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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Handmade or Mass Produced?

I have been preparing for the next show coming up, which is the  Kananaskis  Country Christmas, taking place in Redwood Meadows, on November 19th and 20th. I always enjoy doing this show because it is local...right in my backyard, so to speak!  I enjoy seeing those familiar faces of friends, and acquaintances from the area I live in, as well as the city folk who travel to come out and enjoy a day in the country.
 The one thing about this show that is different from some of the other shows that I do, is the fact that the shows organizers allow booths consisting of local artists and artisans, like myself,  as well as small  local retail shop owners, and the Tupperware, Arbonne and Silpada sellers. For the handful of local potters, jewelry designers, and local crafts people that set up booths at this show, we have to compete with local retailers, who are selling  imported gift ware, jewelry, and knitted hats and scarves from Indonesia! Can we compete with their prices.... in one word.... no.
 I would like to think that people that are attending these shows are there to support their friendly neighborhood artisan...but I don't think that is always the case. Quite often the cheapest price tag wins. Don't get me wrong, I love our local retail shops, but they have a chance to sell their goods, all year long at their brick and morter stores. Most artists only do a handful of shows a year, and the holiday season is our biggest selling time.  The shopper, comes to these shows with a only a certain amount of money in their pockets to the competition is very tough!
 So, this season, when you are attending your local arts and crafts Christmas shows, please take the time to ASK if the seller made that item themselves........or is it a mass produced, imported item. Then you...the buyer can make an informed decision where you want your hard earned money to go to. Pin It


Catherine said...

Home made is always more special ~ good tip!
xo Catherine

BeadedTail said...

It's very important for people to realize the difference between handmade and mass produced and it's much more than price! Around here some of the handmade items are prices so low it cheapens handmade items and makes it hard for the rest of us to compete. I can't compete with $5 earrings so people need to notice quality too!

Anonymous said...

Totally agree Susan!!! It's really not fair to have mass produced items vending at shows like these. Yuk!

Lin said...

I proudly walk on by all those items and sellers at craft shows. After working in a boutique a few years ago, I learned to respect the items made by artists and to know there is a time and a place for cheap mass-produced items--but I try to go handmade whenever possible.

I Christmas shopped at a local boutique today--to support the family-owned business as well. What a lovely experience that always is!! Beats the heck out of those BIG corporate stores!

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