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Thread: Uk vs US

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    Question Uk vs US

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    I'm kind of jealous of how many amazing craft stores there are in the US. The crafting community is huge there, it's like part of the American culture. I've realised the last few days, talking to and seeing UK crafters and crafts and US crafters and crafts. In the UK a lot of sites I come across, or Youtubers, will be doing kids crafts. The real basic toddler sort of stuff. Here, people don't get time to craft much and it's more focused on children. If you craft as an adult it is more of a boutique handmade business selling things. In the US, there are mainly adult crafts and crafters who just do it as a hobby, and you don't find many kids crafts. Obviously there are way more people who live in the US too, and remote areas also means more time to take life slow and pick up hobbies. There are much more craft shops for example, dollar store, dollar tree, hobby lobby, Michaels etc etc. Here, we have baker ross, the works, and hobby crafts..all of which don't sell any where near as much as these US stores do- and for cheap prices!
    It's tough because I'm trying to do crafts as a hobby but business- without selling products. However, for YouTube, or a craft blog, the majority is aimed at kids and easy crafts etc in the UK, the SEO search terms prove this, but in the US there are adult crafters who would like my sort of crafts more and the possibilities are way more.
    Just voicing my thoughts I guess. I don't know, what do you all think? Does every one here just sell their crafts?

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    Lilly42's Avatar
    Lilly42 is offline Senior Member 100+ crafts club
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    I think it might have to do with the pioneer spirit of American women that seems to encourage the creating of things. It is mostly women but not exclusively, who spend time in quilting bees, stitching circles and have root cellars full of preserves. The skills that are needed to survive in the middle of nowhere when you wanted the comforts of home out on the pioneer trail and in your homestead when you finally arrive.

    After all Betsy Ross was responsible for sewing the first American flag and this is a story told to girls to encourage their desire to take up sewing etc and emulate the great and skillful women she was and her great contribution to the fledgling country that would be the great USA.

    I went to school in the states for awhile and lived for the first 15 years of my life in Canada so these things rubbed off on us.

    Here in the UK there is as far as I can tell, a distinct dislike for "homemade" things and this gets easily confused with "handmade".You only have these things if you can't afford to buy it in the shops. Re purposing, recycling and reusing things is seen as fine for students, young people and new couples setting up their first home. But they soon aspire for shop bought goods as they move up the economic ladder.

    Crafts have lost their appreciation circle, apart from watching a craftsman at a country fair and thinking oh thats good,he must be really old or really odd. People with skills are underappreciated in the UK in my opinion.

    I think also people in the UK want their craft goods to look like they are not handmade, I feel sometimes they expect a standard not really attainable by most crafters simply because usually no two things they make are alike and so you don't have serried rows of identical looking things on shelves for the public to buy. The idea of individuality seems to have died some time in the 70s, the 1970s that is.

    Anyway thats all just my opinion.
    Just so you can see my work, my FB page https://www.facebook.com/iconstudiossouthampton/

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    There is a love of handmade items in the UK you just have to find the right people. I sell at a small local fair once a year, have been doing for years. My stall is always in the same spot and I have a hoard of regular customers who love what I make. I do consider what I do to be excellent work, hope Mo backs me up here, always professional and well finished. I am lucky to have a local following.

    Also sell online through my own website and through Etsy both home and overseas. My items do well in France and Italy as wells as US and Australia. Also sell a lot online to the Chelsea/Kennsington area.

    Sadly some of the demise of craft fairs is the tat that has been allowed in, no proper stall display, no talking to customers instead head in a book/magazine/phone. The larger fairs that Mo & Pete do appreciate excellent workmanship and their work is second to none in the wood and painting world.

    I agree with Shelley it is the difference between homemade and handmade. You will always get people thinking they can do better not realising it has taken years to master our skill, understand people and presentation expected.

    I also know of several people on YouTube whose videos are aimed at the adult world. You just need to look for them.

