When we were 7 we were getting in trouble for doodling in the margins during class. Our feet were tapping, dreaming about getting home and opening up the craft closet to make friendship bracelets, crocheting, collaging - just creating - anything. Some of us took a detour through the corporate world, others figured it out earlier - but we all have learned to make a living doing what we love. It isn't easy, a thread running around our email chain is currently talking about how one of our members works from 12am-12am. Last time I checked, that was 24 hours. Another member counts it a lucky day when she gets 1-2 hours sleep. Me? I'm starting all over again, so the challenge is getting my store back up and running. Almost from scratch.
We do this full-time because we love it. We would have it no other way. If we were back in the cubicle, we'd be getting in trouble for doodling in the margins again. Daydreaming about creating when we should be filing a TPS report.
Handmade. It is what drives us.
So what makes handmade stand out from mass-produced items? It has to do with the individual vision of the maker. The care that goes into the entire process, from design through crafting, the hard work that we put in to ensure our product is made with the utmost care and quality. We don't ship our idea off to someone else to complete. You won't see our items in Target or Ikea or in every other person's house. That is a totally different market.
And yes, there are some casualties of things being handmade. But there are casualties of things manufactured everywhere. (Chinese drywall anyone?) Over the next few months I'm going to be working with the FTEC team to help educate everyone on how to be a smarter buyer - how to tell the good from the bad, the original from the mass produced.
But in the meantime, I'd love to know - why do you buy handmade? What is the value you see in it?
By the way, the image above is one of my teammates whose work I am currently drooling over - JPatPurses
- Shelby from BS Art Studio