Having a handmade business is a lot of work. I think anyone would say that if they sat down and really thought about what it would take to make something by hand. I realized very early on that I have to love what I make to be able to make it repeatedly, sometimes on demand, and not get tired of it.
I just started making these baby/children's blankets and have really enjoyed the process and have been paying close attention to how much work I actually do that leads to the finished product: a shop full of blankets.
I spend hours searching online and in fabric stores for the perfect fabrics; ones I would buy for my own boys. I spend even more time coordinating the back for each fabric to get the look I want. Then there's the actual process of making each blanket. Pressing, cutting, pinning, sewing, pressing again, sewing, more pressing. Next, product photos. Spending hours figuring out how to photograph the items best, taking hundreds of photos of all products. Then there's uploading photos, editing each one, helping your items look the best they can through just a few photos. Then even more time is spent creating product descriptions, making sure you optimize the amont of people who actually see what you've put so much time into making.
Making time to market products, maintaining online relationships and an online presence in social media to even stand a chance. And if you actually make a sale? There's time packaging each item, postage for each, taking them to the post office.
In this world of bulk buying and outlet stores, I think people truly forget the value of handmade goods. For some handmade business owners, it's their outlet, their means of expressing themselves and leaving a mark in the world. For some, it's their livelihood, what puts food on the table for their family. Or for people like me, someone who just wants to make beautiful and useful things for others to enjoy.
I take so much pride in making things by hand. Somewhat selfisly, I love seeing others enjoy something I've made. I want each item to be a unique experience for everyone who opens it, I want it to be better than buying from a chain store for a quarter of the price. I want customers to open the package and feel like they've gotten something handmade by a friend.
When you buy handmade, you're supporting someone directly. You're telling them you love what they've chosen to spend their time doing. You're getting something one of a kind, that a lot of love and labor went into. When you buy handmade, you're supporting someone's dreams, you're telling them that all of those hours they put in were worth it.