The Problem With Handmade

 

There is a BIG problem with handmade. Did you know that? Well, there is. There is a HUGE problem with handmade. Do you want to know what that problem is? Wait for it…

Wait for it….

The problem is… HYPOCRITES.

That’s right. People are the problem. Specifically, hypocrites. I know, it’s a Monday morning, and it’s too early for mind games, so I will try to explain what I mean by this.

Since mid-November I have set up as a vendor at 4 craft/vendor events. Half of those have done well, and the other half tanked. Over the weekend I was talking with a few friends, and we talked about this topic. The truth is…

People want handmade quality without paying handmade prices.
 
 
 
Someone may want to get a hat, but why spend $20+ when I can go to the dollar store and buy one for a whoppin’ one dollar and a few cents tax?
I hear people say we need to buy “Made in USA” and to “stop sending jobs to China”, yet they don’t want to pay the price of things that are made in the U.S. We want cheap and easy. Do you know what kind of product you get with “cheap and easy”? You get cheap, machine-manufactured, dime-a-dozen products that likely won’t last as long as something made right here on American soil by the physical hands of fellow Americans.
Handmade is called handmade for a reason. Because it is HAND MADE. Some human being put their own hands to work, with their creativity, skill, time, and resources, to create something. It is a one-of-a-kind piece because it is made by human hands, which means that even the same style hat may be slightly different from one that looks very similar because it is handmade.
It may come as a surprise, but creative folk are not machines. I know I certainly can’t churn out 100 hats an hour. Each one takes time to create, in addition to any designing involved and the purchasing of supplies. This is why handmade items typically cost more than what you may find in a department store.
So yes, my items may cost more than what you may find at the local dollar store or from a Chinese warehouse on eBay, but it’s quality. It’s unique. It’s my hard work.
If you only want to spend a few bucks, then, by all means, shop elsewhere, but if you want good craftsmanship, quality materials, and individual, personal service, then shop from a handmade artist or crafter, whether locally or on Etsy. When you do so, you’re supporting a person. You are helping that crafter feed his family. You are helping her put her daughter in dance lessons. You are helping to pay electric bills for a family. You are not helping the rich companies get richer. You are helping a hard working person, like yourself.

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