I'm sharing a brilliant post from a fellow shop owner, Naomi of Collate Interiors in Axminster who tackles the thorny subject "expensive" - a word we often here in the gallery. Thanks to Naomi for letting me use this post in full
'It's too expensive' - I hear this too much. From people who just are passing the shop, who don't even cross the threshold! Or from people browsing around the shop, muttering under their breath (I can hear you FYI). So I felt like I needed to address this misconception. I'm in no doubt that other shops similar to mine, who are pioneering craft and handmade products hear this too.
Handmade products might seem costly but here I want to try and explain why they are deemed pricey. I am talking about 'expensive' in regards to craft products.
When you buy something that has been handmade, you are supporting the person who made it. This product has a face (metaphorically) it is not mass produced, on a huge scale. The maker has made this with there own two hands, sometimes with the aid of a machine, or tools of some kind. Each piece they make is unique, they might be similar but they are never exactly the same.
When you buy a handmade product you are paying for the maker's time, their materials, their workshop rent, their passion, their skill. When you buy a mug from no name supermarket (that costs £2) it will be one of millions (resulting in very small production costs). Churned out by a machine with no human interaction. And no love. And NO skill.
If handmade isn't your thing, that's totally fine... but I really feel that this idea that something handmade is 'expensive' needs to be dispelled. It's all relative though isn't it. You could have a small income but if you really appreciate craft, you save up your pennies, so you can treat yourself. If people understand how much work goes into a product maybe they will realise why it costs what it does. It's not 'expensive'.
When you buy handmade you are supporting the makers way of life. It's not always easy for small scale makers to earn a living, sometimes having to take on extra part time jobs to allow them to support themselves in addition to their craft.
That's one of the reasons for shops like mine, we are a platform for selling handmade products but also we are educating people. We are spreading the word for the craftspeople. Of course, the shop needs to make money too so buying through Independent shops is a great way to support makers and support the shops too. Otherwise we'll end up with no high street shops and just buying online. And that's just no fun is it?!
There is a huge surge on reducing plastic consumption, so let's also try to be more mindful about where we buy and who we buy from. Yeah? And maybe stop using the word 'expensive' when talking about handmade, traditionally produced items."
I couldn't agree more and I think it's important that we are all mindful of the difference between paying for something of value and for something that is expensive and not really worth what you are being charged for it - that to me is the definition of expensive!