Saturday, August 1, 2009

Etsy is not Walmart

A neighbor of mine asked today how much a simple alligator clip would cost. Selling in person is so much more convenient to me - no fees, no packing, no risk that the customer does not like the colors she saw on the computer screen - therefore the price that I quote in such situations is lower than what I have the items listed for in my shop. One dollar each, I said. "Oh, - the reply came - I paid less than that at Walmart yesterday." What should one reply in such situations? I smiled and nodded at how cute - and poorly made - the clips in her baby's hair were.

I never use a timer when I make my clippies. I think using a timer would actually be distateful, something that someone watching the seconds until the shift is over would do. I couldn't tell how much time it takes to make this or that, but I do know that I am taking my time. I couldn't tell you how many bows I can get out of each yard of ribbon, but I do know that each bow has enough ribbon to look the cutest it can.

I also know that each clip, bow, or favor is unique and nowhere will there be another one exactly the same, since they are completely made by hand. I know that the clips have a nonslip surface, no glue leaks, heat treated ends, and no mass manufactured embellishments. I also know that the money received for these clips is used to buy locally grown blueberries and to pay taxes to the US and not to another county.

I think each retailer has it's role in a healthy economy. But I feel disappointed that people still compare handmade goods to mass produced items, solely by price. I see handmade items to be special treat, a luxury, if you will, that you won't find in a big-box store.

Mara ~ Pretty Hair Clippies