Monday, 13 September 2010

Be a Revolutionary Rebel - Make and Buy One-off's!

Black Gilson Opal Heart inside red Pendant

Recently I applied to some of the 'professional' selling sites, the ones that go after adverts and write-ups in the glossy posh women's magazines as the place to buy from. Initially I was a bit disappointed that they weren't interested in what I have, but thinking about it again I can see how what I do doesn't suit their way of working, The more I think about it, the more I realise I am probably the complete opposite of what they do!

Everything I make ends up being a one off. It doesn't mater if I try to do the same thing twice to make a pair (now you see why I don't list many earrings!) each piece is always slightly different in some way. My curiosity often gets in the way too, 'what if I add green to the next one, or add this, or take that out?' and suddenly I'm making a one off again. If I put my mind to it I can make several flower marbles in a row, but even if they are the same colour they end up with the petals and shapes slightly different.
ZOOM!! Rocket pendant -listed st Etsy Store

For those who like one-off's this isn't a problem, but when listed in a glossy magazine I can see how that might be a problem. I remember an Orchid seller I used to know having the same problem when trying to win a contract with a large well-know chain store. Although he won on them being raised in England, he couldn't guarantee that each plant would be the same, which is what they wanted for them to all match on the shelf, so they went with a Dutch grower instead.
One of the things I found great about doing the stall last week was that people were so excited to be able to buy pendants that they knew were one off's. I'd forgotten what an usual and rare thing that has now become in our mass-produced society.
Tadpole Squiggle galaxy - listed at Folky

Not being able to 'knock out' twenty closely matching flowers does mean that I photograph and list each item individually. This week I re-jigged my photo setup for the twentieth time, as I seemed to spend hours taking photos that still weren't any good! Finally I've got a set up I am happy with, (for now!) and I'm getting more consistent photo's, and each is taking a lot less time too. This means I've been able to crack on and list the HUGE stash of pendants I've made recently, and start to re-fill my Etsy and Folksy stores.

I guess I'll never be a 'designer' with people wearing exactly the same handbag with the same logo in every city, but I know that when I box up and post out a pendant or a bottle stopper that the person at the other end is getting something unique, and that gives me a warm glow in itself. It's almost as if I'm being an underground rebel against the mass-produced culture! Viva La Revolution!

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