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I am neither and I don't care!

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  • I am neither and I don't care!

    OK, over the last few months, I have become a little disconcerted by some of the threads about whether you are a professional or what seems to be the rather derogatory term hobbyist. Well I am saying it right now, I am neither and frankly I don't care!

    As I see it, everyone on here did not know what they doing at some point, they practised, became adept were probably encouraged by friends and family and then gifted or started to sell their produce. You do not become a professional overnight.

    For me, sewing, knitting and making is what I do. It is part of my life, I have done it most days since I was a child and the thing that I like to do best is to share it... the biggest blast I got this Christmas was seeing some girls that I had taught to make wreathes selling them at a craft fair, however they had overfilled their stall and you couldn't see the wood for the trees... I made a few suggestions and went back the next week to another fair in which they were exhibiting they had streamlined the stall, I bought a fantastic wreath for my door but this time I had to queue!

    I expect someone out there will now say, "oooh but they have taken your idea," but do you know what, there are very few original ideas, all you can do is work with the basics and add a personal twist to it. It is down to the fabric, yarn and the way you put it together, your interpretation.

    And that for me is what crafting is all about, it is about sharing and passing it forward.
    Blog: http://rosmademe.blogspot.com

    Website: www.etsy.com/shop/RosMadeMe

  • #2
    My personal feeling and opinion is that some people get upset about it because they are insecure and don't know what goes on in business. I mean the bad things, not the type of things reputable businesses do. You sound like a really nice person, just how I would expect most people to share their lives. I bet you got a real buzz out of seeing those girls doing well! I know I would if I were in your shoes. I do hope they pass on their skills to other too.

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    • #3
      And more importantly Roslet you are happy

      I think with the business sections on here a lot of craft businesses (and potential craft businesses) are drawn to joining because the information and support here is fabulous, I know lots of members have turned their hobby into a small part-time business due to the encouragement they got from here. However it is a craft forum open to all and in fact two of our most active mods only craft for enjoyment and that really needs to be the key. Crafting whether for fun or for livelihood should be enjoyable and no-one is 'better' or 'valued more' here as we're all equal as we're all crafters.
      Visit Natty Netty for a huge selection of Iris Folding supplies

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      • #4
        Thank you Natty Netty... that is just the post I was hoping for.
        Blog: http://rosmademe.blogspot.com

        Website: www.etsy.com/shop/RosMadeMe

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Roslet View Post

          As I see it, everyone on here did not know what they doing at some point, they practised, became adept were probably encouraged by friends and family and then gifted or started to sell their produce. You do not become a professional overnight.

          For me, sewing, knitting and making is what I do. It is part of my life, I have done it most days since I was a child and the thing that I like to do best is to share it... the biggest blast I got this Christmas was seeing some girls that I had taught to make wreathes selling them at a craft fair, however they had overfilled their stall and you couldn't see the wood for the trees... I made a few suggestions and went back the next week to another fair in which they were exhibiting they had streamlined the stall, I bought a fantastic wreath for my door but this time I had to queue!

          I expect someone out there will now say, "oooh but they have taken your idea," but do you know what, there are very few original ideas, all you can do is work with the basics and add a personal twist to it. It is down to the fabric, yarn and the way you put it together, your interpretation.

          And that for me is what crafting is all about, it is about sharing and passing it forward.
          Well said Ros.

          It's a shame the term hobbyist has been used in a derogatory way. We all know there's nothing wrong with a hobby! It seems the problem a lot of people have is with "undercutting" which will always happen. In my experience, if your work is good quality, well designed and well presented, you will always outsell someone who is undercutting you (as long as your price isn't prohibitive). Price is never the main consideration when buying something handmade or for a gift (otherwise we'd all be buying gifts from the £ shop!).

          I agree that sharing is important - it's important for all of us to share techniques and knowledge. As handmade professionals or hobbyists, none of us can take over the world with our makes - there's only 24 hours in a day.

          Having said that, there's a fine line to draw here. Sharing techniques I am more than happy with. People copying my designs I am not happy with (unless I have designed them as patterns, of course!).

          As a former adult ed teacher, I always thought there is no better feeling than teaching someone a technique or skill and then seeing them apply that knowledge and (even better) develop the idea. It's amazing. And we all learn off each other all the time, not just in classes.

          For the most part, the crafting community is supportive and shares a lot. I love that aspect of it.
          digital stamps for cardmakers: http://www.handmadeharbour.co.uk
          blog: http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.com
          hand painted personalised plaques, clocks, canvases, etc: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk
          blog: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog

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          • #6
            I joined here because the forum is a busy place and I can discuss any crafts I like, and I seem to have been a very naughty bunny since joining. I was meant to not learn any more new crafts. Since joining I have learnt to knit and have learnt about all sorts of sewing things I didn't know how to do (like old English piecing) and I wouldn't mind having a go at crochet. I was meant to stick to quilling so I wouldn't get what might be known as craft storage issues. Oh well. At least if I try crochet it wouldn't be too much different to what I already have in stock for the knitting. I already have some crochet hooks. I'd better stop there I am rambling now. I love being here to discuss crafts and am unable to help anyone who wants a business!
            View my flickr

            'I am sure it must hurt your eyes to work filigree by candlelight.' - Jane Austen

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Roslet View Post
              OK, over the last few months, I have become a little disconcerted by some of the threads about whether you are a professional or what seems to be the rather derogatory term hobbyist. Well I am saying it right now, I am neither and frankly I don't care!

