Category Archives: Interwebs Rambling

Putting the Hands Back in Handmade

purpleyarn
There’s headlines floating all over the interwebs right now on how Sellers on Etsy are protesting their latest change of policies. I’m betting 50% of my readers are saying, “What’s Etsy?” 45% are probably asking, “What policy change?” And the last group is packing up their profiles from Etsy and moving on.

Let’s start at what I once knew. Etsy was the place for all things handmade, vintage, or supplies to make handmade. An online community where I could go and buy fantastic supplies to make a knitted sweater, then turn around and sell said sweater, then take those profits and buy that vintage birdcage that I had always wanted. The American dream gone global, sort of speak.

But there were/are problems in the Etsy world. You had people reselling junk that was neither vintage, handmade, nor a supply. You had people selling things they never even touched, known as drop shipping. The problems kept growing, and growing, and growing. Drop in the word, “bubble necklace” in an Etsy search, and you’ll get a great example.

To fast forward to the latest issue over in Etsy world, and you have the Ceo stepping up in a town hall meeting to announce that Etsy sellers may now hire out to get their goods made, and they may also use drop shipping. In short I could technically send my knitted scarf design to China (no offense any oriental readers), hire a sweatshop to make hundreds of them, and have them ship the scarfs directly to you… never again having to touch them myself, while still calling my shop Handmade. I’d like to go on and on about the other problems this causes, the treatment of sellers, and so forth… but I’d like to keep this post somewhat short, as I actually DO have HANDMADE SCARVES to HAND KNIT, and those take time, lots of precious time. 😉

Now we’re at the downfall of this announcement for Etsy. Mass-produced versus handmade, and the Etsy name getting more tarnished than the senate. Those sellers who can afford to leave the venue are, they’re taking off to sites like Zibbet.com, Tictail.com, Indiemade, and more. Those of us who can’t afford to leave are left without the clout those big stores carried, and are running into customer after customer who want Ebay deals. Then there’s the buyers who can’t find homemade/handmade goods were they used to be the forefront. You have buyers unknowingly buying from mass producers. And buyers who are just simply turned off from the whole deal.

And it’s all a catch 22. To get a large company like Etsy to hear you, you have to hit them in the wallet. BUT that means hurting the hundreds of TRUE handmade, vintage, and supply shops who have been working their butts off to build their shops, and have been following every rule since day one. So I’m not asking you to leave Etsy off your shopping list this holiday season. I’m asking you to leave cheap, imported, mass produced JUNK off your list, and to buy handmade! When shopping on Etsy do a search of the item you’re wanting to buy in a new window/tab. If you see the same image in multiple shops, it’s probably mass produced. If you see a price that’s too good to be true, it’s not handmade. If the shop has 5,000 listings, and 10,000 sales, and 100 of each item in stock… yeah, it’s not handmade. (that one is different for supplies, they can pump out huge numbers) And even when you run into a shop on Etsy offering an IPhone for a super great deal, DON’T BUY IT!!! Go to Ebay for your deals, don’t encourage the Etsy CEO’s to ruin handmade businesses anymore! (Etsy makes a profit on every listing a shop owner lists, AND a profit on every item we sell)

When in doubt, ask if something is real. Many of us true Handmade “artist” on Etsy have connections to every kind of maker out there, if you can’t tell if it’s real or mass-produced, we’d all be happy to figure it out for you.

Make a real change in our economy and help support the little guys. It makes a huge difference when you do!

~Emily (You can start by checking out my shop at http://www.whitegoatranch.etsy.com 😉

What I Won’t Do

I have to clear some things up here.  Starting with that this post is about my personal philosophy towards this subject.  If your’s differs, this is not an insult to you.

I received an email last week requesting that I host a review and giveaway for a certain company who I shall not be naming here.  I simply replied back, “I’m sorry, but I cannot offer reviews for anyone or anything I have no experience with.  That is not my policy.” 

You see, even with my absence on my blog, and in my blogging communities (okay so I might be a slackard loser in this department as of late), I still consider my readers, my followers, my FRIENDS.  I love hosting giveaways, and giving out my own twist on reviews… but to lie…

I figured the case was closed, until I got another email to the tune of, “Other bloggers have given us great reviews, and you should trust them.  Listing our name on your site will heap your views, and make your blog even better.  That should be a better offer than a free product.  Here’s the link and guidelines for your review and giveaway.  We need you to list this by *insert a specific date*”.  (Paraphrased)

Rightttttttt.

No.

Sure, the company might be honest and great and totally legit.  Is “might” worth enough to risk my friends’ trust?  Hell no. 

