Friday, May 24, 2013

The Top 10 Myths of Handmade

Avoiding the myths and misconceptions of handmade is a hot topic The CraftStar sellers and buyers are constantly faced with. 

Our Facebook community gathered yesterday and compiled a list of common myths or sayings we hear almost daily about handmade. There was quite a large list made but we've managed to whittle it down to 10. Before we do though, watch this hilarious video I found online about stuff you'll regularly hear shoppers say at a craft show. I got a good giggle out of it!

1) Handmade items are things made with popsicle sticks and pom pomsHandmade and crafting both still have connotations of things grandma used to like to do, or things we do to occupy or teach children, not many people seem to realize what a unique art form it really can be. Just because it is made by hand does not mean I threw it together with construction paper, glue sticks, and glitter. The supplies I use are expensive. The tools I've purchased cost me an arm and a leg. 

2) Handmade is just a fun hobby. Yes I do enjoy my sewing but it is much more than a fun hobby. It is a business and requires work, business and marketing skills (including social media knowledge), photography, accounting, time management just to name a few! While I might only have time to make handmade items after working my 9-5 and putting the kids to bed, I still have orders to fill and customers that need answers to questions. I might also do this in my pajamas with no makeup and messy hair. You never quite know!

3) Handmade items can't possibly look professional. I get this all the time "it looks like a you professionally made this!" I'm not sure what they think I actually do for 40 hours a week. I take my business very seriously. I would like my customers to return. Because of this I use the highest quality items that I can afford to purchase so that my items do look a professional as they can be.

4) Handmade should cost less. We all work hard, cutting, sewing, stamping, stringing, whatever. So why should we make less? Don't forget all of that packaging, shipping and driving to get supplies and heading to the post office I do.To me that equals time and materials and in my shop, I don't remember those things being free. People do not seem to realize how much time and effort goes into making an item if you are doing everything with your own two hands.

5) Handmade produced items have less qualityOften times something I bought from a big store will break, rip etc. very easily, and a similar item that was handmade won't do thatPeople seem to forget that before machinery everything was handmade.  In reality the factories churn out product as fast as they can for as cheap as they can. Meanwhile handmade tends to be high quality products with a lot of care and concern put into making the item as good as it can be so that the customer is happy and they return.

6) Handmade must mean flea market. Hmm, no. Quit trying to haggle me on the price! I spent 3 hours alone on making the item with my two hands. Pay me a fair price! 

7) I could make that. Please do! Actually, let me point you in the direction of a tutorial on Pinterest so that you can make your own. Let me know how that goes for you. I'll give you my email address and you can personally send me photos of your completed item and we will compare apples to apples. 

8) Artists only paint and sketch. I beg to differ. On The CraftStar, and at nearly every single arts festival across the world, you'll find jewelry makers, quilters, sewers, soapers, candle makers, graphic designers, bakers, etc. Just because I don't paint or sketch doesn't mean I'm not an artist. We all have our own ways of being creative and expressing it. 

9) I'm your friend. I get it for free or a discount, right? I wish I could run my business like this. In reality though, I paid for the supplies and I spent multiple hours creating the item. My family would like to eat tonight and my car needs gas. Without payment for my handmade item I can't afford to live. I hope you understand! 

10) I saw this bracelet I really like but it was expensive. Can you make it for less? If it was expensive there was probably a reason for it. Perhaps, the quality of the materials or the time it took to make the item made it the price it was. I can try to recreate the bracelet for you but I can't guarantee you it will cost any less. More than likely the cost of the materials I find will be about the same as I want to purchase quality materials and my time isn't free. 

Kim Keane, is the Content and Community Manager for You will find her actively updating the blog as well as scouring the internet for fun ways to grow the community. Along with her duties to The CraftStar she is the owner of Queen of De Tile and mother to beautiful 11 year old twin boys Dylan and Connor. 

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