              As I see it, everyone on here did not know what they doing at some point, they practised, became adept were probably encouraged by friends and family and then gifted or started to sell their produce. You do not become a professional overnight.

              For me, sewing, knitting and making is what I do. It is part of my life, I have done it most days since I was a child and the thing that I like to do best is to share it... the biggest blast I got this Christmas was seeing some girls that I had taught to make wreathes selling them at a craft fair, however they had overfilled their stall and you couldn't see the wood for the trees... I made a few suggestions and went back the next week to another fair in which they were exhibiting they had streamlined the stall, I bought a fantastic wreath for my door but this time I had to queue!

              I expect someone out there will now say, "oooh but they have taken your idea," but do you know what, there are very few original ideas, all you can do is work with the basics and add a personal twist to it. It is down to the fabric, yarn and the way you put it together, your interpretation.

              And that for me is what crafting is all about, it is about sharing and passing it forward.
              Well said Roslet, and others. I could add to this but you have put it so eloquently I don't feel the need. I am good at some things I sell and not so good at others. I love the generosity of spirit here and am improving because of it.

              Marion

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              • #8
                Excellent post Ros. Couldn't agree more.....
                www.nameswithinframes.co.uk
                https://www.facebook.com/NamesWithinFrames
                https://twitter.com/nameswithin

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                • #9
                  Blimey Ros, what you have just nailed in one post has been kicked around and got nowhere, caused war, peace and virtual lawsuits, fallins, fallouts, everything else apart from a drive by shooting, all across about 13 pages and its still rolling on!

                  Well done you!

                  All the best, Dave

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                  • #10
                    I think we should all concentrate on being the best that we can be and not worry about people undercutting us. Once we've built up our reputation, people will become loyal followers and keep returning.
                    Carole x
                    www.caroleallenjewellery.co.uk

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ros, that's a lovely post. There seem to be very many lovely and supportive people on here, who put the "craft" into craftforum! The one thing I have enjoyed since starting up bigbirdlittlebird is seeing how much talent there is out there. I come across pages on FB of people who are extremely talented and I very much enjoy seeing their work. So whatever the reason behind people crafting, long may it continue!
                      Liz aka bigbirdlittlebird

                      http://www.facebook.com/BigLittleBird
                      https://twitter.com/little_bigbird
                      http://www.bigbirdlittlebird.co.uk

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 3dDave View Post
                        Blimey Ros, what you have just nailed in one post has been kicked around and got nowhere, caused war, peace and virtual lawsuits, fallins, fallouts, everything else apart from a drive by shooting, all across about 13 pages and its still rolling on!

                        Well done you!

                        All the best, Dave
                        Yes, Yes and YES!!! I read Roslet's wonderful post with such joy because I'd got so depressed reading what has been posted on other threads, and thinking what is the (craft) world coming to when everyone seems to be at each other's throats?

                        I've recently become a 'hobbyist' (hateful word) after running a craft business for around 20 years with all the pain and nail-biting that entails. But in all those years I can honestly say I never thought people who crafted for a hobby were in any way inferior - it just would never have been an issue. We sold a lot of 'hobbyist' work in our pottery and craft shop, alongside work produced by those who were trying to make a living, and I'm 100% positive that customers didn't know the difference (and wouldn't have cared even if they did!)

                        Pricing will always be a problem, because proper craft work is very labour intensive. I think some of the contributors to the other threads have missed the point - customers don't pay more simply because you have spent x hours making it, they pay for quality and/or uniqueness, and most of all because they like it and want it!

                        Thank you Roslet for saying what I'm sure many many of us have been thinking but wouldn't have been able to say so eloquently.
                        Last edited by Cuckoos Nest; 03-02-2013, 01:02 AM.
                        Kate
                        www.cuckoos-nest-fairs.co.uk

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Just adding my voice in agreement with all the comments made by everyone here. I, too, am neither one thing or the other in terms of my craft work. I was brought up being able to knit and sew - otherwise none of the family would have had decent clothes - as essential skills. I also learned many other basic skills with paper, wood, food, yarn, thread, fabric and goodness knows what else. I sell some of my work, because I don't have the need or room for it and over the years so much has been given as gifts I often feel I can't give "homemade" again.

                          I will never make a living from my sales for many reasons, but I will continue to do what I do because I love making things and other people seem to like what I make and are prepared to pay the prices I charge, which are neither "just enough to cover the cost of materials" or so much I could even think about retiring any time soon.

                          Oops! Started to ramble - will just finish by saying I hate the term "hobbyist" and agree that some items made by "non-professionals" are as good, if not better, than some of those produced by "professionals". A word applied to a person does not affect the quality of their work.
                          Linda

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                          • #14
                            Thank you Ros!

                            I typed up and deleted a long post on a 'hobbyist' thread because I got myself all tangled up and ended up sounding like a mad thing!

                            You said what I meant. Again, thank you!
                            Do not watch this space

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                            • #15
                              Do we have to define the words "Crafter" and "Hobbiest"?.
                              A hobbiest could easily be a 'collector' rather than a 'maker' so why can't we makers all be 'crafters', some will obviously be more professional and others leaning towards the amateur.
                              I used to collect teapots as a hobby but I got older and wiser and now collect gold so if anyone is giving it away ?????????,lol
                              (I wonder if that has put the cat among the pigeons?) I love these discussions when no one gets upset about it.
                              Carol
                              God helps them that help themselves.

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