I can make that!!!

Thursday, 3 September 2015
So as you know I traded at London Below on Sunday, made a few sales, met some lovely people and spent over my budge but all in the cause of supporting small Indy businesses and adding pretty things to my collection. I had my usual pre market/fair anxiety of some sort which I usually ignore by keeping myself super busy making things. You know the usual 'Will I have enough stuff?' 'Will they like my stuff?' 'Will I sell anything?' etc etc!

But any exposure is good and also it gives you the opportunity to get feedback, people tell you what they like and generally you can tell if people are not impressed by the way they handle your stock and it also gives you the chance to interact with your people and find out what they are looking for in products. The Tarot lady seemed to be amused by my business cards maybe she doesn't think I'm a very good designer or seamstress! Or maybe it was because I don't know, you have to remember in this business not everyone like your stuff or will be impressed by what you do or when you tell them the price of something they will drop it like a hot rock or look at you like you're insane no matter how cheap it is! It was a brooch for £4 by the way, hardly breaking the bank and it had sparkles on it but obviously to expensive for that person but I guess not my target market but I know my worth even if other people don't. When I was buying off a fellow trader, she told me that one item was more expensive because of the amount of work that went into it, I told her I understood and could see that. It was a very beautiful item and I expected it to be expensive and it was worth what she had priced it.

Whenever I do a market or craft fair I get at least one person pick up or point to an item and state loud enough for me to hear 'I could make this or I can do that!' And most of the time I just roll eyes and think but you didn't or good luck with that! I once had a middle class couple stand and inspect some of my handmade stuff at a vintage fair once and you could tell by their whispered tones and looks of disdain they weren't impressed but to be honest they weren't my target market.

I think we're all a little guilty of this when we look at some pieces of work and not just art work, I know I am but then I really did try doing the stuff I said I could make and found out not only whether I could or not but also that it is not as simple as picking up the tools and doing so, I have three unfinished novels and countless works in progress to prove this! To be honest anyone can do anything but how well they do it and why they do it is what sets us apart, and it is only when you try to do it after saying you can, that you really truly start to appreciate others people's work. I may not always like what they have done but I appreciate the work that went into it and then coincidentally this video was posted into my twitter feed and I think that what she says is true and can be applied not just to art but all creative disciplines. It's only five minutes long and worth a watch.

But that aside I had real fun and hope to trade at this event again because there are no real places to by alternative stuff any more since Camden went all commercial! Yes there are still a few odd places to buy stuff but it's pretty much lost it's old rep for being the place for alternative kids to go hang out and go shopping. The art house kids banging on a plastic pot  and taking selfies of themselves reading poetry outside the tube station are a little comical at best! Being an old goth/heavy metaller myself I miss having a place to go and have a browse, I mean the Internet is all good but sometimes you just want to do actual shopping and see the items and also hang with your friends and meet new people.

Of course it needs work, nothing starts out perfect and for a brand new event I tip my hat to Tricia and Malcolm because organising something like this takes a lot of time and effort and without them we would not have such a cool event. I met some fabulous people and got some advice from the more experienced traders, I hope it grows and hopefully get to trade at it again, and as Tricia says have a place where we can all be different together!


  1. I think every crafter is probably guilty of saying 'I can make that' well maybe you could but it wouldn't be the same and often crafters buy in bulk so when they make products to sell they're selling them lower than it would cost you to buy the supplies for one or two of that item, plus you save time as well as money. At least that's how it was when I made some necklaces I planned to sell and haven't gotten to it yet. Your stuff looks so great, I wish you were selling at a local fair, I definitely would have loved to browse, pick and choose something in person which I believe is the best way to buy something.

  2. I guess people need to ask themselves if they can make something, why they haven't made it - if it's because they prioritise their time differently, why not buy it instead of making it?

    I don't get 'I could make that' with my knits, but people are surprised at the time, and at the cost of the wool, as though all that matters is getting a woolly. There's more to making things than simply getting a thing.

  3. Oh definitely and I don't think it's always a bad thing if it encourages someone to actually craft or be creative and a lot of the time I think people are just thinking out loud but occasionally it is used as an indirect criticism at you and of your work and even then it isn't personal it's just the way that person is. I think because the way there is so much stuff readily available and at a low cost there is also a lack of understanding at how much work does go into making each item. And thank you, I always love hearing what people think of my work good or bad.

  4. True which is why I take most it with a pinch of salt and think in most of my experiences it has been snobbery as well which I tend to ignore.

    As a seamstress I've never had the 'I could make that', in fact the complete opposite. I think with skills such as knitting and sewing people tend to be less judgemental about the level of the skill and more about the time and cost. I think with the rise of disposable fashion and 99p store, accessories are seen as cheap and cheerful objects that you wear a few times and then chuck. But there are people out there who do appreciate it and I think it is getting better. I could probably ramble on for hours on this subject trying to dissect it.


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