Guest Post by Dondi Warren
– Dondi Warren
If you ever come across an original work of art or handmade product and ask, “Why is this so expensive? I can find something cheaper at #bigboxstore… ”
Those large retail corporations can provide low price points because they contract huge volumes of products from manufacturers (many overseas), that may or may not have healthy conditions and policies for their workers. Our landfills are glutted with discarded, mass-produced junk that was designed to fill a short term consumer trend.
But again, “Why is original, handmade, one-of-a-kind more expensive?”
- Making Takes Hours of Time:
-Conceptualizing something “unique”
-Researching techniques and sourcing products
-Traveling to pick up items with which to create
-Experimenting with and reworking applications of materials and techniques
-Prepping, measuring, cutting, priming, painting, drawing, sewing, washing, sealing, matting, packaging, labeling
-Taking photos of products, editing photos, posting to social media hoping someone will find the work appealing and worthy
-Bookkeeping, tax reporting
- Making Is Expensive:
-Purchasing equipment, materials, supplies, packaging, labels
-Expenses and fees for business licensing, travel, workshops, markets, subscriptions/memberships to art/craft guilds and professional associations
-Utilities dedicated to the production of a craft
-Potential for financial loss if there is a negative return on the investments of time and materials
- No Guarantees:
-Creating work/products that are original, handmade, one-of-a-kind can be risky! It takes courage!
An original work of art or a handmade item is the culmination of a significant, personal investment of time, resources, and cash outlay, with the hope that it will be well enough received by the public to pay for all of that time, equipment, materials … as well as sustain basic needs such as food, gas, rent/mortgage, etc.
Your choices are powerful! When you purchase an original, handmade item, you not only gain a unique treasure, you have also invested in the artist/maker, empowering them to continue their craft.
So support the creative risk-takers; the midnight-oil burning makers!
Come experience South Main Creative, a place filled with unique, quality items made by good people: original works of art, artisan crafts, refashioned wearable art, and vintage/antique handmade items, too.
Buy local. Buy handmade!