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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Hard Work Does Pay Off!

Well we are finally done with our event and back to work. What a whirlwind last week was!

Girls’ Day Out was a great success! We made about $140 which is pretty good considering the low traffic. Stud Muffin was just happy to see me actually sell to people we don’t know.

A lot of our current customers are friends and family from all over the country that really believe in what I am doing and want to see Bathe Happy succeed, but getting that first sale to someone outside of that support system was awesome. I also got to network and meet a lot of new people locally and get my name out there.

Check out our booth at the show:

This was our table at Girls' Day Out. Don't worry the yarn balls were relocated due to lack of space.

This was our table at Girls’ Day Out. Don’t worry the yarn balls were relocated due to lack of space.

I even won a necklace from Origami Owl! It’s from their Tagged collection and says I Am BLESSED… and I really am. Thank you again to all of you that are behind me with Bathe Happy. It’s been truly amazing to get the business going and see some real success.

The rest of today will be me decompressing from the past 10 days and catching up on house work. I will also be adding new items to the site today and tomorrow.

Have a Happy week!

Not kidding.... he really tries to hide from all cameras, he would much rather be behind them.

Not kidding…. he really tries to hide from all cameras, he would much rather be behind them.

Holy Soaping It’s Already Thursday!

Sorry for the day-late post folks! I’ve been working like crazy getting ready for this weekend’s event. It turns out there is another event the day before the Girls’ Day Out but it’s too late to register. They are trying a new crafts fair and car show here in Marengo that very few people knew about until this week. Slots were booked before we even open. I can’t wait to get involved for next year’s event!

Lots and lots of soap in the works. There is a new batch of our Activated Charcoal Exfoliating Soap and some new Black Rose Soap in molds now and there are fresh runs of Summer Romance, Tranquility, Fresh Bamboo, Good Morning Sunshine, and Beach Fling all curing before wrapping.

The lettering has been glued to their pennants for our bunting banner, and not without casualties. I may or may not have accidentally glued 2 letters to our dining room table, which, I might add, is brand new. I tried out a new kind of glue for the first 2 letters and it didn’t adhere. I switched to different glue and did those 2 over again and OOPS the second glue activated new stuff . It caused the new glue to soak through the bunting and because there were a few drops of water on the table from when I cleaned it the bunting stuck since apparently this new stuff is moisture activated. Stud Muffin was NOT a happy camper. Luckily it isn’t too bad and should be fixable.

There is still a lot to do to get ready for the weekend but I am very excited! There has even been some interest in doing some home parties which I am giving serious consideration to doing. I am working on plans for that along with all the other stuff I’ve been working on.

I’m so thankful and happy for how well everything is going with Bathe Happy! I am looking forward to seeing what the future brings!