Guess what?! We are moved in and busy unpacking now. Eek! Today is my last guest post and it's by Jill from 99 WPM, previously Ernestine Edna. We "met" online last year and have become fast friends. She and her family even helped us move this past weekend! Read on to hear Jill's thoughts on the handmade community - you'll love it!
Finding my way in the world of handmade has been a true journey.
In my youth I was a baker, a seamstress, a lamp maker.
My dad taught me how to fix things, and how not to give up until whatever was broken was usable, which takes a certain kind of creativity.
About ten years ago my sister and I sold homemade mixes in handsewn gift bags at craft shows.
|My friend's granddaughter|
wearing a hat I made for a
fundraiser last fall.
In the past three years I’ve been knitting and making jewelry for fundraising purposes for various causes.
I do like to create, but I have an eensy-weensy attention span and no permanent workspace. Handmade for me is truly a labor of love and I will never be able to make a living at it. But I still love handmade.
I know the effort involved in turning the designs in your head into a tangible creation. I know what it feels like to have created some awesome thing and have no one see it. I know the exhilaration of having someone purchase an item from you, and then by word of mouth have someone else make a purchase. Handmade is about putting yourself into a creation…it is all about taking risks.
I am not a risk taker.
I struggle with the confidence it takes to sell my creations.
I struggle with knowing how much to charge and being confident to promote an item I create.
While I use quality materials and take time to make a quality product, I struggle with selling…anything.
But I do love to give and to encourage others.
What better marriage can there be than that of the handmade world and the gift of affirmation?
One of my blogging goals is to encourage small business owners, especially creators of handmade. I usually host one or two giveaways each week, not so much to gather followers for myself, but to show off and highlight the creations of others. Of course the more followers I have, the more exposure I am able to give to the handmade artisans. With the exception of a few giveaways that have been donated, I choose to pay for the items I give away. It is my choice, (I’m open to not paying, so I can give away more things) but I really want to support handmade in any way I can and purchasing the item for the giveaway is a good start!
It sounds cheesy to say it, but buying handmade has truly been a blessing to me.
There are weird things, like when I get a package from my friend April at Marine Parents and I put the envelope up to my nose to get a whiff of the life of my far away friend...
There are awesome things, like getting an encouraging text from a far away friend at just the right moment...
There are sweet things like when I get to meet people like Tricia face to face and have
lunch Giordano's and chat about life.
I am so blessed to be a part of a community that is supportive, generous and encouraging. The small financial investment I make in the lives of my handmade friends has been abundantly repaid in the joy of the winners of my giveaways, the recipients of the gifts I give at Christmas and birthdays (and "just because") and the pleasure I take in proudly using handcrafted items personally.
If you are hesitant to step out of the "retail boat" and try purchasing handmade, enter one of my giveaways...I can guarantee, you won't be disappointed!
Follow Jill here:
Hope your Monday is fantastic!