Sunday, April 1, 2012

Knittin' Crap: Before You Ask

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Why I make stuff:
  1. It's a productive hobby.
  2. I like making stuff for myself and for others.
  3. It is, by turns, relaxing, challenging, mindless, and technical.
  4. Making the perfect gift for a friend or a well-fitting sweater for myself is extremely satisfying.
Why I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to try to sell stuff I make:
  1. People do hobbies for fun. Making the hobby into a profession is a good way to make it not so much fun anymore.
  2. My time is worth more to me than it is to anyone else.
  3. People who don't knit/crochet/make handcrafts rarely have any idea of how much time is invested in a well-made item.
  4. Most people selling their personally handmade items at craft fairs and many even on Etsy are rarely charging enough to make minimum wage. I really wish they wouldn't undervalue their work that way. At the small amount, if any, of profit they make after materials and other expenses, how can it be worth it? But it also reinforces the mindset many people have that time spent "crafting" is somehow not worth much.
  5. Adding the pressure of trying to sell an item or making an item on commission and thus needing to please some other person and hope they don't bail out of the commission doesn't appeal to me.
  6. Having to explain to people who are used to buying sweat-shop output the prices I'd charge based on the hourly wage merited by the skill and time involved is also definitely not my idea of fun. I've heard from too many people in similar situations of how many dumbasses say shit like, "But you can buy a dozen pairs of socks at Walmart for $3."
  7. I don't have enough time to make the things I want for myself and the gifts I want to make for friends, and since I would never make nearly as much money selling my work as I do at my day job, even if I worked on it 80 hours a week, unless I opened my own personal sweat shop (do I have to explain after the above why I wouldn't do this?), It's Just Not Fiscally Worth It.
  8. Seriously, folks, if I started selling those Angry Birds or Star Trek finger puppets that you like so much, someone would eventually sue my ass.
I appreciate that most people who tell me I should sell my stuff or offer to buy it are being complimentary, but I'm tired of explaining again and again why that idea just doesn't work for me.

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