Monday, 12 September 2011

The Great Folksy Handmade Clarification

So this week has seen Folksy clarifying their definition of handmade and ultimately defining what they aim to see being sold on there. I for one welcome this with open arms but it seems to have pissed off a lot of people. Oh dear. *smirks*

Now don't get me wrong, I believe there is a market for a lot of stuff this new clarification will exclude. For example, I love a lot of the cheap and cheerful chain store jewellery and I love having a look at the jewellery stands while I'm going round Tesco or Asda. But I do take great objection to people who stick the cheapest plastic beads they could find from the Middle East on Ebay onto some elastic and call themselves jewellers. Sure, it's good to blow your own trumpet but be realistic please. The same with 'handmade' cards. Plonking a sticker onto a folded sheet of card and charging an extortionate price is nothing more than a rip off. To those guilty of these travesties; your friends and family telling you that wow, yes, your 'creation' is great and you should so sell those are just being nice. Really.

But then there are those who make gorgeous cards and gorgeous beaded jewellery. They spend a lot of time and effort putting together creations made from quality materials that look wonderful. They have a design flair and an artistic eye as well as having the skills to make items of a high standard. And that won't fall apart 5 minutes after you leave the house! But those quality materials cost more than the crappy stuff someone bought from an engrish speaker running a sweat shop halfway across the world. Those making what I personally class as quality handcrafted products take pride in what they do and aren't churning out 50 pieces of junk to sell per hour.

The frustrating thing however is that there is a culture for buying cheap which ties in with a throwaway culture. We've all become so used to the cheap prices for mass produced items that the big boys buying in bulk thrust in our faces every day that we automatically want cheap. Rather than buying one quality item many prefer to buy multiple cheap items. I admit I can be guilty of this myself. Budget restraints dictate the love of a bargain after all. It's no wonder people struggle to compete.

At the end of the day, however, jewellery is a luxury not a necessity. Isn't it better to buy one item you love that will last a good while than waste 'disposable income' buying loads of stuff that will just end up in the bin?

Should people stop making cheap stuff? Certainly not in my opinion. There IS a market for it and if you are having fun then why not? And don't sell yourself short but don't overrate your stuff either!