea from, who the original designer is? Why are we so silly? Is it because we are culturally trained to not give any credit to anybody, at all? Is it because we are too stubborn to recognize other people's creativity in our own work or our own path? Is it a misinterpreted sense of pride? So much can be accomplished by just being civilized and crediting those that inspire us. Or that move us.
So here, without much ado, I bid some sort of farewell to the licensing path, and will look with a keen and interested eye, for those of you that will bring much light, spunk, colour, and creativity to a little idea that came out of my own children's play needs, that was born out of my ingenuity as a seamstress, backed by my strong culture, and by my determination to nurture imaginative play.
I wish you all good luck in your papoose adventures. May the road be paved by lots of fabric, and lots of future giggles!