Monday, March 17, 2008

D.I.Y. vs. Consumer Crafting

I admit it, I do a lot of stuff myself, often things that are better left to someone else. I fix household things that should be replaced, sew up clothes that should be retired and I refuse to buy things that I could make, even if I'm not likely to ever get around to doing so. D.I.Y. seems to be an ever increasing trend that has spawned a plethora of "sell your own crafts" sites. I know I threw a little party when I discovered Etsy.com and began my own retail experiment.

The whole thing has me wondering though, if an ever increasing amount of people are "doing it themselves" and trying to make a living at it, won't the whole system implode? If everyone who liked the look of knit cuffs, learned how to make knit cuffs, who would be left to buy them?

Everyone seems to agree what we need are customers that understand that hand craftsmanship takes time and skill and are willing to pay a premium for that. Unfortunately, it seems more like a lot of poor crafters are buying each others goods in an effort to keep consumer crafting alive.

What do you think?

4 comments:

Bridget said...

welcome to the wonderful world of blogging...
if you'd like to link swap, let me know.

Although there appears to be a resurgence of the arts & crafts movement so popular in the 1960's 70's I think there will always be room for more artisans & craftspeople.

As an artist & jewelry designer, I enjoy buying handmade items from other artisans. Also there are millions of people who do no have the inclination to do arts & crafts, no desire, no time, however they are willing to buy lovely handmade items.

Problem being right now the economy is bad so there is less disposable income to spend of handmade items.

Rosebud Collection said...

Sometimes, I don't think people appreciate all that goes into making things..they just don't realize the time and energy, till they try.

knitsteel said...

I think that a lot of us try things, but do not take it to perfection. So if I wanted a nice lace necklace, I would be more likely to buy from you or one of the other few good tatters on Etsy.

I might be able to fix a faucet, but eventually I'm going to need a plumber.

I get some of my best sales when I'm teaching workshops.

Kinichi River Designs said...

Sometimes I feel that way, as well. I tend to be a DIYer and feel like others must be, as well. There really are a lot of people out there that want to buy handmade, though. Or they try to do something themselves, realize they don't have what it takes (talent, patience, fun), and decide to buy it, instead.

Its a good point, though, that the economy is low. I think if we can stick it out through these leaner times, we will see handmade pick up with the economy.

Also, there is an influx of people who think all they have to do is open shop and the money will pour in. Many are likely to be discouraged and not last in the handmade business.

Just some random thoughts. You got me thinking! :)