Back in the craft biz after a LONG time away.
But we've got a new style, a new look, and some KILLER cute stuff! Most Crafters we've met have either been doing this for a loooooooooooooong time, or they are NEW to the Crafting World.
Our old crafting buddies friends who've been somewhere in the middle have either moved on to other things, or they've gone on to make it in the BIG TIME!
So, since we've re-entered the crazy world of sewing machines, paints, canopies, and cash, we figured we'd better see what lessons we could take from the LAST go-round. Those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it, right?
So for my other craft friends who will probably be the only ones who ever read these rantings and ravings, let's review the two phrases heard by every last crafter on the planet....over and over and over again!
And dear Lord, please help me to remember to nod and smile every time I hear these phrases during the next 10 years, so I don't lose my sanity!
(She says on bended knee- yes, seriously and in all sincerity.)
"THAT'S SO CUTE"!
What a heartwarming phrase! Makes a crafter giddy to hear it.
The first 5,000 times. And of course, it's quite flattering!
SOMEBODY likes my stuff I worked so hard to create! But unfortunately, it doesn't pay the bills. So although I will sincerely WISH to have a nickel (or hey, even a PENNY!) for each time I will hear this (again) during the remainder of my Crafting career, I ask for the strength to continue to SMILE every time I hear this! And I hope my friends will remind me to be HAPPY the customers are still saying this 10 or 20 years from now! No matter how hard it begins to grate on my nerves. Whew.
"I CAN MAKE THIS."
Which is often modified to
"I should buy this and copy this!" or
"I could make one of these for ___(insert name of celebration here, i.e. Jenny's birthday, Aunt Hilda's party, etc.)"
or the dreaded
"That's so simple, I can totally copy this." which often concludes with...(dun dun duh....)"AND SELL THEM!!!"
This is the face-to-face version of the dreaded Pinterest re-pin of your item (which by the way is CLEARLY marked with a price and hyperlinked to your online shop) to the "I can make this" board.
In any case, here's our short response:
"Yes, you probably could. But WOULD you?"
The real response that goes on behind the scenes in my swirling brain:
"OUCH! Hello? Are you serious? You are going to say this in FRONT of me?
I wish you would realize that I am NOT doing this just for FUN- this is my JOB. And I don't put in 40 hours a week...it's more like 140. Plus."
I hope that you, the darling customer, won't notice that I am trying very hard to keep it to myself that I would prefer not to tell you where I bought that specialty fabric, how to sew it together, what machine I use, how I hand-stitched it so carefully, how many hours I spent creating it, and what the pattern should look like. This is a REAL job, as well as a labor of love.
I wouldn't ask Betsy Johnson where to buy that particular fabric so I could copy her dress, although I've often been told that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Flattery doesn't pay for college tuition.
(BREATHE IN-BREATHE OUT. Shake it off.)
All I ask is a little courtesy. Plagiarism stinks. Sigh.
So, if you are a crafter reading this, know we are all in the same boat, and have ALL heard this, and I sympathize with you, fellow crafter who finds themselves trapped at their worktable at 2:00 AM.
And if you are a potential CUSTOMER reading this, please take a moment, and realize that crafters are real people working for a living, and please...
BE NICE to us too! We're artisans, and we work very, very hard to create our goods that we offer to you.
Okay, enough ranting. Time to pack up the van for a VERRRRRRY long day at tomorrow's Street Fair, and time to arm ourselves for the
"CUTE" & "COPY" speeches about to come our way...we love our customers, but this job is not an easy one. Good thing we LOVE it!!!