Monday, March 22, 2010

Putting Your Heart Out There

When I set up my Etsy shop back in October of 2007, I was nervous as heck. It's one thing to make handmade items as gifts - people can't complain. This week has been tough as I've had two people make comments about stuff I've made and sold to them. It's hard to be professional when you read completely out-of-the-blue vitriolic vindictiveness from complete strangers. What makes it okay to be like that?

I make sure my products have good pictures and appropriate descriptions. I've had lots of sales from people who've been happy with what they've received. Why is it that people feel compelled to tell me that my work is no good - when the things they have problems with are not problems, but the way things are with what I make? Paper beads are made of paper and have paper-like qualities. They are not going to be like glass beads. They are not going to be like polymer clay beads. They are most definitely not going to be like machine-made, mass-produced, made in Taiwan, every Wal-Mart has them kinds of beads.

And it's hard to take them as seriously when they TYPE IN ALL CAPS, have bad speling, real bad grammar and talk to you like you should have known all of this before you made something that no one else has ever made and/or sold before. Um, yeah. Grr.

Don't they read shipping policies and return policies? Mine says, "talk to me and we'll make it right." It doesn't say, "treat me like garbage and accuse me of lying to you in my pictures and advertising on my site." If you like Wal-Mart - buy there. Don't buy handmade. It means made by hand. Individually. Each of those beads is cut individually with a razor. I then roll them on a toothpick and glue them by hand. They are dipped one by one in a sealant and I sit there with the bead on a stick, waiting for the excess to drip off before putting them in neat little rows on my parchment paper. I look at each bead after it dries to make sure it doesn't have marks or obvious defects on it. Even though I've put that much effort into it at this point, I still have to have the courage to throw defective ones away. They don't even get saved for friends' gifts! (You know, because they can't complain)

Then I make these beads into jewelry. If it's a product I'm making for the first time, I show it to other people to see if I've gotten it right. After someone orders a product, I put it on a tag, seal it in its own baggie, wrap it in bubble wrap and then gift wrap it in tissue paper and ribbon. I put a thank you note in that. And I mail it to you. And I hope for the best. That you will take what I worked hard on, see it for what it is and appreciate it for just that.

Sorry, just feeling a bit like the world has lost its manners. I didn't go into business for this. But this is business.

4 comments:

  1. *banging the table in protest* Having received a package from you, I vouch for their adorable-ness. The beads are sturdy and still pleasantly paper-ish. They're warm, not chilly like glass or metal beads.

    I think the proper term for those ALLCAPSWTF people is "douchecanoe".

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  2. You know I love you, right?

    SMOOOOOCH!

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  3. Sorry dude...there are always going to be people like that.

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  4. Oh, I'm so sorry. There are some odd people out there, for sure. Don't let them get you down. (easier said than done, I know.)

    "douchecanoe" Perfect. :)

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