People online have asked me, “Why do you give away your doll clothes patterns? Why not sell them instead?”
I have two reasons for this.
First, when I die and meet my maker (hopefully quite some time from now), I want to leave behind a significant legacy: knowledge of how to sew doll clothes that will inspire creativity in others.
Second, when my books are released, I want to earn enough money to make a positive difference in the world, by donating ten percent of the proceeds to The Victoria Foundation of Arizona. Free patterns are a platform from which I can let the public learn who I am. That way, when my books are published, readers will already be familiar with my name.
The charity I mentioned will one day benefit from the sales of my books as well. The founder of The Victoria Foundation, Pete Garcia, was my uncle. Sadly, he passed away in May of 2017, but over the years, I’ve watched him work in philanthropic endeavors. He and his family lived humbly, in a middle-class home, but their charity gave millions of dollars to worthy causes. That’s how I know his organization is one I can trust. The Victoria Foundation of Arizona provides scholarships to the Latino community among other charitable projects.
Both my completed YA novel and the children’s book projects I’ve been working on have Latina main characters, and being a teacher-turned-librarian who works in a largely Hispanic community, I see the need for more books with Latina characters. During the 20+ years that I’ve been teaching English, whenever I would take my students to the library, the girls would describe the kinds of books they loved. I could find such a book for each girl, but they never had Latina protagonists. So I wrote the books my students really, really, really wanted to read.
I will donate ten percent of the proceeds from my books to The Victoria Foundation of Arizona because I educate Latinos, and I know, first-hand, there is a need for scholarships.
So I give away my patterns, in the hope that one day my followers will share my passion for education, buy one of my books, and in doing so, help to support The Victoria Foundation with funding for scholarships.
If by some great fluke of the universe, the books I write should prosper, I will continue to offer free patterns, free sewing tutorials, and I will always find a good cause (preferably an education-related one) to share my financial blessings. More than anything, I want to make a positive difference in the world. Sharing my passion for sewing, free of charge, is one great way to do that.
UPDATE: In January, 2017, I donated $30.00 to The Victoria Foundation of Arizona, since I had earned $300.00 in royalties from my YouTube videos.
UPDATE: In October, 2015, the Lammily LLC doll company contacted me, asking me to design some winter clothes for their lovely doll. I accepted their offer, and now you can purchase Chelly Wood’s winter ensemble patterns for your Lammily dolls. As this was a paid venture, I donated a keyboard to Mr. McCarty’s music classes at Wendell School District in Wendell, Idaho. Here’s a picture of a few of his students with their new keyboard: