Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Handmade Business World.


{photo credit}

*This was originally posted at Giggles, Glitz, and Glam last week, but I want to share it here too. I normally keep the topics on my blog really fun and light, but I have some things weighing heavily on my heart and I figured this would be a good place to share them.*

My head is constantly filled with thoughts on the handmade world.

Do people like my products? Am I letting my creativity shine through? Are my products unique? Does my true personality show enough on my blog? How do I get more fans on Facebook and followers on Twitter? Why do I have less followers today than I did yesterday? What could I have said that offended someone and made them unfollow me? Why does she have more sales than me?

My thought process is endless and this can get too consuming if I let it. The handmade industry is booming. I think this is one of the best things that has come out of our broken economy. We’ve gotten back to basics and have returned to using our skills and creativity to bring back the Cottage Industry. I love this industry. I love seeing the vast array of handmade products popping up all over. I love to buy handmade. I love what I do.

I love to create. The whole process of it. I love to design {I almost went to FIDM}. I love to construct. I love seeing the finished product especially when it comes out even better in real life than I imagined in my head. The best part of what I do is hearing from my customers about how much they love the product they purchased from me. I love what I do.

It’s kind of funny to even say this…who would have thought this would be an issue a few years ago…but the handmade world has gotten VERY competitive. There is SO much out there. So many women doing the same thing I’m doing. Doing everything in their power to support their families income while working from home and juggling their business with daily life. What makes me/my products any better/different than theirs? I struggle with that everyday.

I pray daily that the Lord would bless me with creativity and uniqueness. I have good days and bad days. On the good days my creativity is flowing and my productivity is high. I do have more good days than bad days, but the bad days can be really bad. Because of how the handmade industry is right now…competitive and plentiful…I feel really vulnerable. I want to be successful. I want to be liked. I want my products to be unique and not the same thing everyone else is doing and I can really become obsessed about these things.

Creativity and uniqueness are so important to my business and the handmade industry in general. I take extreme pride in my work. So much so that it becomes a part of me and when things are going great…my creativity and productivity are high, my blog is growing, my sales have been good…I feel so blessed. However, it doesn’t take much to put me in a funk and have the doubt and worry consume me. I read a lot of blogs. I like to know what my competition is doing. Nothing crushes my spirit faster than seeing someone else’s work that looks strikingly similar to mine.

Am I arrogant to think my work has been copied? Maybe. Am I self-conscious because I don’t want any more competition than I already have? You bet. Have I called people out that I think have copied my work? Yep. Have I been contacted by people that think I’ve copied them? Uh huh. So what do I do about that? I want to be unique. I don’t want to see my ideas being sold by other people. I don’t want to get accused of copying.

I do my best to put God first in all I do…including how I run my business. I have prayed for scriptures to serve as the foundation of my business. These verses have spoken volumes to me.


{Bible Cover made by me}

Proverbs 31:13 “She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.”

Proverbs 31:18 “She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.”

Philippians 2:3 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves”

2 Timothy 2:23-24 “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.”

Based on these scriptures, this is how I commit to run my business…

“I will buy pretty fabric and work hard to create unique products for my customers. I will put a value on my time and creativity and try my best to stay awake past 8pm. I will not “compete” out of rivalry or conceit. I will be humble and value being a part of such an amazing community. I will not get wrapped up in the drama of this industry. I will be kind.”

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts. I value this industry and what my business has brought to my family. Thank you for reading and thank you for supporting handmade.


  1. I love this. It's got a really great message that I think everyone can relate to. "I will try my best to stay awake past 8pm" made me giggle. "I will be kind" has been my mantra at work for weeks now. Thank you for sharing!!

  2. Thank you for sharing such an interesting and relevant post! There are so many talented people in the handmade industry I do think it's difficult for people to remain truly individual, it may not necessarily be the case that a person is coping a product, rather they had a similar idea and the end results bare similarities. I really hope the handmade industry continues to thrive, it makes such a nice change that homes and individuals are not styled the same, that we allow a little of our personalities to shine through via the awesome creativeness of people like you! Chin up chicken, your products are amazing!!

  3. I recently discovered Sew Chatty and love your blog and products! You make such pretty things :) Please be encouraged and know you're doing a great job!

  4. Thank you for this post. You've definitely summed up my feelings in this highly competitive handmade world. I love your motto on how you have decided to run your business. In the end, I guess all we can do is make what we love and hope the rest of the world loves it too!

  5. I just love how you translated your business motto from the scriptures. Beautiful!

    I'm pretty new to the craft blog world, and I don't have a craft business right now, but I already feel what you described. It is really competitive. While competition is good, it needs to be balanced with courtesy, decency and the Golden Rule among other good things. You are doing that, so you make the handmade world a better place! Keep doing what you are doing!

  6. Thank you for sharing this. Proverbs 31 has always been an important scripture to me as a stay at home mom.....inspiring.

  7. i love your bible cover! it is gorgeous and i totally identify with how the handmade community is SO competitive--people really feel that everyone is copying everyone...:/ or at least fearful of it.


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