Friday, November 8, 2013

Buy Local – Buy Handmade – or Buy Cheaper Junk

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Misty Hollow Carvingwas launched in October 2008
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Buy Local – Buy Handmade – or Buy Cheaper Junk
Now take a deep breath and then let it out…. Phew… again…. Phew… now that is better.  This week can continue.  Things have slowed down and the world has evened out.  Halloween is over, Remembrance Day is upon us and now the Christmas rush can gallop up behind with all its hoopla.  I am ready.
The sign said “Buy Local” and another said “Buy Handmade” – suggesting that the folks that are wanting to give a gift this Christmas time should consider buying from the local producers (food produce) and local Crafts People and Artisans.
I like the idea but then none of my friends are interested – or never call. It is always the people that are out there – new people that I have never met before.
It could be that I am not producing the Chinese style junk that is cheap. It could be that I use not enough lead paint to colour of carvings. It could be that my price is not 50 Cents (or less) per hour.
This past week a man strolled up to my table of carvings in the Mall. He was amazed with what I had produced with the carvings I had displayed. He was really impressed. I was happy.
Then he asked, “How much are these carved feathers?”  I explained that the large feathers are $150 each and the smaller ones are only $85.
His reaction was almost comical as he jumped backwards and dropped the feather he was holding…. Saying… “So much… why so much?”
I wasn’t fizzed by his sudden disdain for my art work – which is exactly what it is when you are raving with your compliments one moment and dropping the item like a dangerous hot snake the next.
I asked him how much he made per hour at his place of business.  I knew that he was fully employed and working at a job that paid about $75,000 per year.
I grinned at his third reaction… trying to regain his composure after acting like an admirer that had just became an ass. “I see what you mean… you can’t work for nothing.”
I explained that even at $150 for the larger feathers I am making between $5 and $10 per hour.
He agreed but didn’t buy.
He will buy his gifts at Wall Mart and get his “deal” – but he won’t get a feather.
Now I am in the Christian Community… and from a Christian community where I was known as a Minister… but even that doesn’t help.  They are not interested and have little to do with me. It is the very Non-Christian type that encourage… or maybe that is non-church people…?
Sorry – if you are friend and come from that community. My statement is a large and wide brush that may get paint on you and me when it slops by us. I do appreciate your purchase and know that money is tight.
I am writing about the difficulty of working with the admiration and disdain coming from the same people.  They can drive me nutso.
Oddly enough it is the stuff that sturdy Christians make a big negative deal about(they don’t like the product) that sells the best… so I carve it and they buy. Thank God for that kind of people.
Not complaining but simply showing what happens locally.
Oh by the way… Misty Hollow Wands (a whole lot like Harry Potter Wands) are now available.  Let me know if you need or want one. But then there are also Feathers and Leaves and Love Spoons and great stuff made specially for you.

~ Murray Lincoln ~
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