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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Monday Funday!

Happy Monday all!

 

To say we had a productive weekend would be an understatement.

 

– Stud Muffin and I ordered our Wedding Rings and Wedding Cake. We (I) wrote our wedding vows. Basically he told me what he wanted to say based on various different vows we’ve read and I complied our ideas into something personal and custom for us. I will share these after the ceremony. Stud Muffin’s ring was purchased through an ETSY shop we will feature later this month once his ring is here. Less than 4 weeks to go!

 

– Pretty One made the Junior Olympic Volleyball team at the volleyball club she plays at. Don’t let the Olympic name fool you it is just the level they compete at and she is registered with USA Volleyball. It is a nation wide level of competition and the highest level she can compete at for her age group. We are ridiculously happy and proud that she made the cut! Her first practice is the day after the wedding  and they play from January until June. Its going to mean a lot of travel and a lot of volleyball to watch for us. We are all so excited. I will have more information about when and where the tournaments are in a few weeks so I could potentially schedule appearances and sales at local events and shows.

This is what our first 7 months of wedded bliss will look like.

This is what our first 7 months of wedded bliss will look like.

– We may be running a Bathe Happy fundraiser for the Volleyball fees. More to follow on that as we decide what, if anything, we want/can do.

 

– I have the starting framework for home parties in place for Bathe Happy. More details coming soon.

– Florida State beat the heck out of Miami.

Over all I would say the weekend was awesome. Soaping supplies will be here today so expect lots of product updates in the near future. Holiday bundles will be coming! We are planning a few big holiday sales. I recommend stocking up fast once the new products are out.

I will be doing a ton of crochet over the next several weeks. I need to get a blanket for Pretty One made pronto. It can get very cold at volleyball tournaments and its good to have something to wrap up in so I am making her one in her club colors. Expects photos, status updates, and tutorials.

I will also be working on brooch bouquets for the wedding party (mine is done) and I will have tutorials for those as well.

Stud Muffin modeling my bouquet!

Stud Muffin modeling my bouquet!

Lots of work in my future! Loving every minute of it!

 

So We’re Back… Sorta

…and by sorta I mean we are slowly getting back into the groove. Things are looking up for Stud Muffin and I financially and we were able to spend a little bit of money to beef up the product line.

Over the next few weeks we will have tons of new products, gift sets, and holiday themed items. We are overhauling all of our photography and updating our inventory as well as starting home parties.

Its going to be a bumpy ride getting back in the saddle but we can do it!

Thank you to everyone that’s stuck by Bathe Happy!

Baby Amelia’s Blanket is Done!

Yay! Its Done! Its Done! Its Done!

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I am so excited to share with you my completed work for The Crochet Crowd’s Summer Challenge:

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Its nearly 5 ft x 5 ft. I absolutely love how it came out.

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Even Baby Dog approves:

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All that’s left to do now is to wash it and ship it. Hopefully she will have it by the middle of next week!

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That’s it for today! Tomorrow we’ll talk about upcoming projects and new ventures!

 

Contest Starts Today!

Starting right now we are running a Back To School Contest!

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We are giving away a grab bag of goodies including a soap, a solid perfume/cologne, a lip balm, a washcloth, and a scrub!

Here’s how to win:

  • Like Us on Facebook
  • Like and Share the Contest Photo on Facebook… That can be found HERE
  • Comment on the Photo telling us your favorite kinds of fragrances

That’s all there is to it. Remember you must share the original image from our page!

Additional contest entries are available. You will get an additional entry into the contest if you follow our blog(there is a link at the bottom of the page), another if you favorite us on Etsy, another if you follow me personally on Etsy, and yet another if you follow us on Twitter. You MUST follow us on Facebook, as well as like, share and comment on the contest photo to qualify for additional entries. That means each person can get up to 5 total entries.

If you are following or favoriting us for the bonus entries please be sure to Contact Us with the screenname(s) you are following us under so we can confirm for credit.

Contest ends at 11:59 pm on 9/12. Winner will be chosen at random on 9/13 and announced that same day here on the blog and on Facebook.

Good luck!