All Handmade By Me – An Epic Movement To Put The Hands BACK Into Handmade

Art Credit: Stacey Sobelman

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!

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New Items Being Listed This Week!

The Sun Is Out!!!!! That means yay for photography! Lots of product photos are done and in editing which means that over the next several days you will see a flood of new products in the store.

Don’t forget the Birthday sale coming up next week! The sale will be for 25% off everything we carry including new items!

Here is a sneak peak at what’s new:

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That’s it for today! Stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter for updates as items get posted.

So What’s Next for Bathe Happy?

Happy Hump Day! I got my cowboy boots for the wedding today and they are PERFECT! I am very happy with them.

I mentioned yesterday that I was going to talk about the future of Bathe Happy and what our plans were, so that is what today’s post is about.

For the moment I am scrapping Indiegogo. You really need to have a video presentation and unfortunately my computer issues are making that really hard to do. It is also incredibly slow right now. There is low traffic on the site, in the store, and on Facebook/Twitter. It is the Etsy slow season and no traffic dooms the campaign before it starts. I’m putting it on hold for now and will pick it back up this fall.

For now the focus will be on new products we can afford to start now. Soon we will be carrying Lip Balms, Pure Argan Oil, Body and Face Scrubs, Shaving Soaps, Face Soap, and possibly a few other things. I am also going to get a few molds to start work on wedding favors as well as relisting the Bath Salts in a new format. The Cold Process Soaps I will hopefully be able to start later in the year as we make more money, I will just need to start more slowly than I’d hoped to.

Pricing will be in line with what I am already charging for items. The Argan Oil will be priced a little higher as it is a pure and expensive oil but I will not be charging near what companies like Josie Maran charge ($14 for half an ounce is a little beyond ridiculous in my humble opinion.)

This will all be as the summer progresses, little by little. Starting in early August look for Solid Perfumes, the Argain Oil, and the start of our fall fragrances.

That’s it for today folks! I’ll be back tomorrow with more new ideas and some info on a few of our new fragrances that we’ll be testing.

Coming Soon…

Coming soon to your friendly Indiegogo.com . . . Bathe Happy’s Expansion Campaign!

Today I’d like to talk about some of our goals for this project and where we would like to see Bathe Happy go.

If you don’t know what Indiegogo is, let me first explain Crowdfunding to you. Crowdfunding is a method of raising capital for a business or start up project that gets numerous people involved from all over the world. Basically you put it out there what your project or business is, tell people how much money you realistically need to make it happen with transparency in what the money will go to, and you offer exclusive perks to people to make them want to help.

Success is largely dependent on how much work you put into the campaign and how much help people are willing to offer to share what you are doing. The more work you put in the more you get out of the campaign.

Our goals for the Bathe Happy Campaign are pretty straight forward. Here are some are the most important:

  • Start making cold process soaps. CP Soaps are huge business right now and offer a lot of creativity and flexibility and also allow for ease in making truly all natural products.
  • Expand into more bath & body products such as body wash, body spray, more scrubs, more custom items (such as wedding/party favors and personalized gift baskets), nail polish (maybe), lip balms, mineral make up, etc. There are tons of stuff I have the knowledge and ability to create but lack the serious funding to get started.
  • Join the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild
  • Attend many more shows and events next year
  • Have more professional labels for all of our products
  • Purchase the rights to the set of fonts we’ve chosen for our permanent logos and banners to help us be more personalized and stand out from our competition

This is just a brief list. I will go more in depth into a few of them over the next few weeks.

And as a side note, I’m proud to say that we’ve been officially open for one month now and we have made back about 20-25% of our initial investment into starting the company. Not too shabby if I do say so myself!

I hope everyone is having a Happy Wednesday!