So I’m putting this out here now.  As this is the second company that has requested a blind review.  SHUD UP.  Stop wasting your time.  It’s not going to happen.  I don’t care about getting free stuff, I care about my readers, my friends.  I will NEVER do a blind review on ANYTHING.

I will however continue to offer reviews and giveaways to all of my friends.  My policy remains:  I will recommend any person I trust, with or without product samples, but I’ll let you know if I have not tried their product/service.  I will review and recommend products and services I have experienced, and my review will be my honest opinion.  And you’ll know if they paid me for it, or not, as required by my morals and the law.  No exceptionsIf I do not know you personally, and/or if you cannot offer a sample of your product or service I will not share you with my friends, period.

Any questions?

 

As the Sands in the Hourglass…

Last night I found myself doing some good old blog stalking.  You know the kind where you lurk from link to link, reading way back into the dusty halls of archives, learning way too much about people you have never met.  Yes my night was that exciting.

I couldn’t look away.  Like watching a train wreck, I had to keep reading.  My brain was trying to wrap itself around the reasoning that people have to share every little personal detail about their lives.  I get the idea behind blogging as one’s personal journal, and I get that some people feel as though they have nothing to hide… but every little detail, out in the masses of the non-expiring interwebs world… forever?!

I’ve thought about the future before, when my son moves out, has his own family, and one night my grandson “googles” my name, and he finds all of my blogs, my profiles…  OR when my daughter sets course for ruler of the world, and they check out her background, and find pictures of her running around in diapers…

Yes, I think of those sorts of things every time I post anything on the interwebs.

I suppose for me, personally, I’m an extremely private person.  Or maybe the best word for it is self-conscious.  My life is my life, and I choose to only let complete strangers into the “It won’t make me look bad, and it can’t be taken the wrong way” parts of my life.  In short, I prefer to air my dirty laundry inside the safety of my own private, windows locked tight, stain remover ready, laundry room.  Maybe I’m old-fashioned, or maybe I’m just an interwebs prude?  ;p

Maybe I work for the CIA and if I told you anything about my real life I would have to kill you. 

Or maybe the going ons around here aren’t that interesting to begin with.  You might never know.

Even if I don’t understand the need to tell complete strangers every dirty little secret about every single instance in your life, I’m glad people out there feel the need to… gives me lots of good reading for these cold, boring, winter nights.  (not to mention some of those blogs makes me feel really sane and normal!)

A Pointless Waste of Time, And Why I Don’t Care

I’m a new girl in this whole Blogging World. 

I am hungry for critiques, advice, guidance.  Be they gentle or harsh I want them, I need them.  I welcome them.

Just please don’t scream at me when the car is rolling backwards down the hill, 5 minutes into my “how to drive a stick shift lesson”.  And don’t remind me that it was MY bright idea to learn right then and there, in the dark, while it’s raining.

I do think that I am going somewhere with this…

Ummmm… Yes, now I remember…

Tonight I am celebrating my first step up in the blogging world.  I received my first Hate Mail!  *dances wildly in muh seat”  Seriously, it’s making me giddy, or at least smirky and snarky all rolled up into one.  Someone took the time to tell me how much they dislike me. 

See normally I would guess that most people are like me.  You read something you don’t like and you click that big giant X that’s all red on the top right hand corner of the screen.  It’s magic really, and I wish it worked on taxes.  CLICK and POOF it’s all gone. 

But nope, I am just so special enough that they had to click on comments, enter a message, fill out some info AND press another whole box to submit the whole thing. 

That’s proof that I, my friends, am some kind of special, and that my virgin newbie-ness is longgggg gone.

I have a point to sharing all of this.  It’s not to give credit to some stupid comment, but to give credit to all of us who aren’t afraid of such comments.  You have to filter out the true critiques from people who only have balls when their computer boots up. 

I have a lot of friends who want to blog, who have thoughts they are dying to share, but fear the public’s thoughts.  There’s nothing in here/out there to fear.  Nothing at all.  I don’t write for the guy who found my writing to be “pointless and a waste of time”  I write for me.  Yes it rocks when a post get’s tons of hits, and yes it’s a downer when a post gets 0 hits… but I’m still going to type on. 

There’s no growing in the not doing.

Put yourself out there for YOU.

As for the comment I got, I’m thinking about framing it… or maybe even a tattoo.  Because a pointless waste of time would truly be taking life way too seriously.  And sometimes we all need that reminder.

Now back to celebrating 2 trips around the neighborhood, with me driving a stick shift for the first time EVER and not killing ANYONE including the car!