Every handmade small business has heard it before. Muttered under a customer’s breath, whispered between shoppers, boldly stated as fact, offered up as a suggestion…
"WHY SO EXPENSIVE"?
These three words or any version of them can be enough to tear down even the most confident, prepared business owner. In the world of small biz, it’s hard enough to believe in yourself and value what you’re doing without someone questioning if you’re worth it. These passing comments hit entrepreneurs right in the soft spot where all insecurities live, each one sticking around longer than it should.
So, for those who’ve made these comments (perhaps not realizing) and for those who’ve taken them personally, we’ll examine the reasons why handmade is worth every cent.
1. MAKERS GOTTA MAKE (A LIVING)
The reality of handmade is that for many entrepreneurs, their small business is their job. That means that their life and the lives of those they’re responsible for depend on the income from their business. Once the actual costs of creating and selling a product are covered it’s not always possible for makers to cover their time, knowing that the market can only bear so much. Handmade products have a living wage (and sometimes not even) built into the price, something that we’re not always accustomed to in the land of throwaway fashion and sweatshop convenience.
2. HAND-MADE ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS HARDDD
There’s a reason why not everyone decides to make their own soap, spin their own yarn or sew their own clothes. Making stuff is not easy, and it takes time, dedication, energy and skill. For the few that hone their craft and decide to make a business out of it, it’s even harder. There’s time, research, sourcing, spending, making, building, pricing, listing, posting, promoting, selling, shipping and numerous other minutia that go into each and every product. And that’s just the physical process! Be assured that the handmade product you are buying has hours of emotional and physical energy behind it, and that whomever you’re buying it from genuinely appreciates your support.
3. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR
Believe it! Handmade is almost always better. Makers put a lot of time and care into their offerings, and by the time they feel confident enough to start selling, they’re usually putting out a pretty solid product. When you purchase something from a maker, remember that you’re not only buying a great, unique and likely amazing product. You’re also buying into a vision, a process, a set of ethics, standards, relationships and decisions that have gone into creating the product you’ve chosen. If you want to know more about what you’re buying into, don’t hesitate to ask questions or take literature. Many makers are more than happy to discuss their materials, process and products at length!
4. MATERIAL MATTERS
Although it’s not always the case, many makers spend a lot of time and energy choosing materials. Whether they’re local, ethical, natural, upcycled or otherwise, you can bet that your maker paid for that value. It’s expensive to buy decent materials, and even more expensive when you’re a small business that maybe can’t afford or rationalize a minimum bulk order of 10,000 units. You’re not buying some mass-produced thing made with the cheapest ingredients possible and sold in huge quantities to a retailer. You’re buying an artisanal, small-batch thing likely sold to you at the most reasonable price the maker could offer.
5. SUPPORTING THE DREAM
Starting a small business is in no way an easy path, and it’s certainly not for everyone. Entrepreneurs are a special breed, and you better believe that whoever made the products you’re purchasing has probably put their whole heart and soul into their business. When you buy something from a maker, you are helping to support their life, dreams, goals, plans, families, communities, causes… and, you are helping to affirm their belief in themselves. When you buy something from a maker, you can feel good about what you’re buying into, because you’re supporting a real person’s dream.
These are but a few of the many reasons handmade comes with its price tag. There’s a lot that goes in to making handmade happen! Why do you #choosehandmade?