The All Handmade By Me Team Badge
Art Credit: Stacey Sobelman
Happy Tuesday all!
I’m not sure how many of our readers are aware of this but quite recently Etsy changed their policies on what they will allow to be sold on their site. One of the core changes being that now artists can work with a manufacturer to mass produce their goods. While it benefits the people that can afford to mass produce their items those of us that operate as a truly handmade are getting hurt.
For a long time now there have been people on Etsy marketing manufactured goods that they had no part in actually making. Just do an Etsy search for soap molds and you will see what I mean. You’ll find thousands saying they are handmade when 30 other stores have the identical product saying the same. Rather than cracking down on the trend and on people abusing the system, Etsy’s new policy practically ENCOURAGES this.
Here is how it works. Imagine this… One day I wake up and decide I don’t feel like making washcloths anymore. I call a factory in China full of children and underpaid employees, I give my pattern to them, and have 50 washcloths made for less than what I’d pay for the yarn here in the States. I could then ask that company to take care of the shipping for me as well. For all intents and purposes not only I would NEVER have to stitch another washcloth but I also would never have to even see them and under the new policy I could still market it as handmade.
Now y’all know that I would NEVER do that. This is just to illustrate how ridiculous the new policy is and I’m not the only one pissed off by it but there is hope! If any of you read Yahoo! news you may have seen THIS ARTICLE from their Shine network featured on Yahoo!’s home page just a few days ago. After reading the article I immediately looked up the All Handmade By Me team that’s mentioned and let me tell you…. this team GETS IT!
I joined the team the day I read the article and I proudly Display the badge on my banner in my shop. The team is growing so fast that they’ve just opened an awesome new forum outside of Etsy. There are many other sites out there for handmade goods and this removes the Big Brother aspect of keeping it all on Etsy.
Another thing I am loving about All Handmade By Me is their goal to keep everyone involved in the team. You can’t join the team looking to just self-promote, something that many, many teams on Etsy turn into. You need to participate and you need to help promote other team members. The more you put into it the more you get out of it. There are still plenty of ways to self-promote within the team but it requires a little more effort than just people standing there going LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! BUY MY STUFF! Which frankly I find annoying as hell and I’ve left multiple Etsy groups over it,
If you are interested in joining All Handmade By Me you just need to head over to the team page on Etsy and apply. Understand that to get accepted on the team you must make your items yourself. Nothing made in a factory for you. Designers, artists and photographers that have their work professionally printed are welcome as well. I encourage everyone that can to sign up!
If you are a consumer that buys on Etsy looking for handmade goods, look for the All Handmade By Me badge. It comes in a variety of colors so keep your eyes peeled. In most cases it will be on a shops banner. I have it on my banner but I think I will increase the size on it when I have some extra time. Likely after the wedding when I have tome to fart around with it on Gimp. I am also hoping to buy the rights to the fonts I want later this year so I may just overhaul my banners and buttons all at once. I also have it listed on my about page so it shows up on every listing. If you are trying to buy handmade and DON’T see the badge be sure to read the shops policies and their about pages. If it is still unclear if they sell handmade ask!
The best way to get Etsy to return to their roots is to stop buying from the sellers that use mass production all together and to start turning to alternative handmade venues. Itis my hope that we as a community can band together and return to our roots. Please buy handmade. You no only support an artisan and small business but you also get items made with passion and love.
That’s it for today folks! I will be back tomorrow with some photos of new stuff in progress!