Understanding the value of things handmade

There is a video created by Crochet by Sweet B Creations (scroll until you get to the video) making the rounds on Facebook. In the video she is crocheting and it has text that explains what goes into making a handmade item and why they cost what they do. The point of the video is to help buyers understand why handmade things can seem expensive.

Unless someone is a maker themselves, it can be hard to understand why a baby blanket costs $70+ when Micheal’s has yarn for $1.99 a skein.

There are many things that go into the pricing of handmade things, like time and skill. Hand dyed yarn might seem expensive to some, but like the example in the video, I make less than minimum wage. At this point, I don’t make anything at all. All the money from the yarn goes right back into this budding business. Most of the time just to get new yarn, because what I have hasn’t sold, I have to use my husband’s money to pay for it.  This is why those 2 Kickstarters have been necessary and such a blessing. I know not all Makers have the luxury of someone else’s income to help them get by.

Our Wal-Mart consumer society has conditioned us to believe that things are and should be cheap. We are used to buying cheap things that don’t last, so we must continuously replace them. People barely remember what quality is like, what it is like to have things that last.

Handmade isn’t about cheap. It’s creating a sustainable connection from one person to another. It creates an economy that might be slower moving, but is healthier. You are supporting a very different life style and set of values when you support Makers.

We aren’t getting rich. That isn’t why we are happily crafting our days away.

I believe that Makers should be able to earn a living wage and at least minimum wage. It doesn’t come out to very much money on our end, but the value of it never was in the cash.

Shop handmade. Shop local. Pay the price they ask for. Don’t haggle or complain. They aren’t trying to rip you off.

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