Sunday, December 12, 2010

Buying Handmade and the Artisan

 People who buy handmade don't just want to buy handmade, they want to feel good about buying handmade. They want to feel like there is that artisan on the other side who appreciates their business and is worthy of it as well. They want to know something about the artisan and feel they are approachable, warm, and friendly. If you are trying to sell your craft but are hiding from your customers, you are really quite confused I think about what it takes to sell your craft!

Those that have been following me know I haven't been doing this long. But I set out with a goal, I was going to find a way to stay home and still be able to help pay the bills. I'm terribly unqualified as an employee so any job I can get is not going to pay much, the hours are going to be terrible and we both knew we would both be miserable! So I needed to make money from home. Polymer clay is something that I had been wanting to try for a long time, it tugged at me, it was a yearning really. I don't know how I knew this was my shot, but somehow I did. I learned what I could from books from the library and skimmed form the internet, all the while buying tools one at a time using my coupons =)

I decided I would take this seriously and right off starting trying to brand myself with my moniker and banner and my work. I knew my work would evolve though and it is, I hope that never stops! And I started establishing myself online. That was by far the most time consuming and there is still more to do, lots more. But it's starting to work. I also decided I would try to be as upfront, honest, and approachable as I could. I wanted folks to be able to see me on the internet and hoped that would give them confidence in me as an artisan.

I think as a crafter/artist/artisan trying to sell your work, part of the package is a one on one relationship with your customers. If you can't, won't, or don't want to do that, you should probably find something else to do.  I pride myself on making sure I return every email promptly, I worry when I don't get a reply back, because I think maybe they didn't get it and are now frustrated thinking I did not reply back, but I also know not all customers are going to reply back unless they need to, so I try to treat every communication with respect. I try to be active on my FB page and keep it engaged, I love my FB page actually, it's a wonderful public place where anyone can approach me and ask anything or say anything. A lot of folks will let me know how much they loved their purchase o there, that rocks! Blogging I really need to do more lol And I will work on that.

I see so many folks who thought they could just throw something together and expect it sell just because it was there. I think it takes a lot to sell anything these days, especially to sell it online. People who are buying handmade, they're not just buying a product, they're buying the package, the product and the artisan need to be a package. I find it amusing that some crafters will go on about how easily they can sell at crafts shows in person then complain that they can't sell online ....hmmmmmm..... So I'm asking all of you, get out there and meet your customers, return the emails and do it promptly, change the announcement in your shop more frequently, post on your FB page, and yes, even blog =) Let the world see the whole package!

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