Each and every moment that another person chooses to buy something that I have made, is a moment I celebrate. Back in the (noisy) days before I muted my phone notifications, my webshop would make a cute 'kerching' sound when an order came through. I had a habit of saying THANKYOU out loud and hoping that my gratitude would travel on the airwaves and reach the purchaser!
You see, I want everyone to feel appreciated because each one of those sales has helped to shape something. In the early days they shaped the beginnings of a business. They shaped a belief in myself and in the things I was making. Perhaps I could make it as an artist. They help me to spend more of my time out in nature finding my inspiration, and in the studio creating beautiful things. When people love my work enough to want it in their homes and in their lives I am delighted.Their purchases help me and my business to thrive.
And I am just one tiny cog in a very big wheel.
Imagine that happening to lots and lots of artists, each one lit up by being supported enough to do their thing. Rather like a string of fairy lights that add light and magic to a room, artist and makers add their light and magic to the world. It would be rather dull without them wouldn't it?
One women with a brand called Little Brummie, wrote a piece in the We Are Makers magazine (third edition) and stated that being a maker was a radical act. There's a belief that lingers in the air, that you can't make a living by being an artist. Aspiring young creatives are put off by people who tell them 'it's not realistic'. You need a proper job. It's the starving artists myth. Our way to fight back against that is by doing it and by demonstrating that it can work.
Everytime someone buys from an artist it's busting that myth.
If you shop small this Christmas, you are not only gifting your loved one a unique, handmade present but you are helping to create a world where art, innovation and creativity are valued.
When you buy small, you are saying that you value things that are made with love and care.
When you buy small you are caring for the planet. We are small scale. We don't have vast warehouses full of stock that might not sell. We are not pile 'em up, sell 'em cheap'. Our work doesn't come in cargo ships. It's the opposite of all of that.
I saw an ad for Amazon with the tag line - 'low prices, anytime, anywhere' and I thought that is why the world is going wrong. Designer/makers can't compete with that and neither do we want to! Please can we turn away from that and go in a completely different direction?
When you buy small you are saying that you value things taking a little longer to be made and that is ok because it's worth waiting for something that is being made especially for you!
When you buy small THAT is a radical act!
THANKYOU in very big letters for everything you have ever bought from me over the years. I hope you know you are appreciated. x
p.s I think I can speak on behalf of all small online businesses when I say, please don't leave it too late. We need time to pace ourselves in the busy winter months and we need to allow extra time for shipping too as it's busier than ever out there.
So beautifully put, thank you Hannah,Penny Fitzmaurice