Business Matters: Why Buy Handmade?



Arounna of bookhou wrote a thoughtful post today on her blog about the how much is involved in making something handmade in response to a customer who left feedback on her etsy account complaining of her pricing.  I felt it important to give her post a mention here and to direct you to her blog, where she explains the amazing effort it takes into making something handmade.  About the care and hours she (and her mother) put into making her beautiful pieces and that her prices are not for just the material (which by the way she hand prints on) but for the massive hours involved from the screen printing, the dying of the leather or the waxed totes (each strip is cut from a larger hide, they don't buy the straps pre-cut), shipping, packaging, envelopes, paper, stickers, business cards, time factored into packaging, delivering to post office, planning, designing, the list goes on.  It's sad when ignorance leaves a negative message like that on someone's work, who's heart and soul goes into making something beautiful  that they love (and her things are beautiful).  For those of you making things - it's something maybe to read to support your pricing insecurities, and for those of you who buy things, it's something to take into consideration when buying and appreciating handmade.  Click here to read her post.

Jan Halvarson

16 comments:

món cosit a mà said...

It's so original!! nice

becka said...

Hear, hear! Thanks for posting this, Jan x

gretchen said...

Yes, that is so true. If you love what you do - it doesn't mean you have to do it for free...Their work is quality work, I see. Love the triangle storage box!

Handmade is something special and different. You can go to the mall if you want to have something for very low price - I'm sorry to say. But do think what happens before the cheap article is in the store...where, when, who has made it and who gets the money...

Genevieve said...

"Worth" is a topic I have been thinking a lot about lately in respect to my own work so I'm very interested to see what Arounna had to say. Thanks for the link!

It's Sooo Fluffy! said...

Thank you for sharing. It was definitely a great post!

Sarah LoCascio said...

So I just went and read the post, and then visited the shop to see what all the fuss was about, expecting beautiful but pricey bags?
The prices are AMAZING! and all of her work is so original and beautiful!! I really think her prices are extremely reasonable...shame whoever made a stink
LONG LIVE HANDMADE!!
xo
atticlace.blogspot.com

Mandy Behrens said...

Bravo! Your post (and Arounna's) helps illuminate the value of craftsmanship. As always, thank you Jan for championing handmade and artisan crafts. Cheers!

arounna said...

thanks jan for mentioning this and for your support xx

Dagmar said...

Well said..I have several of her pieces and the workmanship make them beyond beautiful..perhaps the ill informed person who left the comment has never made anything by hand and has no idea of the labour of love to create something like Arounna creates..

Boston Baked Beads said...

It's posts like these that help form a solidarity amongst the creators in the world. Inspiring and very well said. I've been feeling the weight of the winter doldrums - this gave me the little lift I needed. Can't wait to get back to my studio tomorrow. Thanks

Rachel said...

I read the post and check out the shop! I think it's a beautiful shop worth buying from. Love her dedication to handmade too!

NeatoKeen@Etsy said...

I have the utmost respect and incredible admiration for all of the artisans that sell their creations on Etsy. I have a vintage shop on Etsy and it takes a lot of time to find excellent merchandise. Add in the business of photographing items, writing descriptions, emailing back and forth with customers, shipping and follow-up and it can be overwhelming. Now couple that with actually creating merchandise from start to finish and it is nothing short of heroic! I am in complete awe of the artists and crafters which is why I buy more than 90% of my gifts and home goods on Etsy now.

theviewfromhere said...

thank you for writing this thoughtful post. as a creative person i struggle seemingly ceaselessly to explain the "cost" of my work...even to friends, (when they buy). the scenario has in the past led me to feel as though i'm some sort of con-woman (or at least seen as such by persons interested in purchasing my work). as i heard someone say once, "you don't go to the supermarket and complain about the cost of food, do you?"

i loved your post, found it so helpful/therapeutic; ACTUALLY can't wait to put my reenforced confidence to work when managing the financial end of my creative endeavors.

lovenotesrestylestudio.com said...

Thank you sharing!

Jesse Lu Bain said...

I am a handmaker and a handmade buyer, alike. I am happy to pay reasonable prices for handmade goods, not just because I understand the work and effort and creativity that goes into handmade work, but because I cherish the process. I am buying more than a satchel or a tea towel. I am purchasing the joy and struggle of someone's hands on the cloth. I am purchasing a piece of their imagination to keep with me whenever I like. I am purchasing a share in the dream of making a living with your own hands. I am purchasing the right for someone to be their own boss, decide their own wages, schedule their own vacations. Handmade is so much more than a cute satchel or a sweet tea towel.

Carla Helene' from Caheez said...

So, so true. It's sad how many people don't value the time and effort involved in handmade crafting. Thanks for posting this and sharing a bit of the secrets behind the curtain! :)

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