The Saturday after Thanksgiving, thanks to American Express, is now celebrated as Small Business Saturday. While I don’t own an American Express card, nor will I probably ever have one, I wish to thank them for this brilliant idea.
Being a small business myself and also a maker, it’s difficult to get seen in the world of commercialism. We have much smaller budgets to blaze our names all over the networks, magazines and digital media. So, I tip my hat to American Express, which now brings forth the small business to mind, one day of the year. It’s still a brand new idea. It’s only been around since 2010. Their hope is to have consumers turn their attention to the mom and pop shops around the country.
There are a lot of us, too. Only about 27 MILLION! If you do your shopping at these local small businesses, you are helping the ecomony. You are helping a family put food on their table, pay for clothes and other needs a family may require. We expect to turn a profit when we venture into these businesses with an idea. An idea we hope our community will support.
Along those lines, I want to give you a perspective on something. It’s something I get to observe on a regular basis when attending events. Makers of goods, small businesses and such, pour their heart and soul into what they do. Some more than others, depending on the craft or service. Let’s just say, I don’t want to own a restaurant. Anyway, while attending craft events, I find it surprising that consumers will want to dicker over prices on products that are hand-crafted. I have no idea where this comes from. Many crafters are way under priced for what they sell as it is. I know this for a fact. I’ve seen it on my own business. I’ve had to re-hash numbers and I’ve found I’m still lacking if I want this business to survive.
Take for instance crochet. I love crochet wash cloths. I make my own. I also love a beautiful stitch and I do have a few of these available to go along with a gift package. It take ME two hours to crochet that cloth, mainly because I’m not a fast stitcher and I’m making something extraordinary. But let’s say that I’m average. Let’s say that I want to earn $10 an hour in making that craft (I should be able to, it’s almost minimum wage). Let’s say it takes me 1 hour to make this beautiful stitch for a cloth and I use one skein of cotton yarn at $4 (sorry, I can’t remember what they cost). I should be getting paid $14 for one dish rag. Now remember, this is just an example. What do you see these dish rags selling for at a craft show? Usually $1-$2 per rag. There is no way anyone can live off of that. Even if they can make four in an hour, using a basic stitch and purchasing the yarn. It just doesn’t work. Then in walks Susie Homemaker and asks for a deal on three dish cloths. Why?
In my business I see it all the time. I don’t blame people for trying to score a deal. But if it’s a deal you want, then Walmart is just down the road. Just saying. Crafters and Makers are worth their wage. Just like you going to your job. You are paid for your work. Makers need to earn their wage as well. So when you are looking at a beautiful hand made piece of work, soap, clothes, whatever, please keep in mind that these people spend hours honing their craft and making something unique and wonderful. It’s not made in China.
Blossom’s Barn sources the cleanest, purest ingredients for our products. We spend hours formulating, sourcing and making the very best products that you will love. Choosing us, this Christmas season as one of your shopping places, will ensure you are getting a delightful, unique and skin-loving gift for those someones special in your life. Support Small Business Saturday. You will be glad you did.