I suspect everybody who has an artistic hobby whether it be painting, knitting, embroidery, making furnishings – the list is endless – would love to give up the day job and make a living from their craft. Some do it, but more often than not, the hobby remains a hobby. The time it takes to hand craft something makes it impossible to give yourself a reasonable income. One of my hearts may take, say, two hours to complete. At (UK) minimum wage rate, in time alone, the item would cost £14.90. Add onto that the cost of materials and a little for heating and light in the workroom and… well you see what I’m getting at.
They have some gorgeous things in ‘Next’ home department. I could easily fill a shopping trolley. Of course they are mass-produced so a cushion may cost only £10.00. How can a person hand crafting in their own back room possibly compete?
So, you may ask, why do we do it? Well basically we can’t stop ourselves. It’s like an addiction.
Using the cushion as an example there are only so many you can accommodate in your own home – the sofa, the chair, your bed, the kids beds, the guest bed. After that you move to friends and relatives, but it gets to the point when you have to think your Christmas gifts are getting a bit predictable – not another cushion!!
The next step, then, is to try to get your product out to a wider audience and this is where internet sites like Etsy or folksy come good. It’s not an easy solution. You can’t just make stuff and put it on the site. It takes time and effort and worst of all it eats into precious crafting time.
You may or may not sell anything but, you know, most crafters just want somebody to say they like their stuff. For many of us it’s not about the selling it’s about the recognition. It’s a great feeling when somebody says how lovely the item is that you have created out of your own imagination and fashioned with your own hands.
So really we just need someone to say how artistic and clever we are. We want to be encouraged and appreciated.
We wouldn’t mind if you got your money out too!