There have been a few things on my mind lately. Being in the handmade shop owner community, I see a lot of happiness and a lot of drama during this time of year. It has not been with me personally, but I do have a thing or two to say about etiquette.
- Please do not post on someone's shop pictures, tagging another person & saying "can you make this for cheaper?" I imagine a lot of you are staring at the screen right now like...who would do that??? It happens. It happens a lot. This is rude to the shop owner to say the least. They are taking the time and effort diving into their creativity to create that item. That's like buying a bootleg movie because you don't think it's stealing. It is. Replicating an item exactly to sell is stealing. "Wait...I've sent you pictures?" I cannot control what customers send me, but I can control how it is made. I look at something. I search around for ways to make it better or a way to change it. I respect other's creativity.
- Customer stealing. Contacting another business' customer to tell them you'll do it for cheaper is sneaky and underhanded. A handmade business is one where your PERSONAL pride and dignity is on the line. You may think that you are doing that customer a favor by making it "cheaper" but what you are really doing is soliciting someone who had not even known about you to come buy your item. You know...like that telemarketer that always calls because they know you're searching for a (insert here). It is taking from someone who has put in the work of advertising and creating. It is stealing.
- Buying from a handmade shop owner is amazing. You will find creativity and items that you may not have anywhere else, but please understand that crafting isn't cheap. Have you gone into Michael's, Jo-Anne's, Hobby Lobby or AC Moore lately? To do one scrapbook, you could be investing $100+! For materials to make that purse, it could be $40-60 to start! We try to deal hunt the best we can, but we're at the mercy of coupons, availability and sales. Our prices reflect that. And you may not find that you want to spend $50 on something handmade but you'd spend the same on something from a department store, that's your choice. I know that every item I send out has been cut, pressed and sewn to the same perfection I would do for my own family. My purses are like my babies and I spend my time creating them. Does that one from the department store have the same story? Were you able to message the creator personally to customize it?
- Finally, when you contact a creator or a business person, they have lives. They are like you. They are not a customer service line available 24/7. Yes, I am a speedy replier but not everyone is. Do you jump on the computer to reply to an email when your little one is sick? Are you able to always respond within an hour or two? Please remember that you are buying from a person and not an entity.
Now that that's out I want to say this...
I do appreciate you. I thank you for every order, every kind word, every feedback or word of mouth. My customers have given me the chance to be able to love what I do in life.