to see details about this embroidery stitch or learn more about the movie Handmade Nation, click image.
I have been crafting for "business" for almost 3yrs now. I think I am so far entrenched in Handmade, Etsy, and small businesses that I think EVERYONE sees it like I do. Then I have to stop and remind myself, that not everyone knows what Etsy is, not everyone sees the modern version of handmade. So here are my thoughts.
I'm not saying I never shop at Walmart (although it does make my skin crawl) or that I don't love Target and other mass marketers. there is definitely things there that are not available from online handmade artists (Legos); And I know they rely on the dollars of patrons as well, but there is a huge differences.
#1. As a seller, I know this, and from all the sellers I am friends with, I know this....a sale can make our day. If you decided to go to Walmart and buy a purse, or a hat, or a candle...it probably is just a drop in the bucket. In ways it really would make no difference. There are many many sellers on Etsy (and other handmade venues) that when you buy an item in their shop, they jump up and down, they smile, they scream and shout, they tell all their friends "I MADE A SALE". We celebrate when we hit 100 sales, we celebrate at 500, 600, 1000. Every sale is appreciated. When I buy from a fellow handmade, small business entrepreneur, I'm not just getting an awesome, unique, well crafted item...I get the inner satisfaction of knowing that my buy brought happiness to the seller, and made a difference in their life. And I am not the only one...check out why this blogger loves buying handmade...especially LilacAve ;) http://www.differentshadesofgreen.com/2011/06/things-i-love-lilac-ave.html
BTW, this is not just for online handmade businesses. Shop Local!!! We want to support them.
#2. Customer Service. I mean really, these days, even in these hard times, I find decent customer service is hard to find. No one wants to thank you (if they do,l it is a not so sincere, monotone, scripted "Thank you, have a nice day"). Small businesses are obsessed with their businesses and making them work. Their thanks is a sincere "THANK YOU for choosing ME!". Usually their appreciation is shown in little touches of great customer service, like courteous replies, apologies when things go wrong, and the motivation to fix it, little gifts, handwritten notes, careful packaging.