Category Archives: need to knows

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 😉

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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?

 

The Gift of Knowledge

Have you ever heard of Crohn’s Disease

 I never had, not really, until a close friend of mine started battling it.  And I truly do mean battling the disease.

I was shocked to learn how bad it really does get, and even more appalled that there IS NO CURE.  There’s only cocktails of harmful medicines that are ment to ease the symptoms.  There’s little support, little aid, and the medical treatments cost thousands each month.

I could rant on and on about the very little I have learned about this disease but Sarah can do a much better job telling you about what she has gone through. 

http://skeletoes.com/2011/03/19/crohns-disease-please-pass-around/  <– Go there now,and then come back.  But when you’re done reading that post, go ahead and click on her category for Crohns, it’s worth the time, I promise.

The good news is that awareness of the disease is beginning to spread, and we are smack dab in the middle of Crohns and Colitis awareness Week

Now go here: http://online.ccfa.org/site/DocServer/IBD_Week_press_release.pdf?docID=17502  And do yourself a favor by learning a little more about this devastating disease. 

And when you’re done, share the awareness… it never hurts to be aware.

Help me turn the Internet PURPLE!