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    I think that people will pay the price for handmade items if what you produce is what they want.
    Iím lucky in as much as what I produce is expected to look like it has been cut by hand and not machine, in fact the usual mark up for the same product is double for hand cut compared to machine. If you have a niche product and an audience that looks for that product then you will sell but you still need to provide a certain level of quality to sell at the price you need to sell at.
    For example, I try to make the back of the frame appear as good as the front. I carefully tape the backs up and put string and rings at the back to hang the frame instead of those ghastly hooks. If I buy work I look at both sides for attention to detail, if its poorly framed, what qualit is the work?
    I network with quite a few Americans, yes, they have loads of stores across the U.S. that sell craft materials but for what I do, not quality materials. They cannot get good quality acid free paper or if they do it is so expensive they donít bother. More than once I have bought packs here for an absolute fraction of the cost and posted it over, still cheaper with postage. Same for blades, they pay a fortune for blades, they are only just getting into being able to buy our quality surgical blades and that is if they can find a company willing to ship to the U.S.
    Many of our craft channels are U.S. in origin but in my opinion only tend to produce hobby level work, not true art or artisan craft. Skilled work that regularly sells is generally a progression of something else that the ďArtistĒ did before, had an interest in, family history of doing it etc, not learned on Youtube etc....if its good enough it will sell.
    In my opinion, it isnít whate, or how or by whom it is made, its how good the endcresult is. Unfortunately poor quality shoddy handmade products tend to taint us all with the same brush.
    Caroline is quite right, craft fairs do have some people selling tat or having poorly set up non engaging stalls, plus people selling same products for pennies in comparison, when we are in the same arena (Hall) it can be damaging to those that sell to live as they drag prices down.
    Handmade vs homemade vs crafter vs artisan in the good old days on here would keep a thread going for months and still have no definite answer.

    Dave.

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    https://www.craftsforum.co.uk/showth...de-vs-Homemade
    This one caused a lot of debate... 😉
    https://www.craftsforum.co.uk/showth...m+I+a+hobbyist
    This one caused 13 PAGES of debate....😆

    Dave😁
    Last edited by 3dDave; 03-01-2019 at 10:37 AM.

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    I have been to many craft stall events in my areas. Footflow is decent, but sales are bad. More people come as something to see and do rather than buy. I've seen skilled artisan crafts, things that are crazy good and quality, but sales are still very poor. Online selling is different however, sales are better because upper class and wealthier people like quality handmade items as gifts, because for them, money can buy anything pretty much, so something handmade is seen as more 'expensive, more thought in to it' sort of gift
    I agree US is more hands on regarding what Lilly said' pioneer spirit ' but I also realise the quality isn't so good just as Dave pointed out, its more..kitsch.


    There are Youtubers in the UK who do some DIY crafts, but that isn't the main aspect of their channel, so it's ok, and that's how they still get a following. It's rare and tough to see an adult crafter UK Youtuber who focuses solely on crafts, unless it is for kids / toddlers and easy paper sort of crafts. Same with earning through a blog/website for crafts. If it is adult crafts, it is everything I dislike or can't do, like knitting, card/paper craft, crochet. Like older people crafts..
    I just need to target more US people :P but I do feel sort of lost at the same time. Eugh
    Last edited by TerrariumCrafts; 04-01-2019 at 07:25 PM.

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    Might I ask, Iím probably not seeing it but how do you make an income if you ďDo crafts as a hobby but a business without making anythingĒ ? Just wondering as it seems to me anyway, like an odd venture that would be least financially productive if you donít sell a physical thing?

    Dave.

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    Do you only do tutorials? If so may be an idea to do more on You Tube, Blog with a listing on Bloglovin', also have paid adverts on your blog plus Facebook and Instagram with links to your channel. Being on YouTube does not matter where you are in the world. I often look up things such as the other day how to purl two together through back of loop. Never done that before but YouTube had it and it was a UK site and certainly not aimed at children.

    What tutorials are you doing? are they aimed at adults. I find the likes of Molly Makes boring and too basic. Do you do a multi selection of crafts, this can be confusing and sometimes better to stick to one style. You can do a plethora but you need to build up your following first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3dDave View Post
    Might I ask, Iím probably not seeing it but how do you make an income if you ďDo crafts as a hobby but a business without making anythingĒ ? Just wondering as it seems to me anyway, like an odd venture that would be least financially productive if you donít sell a physical thing?
    Dave.
    Dave- I am aiming and trying through ads - Youtube, my website, and possible instagram. I wouldn't mind selling a few things here and there, but most my items are hard to ship. I may sell jewellery in the future that I make, but for now my aim is through my site and Youtube.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroleecrafts View Post
    Do you only do tutorials? If so may be an idea to do more on You Tube, Blog with a listing on Bloglovin', also have paid adverts on your blog plus Facebook and Instagram with links to your channel. Being on YouTube does not matter where you are in the world. I often look up things such as the other day how to purl two together through back of loop. Never done that before but YouTube had it and it was a UK site and certainly not aimed at children.

    What tutorials are you doing? are they aimed at adults. I find the likes of Molly Makes boring and too basic. Do you do a multi selection of crafts, this can be confusing and sometimes better to stick to one style. You can do a plethora but you need to build up your following first.
    Thank you for all that golden valuable advice. I have indeed set up a blog on bloglovin, and do youtube videos, every 3 days, and have a website for ads. facebook and instagram too, all are slowly growing and have my links to my website.
    I make a mixture of crafts. I was going to try doing some kids crafts and have done a few, but.. I'm just not feeling it. I like doing adults crafts and craft ideas and sharing them. I feel my sort of crafts are to the 20-40s, not young kids and not old adults.

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