In Defense of Hand Crafted Prices

Hello my magical friends. Welcome back!

I hope you have all had a lovely holiday season and that we are all looking forward to a new year!

By now I’m sure everyone has resolved to go on a diet – and I don’t mean to lose weight (because screw that). You yarny people know what I’m talking about. It’s the “yarn diet.” The “I’m going to stop buying yarn just because its pretty and use what I already have in my stash.” Yep, sure you are.

gwlg
Gretel with Lemongrass

Now don’t get me wrong, if you’re on budget (like me) then a yarn diet is totally understandable. After all hand dyed and hand painted yarns are of a much higher price that what you can buy in a big box store. But if you have disposable income and enjoy being the curator of your own yarn installation (again, me), then I say buy the yarn!

When you buy the yarn, indie dyers and makers like me do a happy dance! We also immediately afterwards have a panic attack about whether or not you will love or hate the yarn, but that’s for another entry. What I want to focus on this time around is the why indie dyers do a happy dance – and why those hand dyed and hand painted prices are as high as they are.

dd
Deceivingly Delicate

Some of us can guess the basics of the costs that go into a yarn dyeing enterprise. Materials of course: yarn, dye powder, mordant, water (lots of water), pots and trays, towels and utensils specifically for dyeing, even expensive spin dryers and warping mills for those who have the budget for a more extensive operation. These things all add up and to start a yarn dyeing business you almost need a small business loan. Or if you’re me, you just slowly build over the course of a year or so. And I still don’t have the expensive spin dryer, although my aunt’s salad spinner works like a charm!

fhf1
The First Hard Freeze

Beyond the materials, naturally, is the time and effort to create your art. Dyeing yarn is labor intensive. At my best in dye mode, I’ve been able to dye 20 skeins in about 4.5 hours. Which really, that’s not a lot considering how much some bigger dyers are able to kick out at a time. But more than the time and effort for just creating your art, you have to market and sell it.

This is where I think some people don’t realize how involved it is to be an indie dyer, very especially when you want it to be a significant source of income (I’m not there yet, but I love each and every customer who helps me climb that ladder). If you want to sell your yarn art, Etsy is definitely a big place to do it – it’s where I do it! See my Sisteresque Fibers shop here.

uls
An Un-Love Spell

Now Etsy is a great tool for makers. They have a lot of tools and options available for listing, advertising and shipping your items. This is great, but remember, makers still need to create each listing for each item, which of itself is difficult. We need to include as much information for your customers as possible while still being appealing. We need to have exceptional photographs of our items, with good lighting and background. Most of us makers don’t have a copy writer to come up with brilliant descriptions, we don’t have an IT person to list our items and make sure it matches our inventory, we don’t have photographers to show off our art. And that’s not all we don’t have.

As indie dyers or makers, we do it all because we don’t have extra staff and people. We don’t have a warehouse full of workers who package and ship orders when they come in, we do it ourselves. We don’t have a team of customer service reps who field calls and questions when a customer has a request, a question or (heaven help us!) a complaint. We have to handle that ourselves. We don’t have Social Media gurus with SEO training (I still don’t know what that is) to keep up with Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and YouTube. We have to do all that, too.

wotv
Whispers On the Vine

It’s difficult to explain fully the effort and energy put into being a hand maker without getting long winded (or a bit discouraged). But I felt the need to defend the price of hand dyed yarns and of all hand made things. Because behind that lovely, unique item is a real person, who does do a real happy dance when you buy our item. We have real dreams and aspirations, real worries and desperate hopes, real life bills to pay that we often need a regular day to support because making a go of our passion is rough as hell.

I don’t write this little entry to lecture, not at all. What I want buyers to know is that you can trust we indie dyers and indie makers have given our all to that item you buy. We have labored to create it, to put our art into the world, and have been the one person show that gets it from our brain to your mailbox. And above all, you can trust that we love that art we have created. That more than wanting to make a living from our art, we so badly want is for you to love our art. For you to feel joy when you have that art in your hands. The dream is to make a living at it. The purpose is spread our passion to the world.

aolab
Aphrodite, Of Love and Beauty

So from the bottom of my enlarged heart, I thank all of you who support indie dyers and makers! We so appreciate your support, you understanding of our efforts and your sharing of our passions. You truly do make our dreams come true!

So thank you for joining me for this entry. And if you made it all the way thru this behemoth of a post, gold star to you!

Until next circle my magical friends.

 

DTK Pop Up Makers June Market

Hello Fiber Sisters and Brethren!

I am late to the game getting this post up. For shame! Life does happen, tho, and part of my self love right now is not to be mad at myself. So here it goes!

In June I had an opportunity to go back to Downtown Knits in Apex to take part in the Indie Dyer and Makers Pop Up Market! It was lovely to meet some new makers and of course, meet all the lovely fiber friends who came see and support us!

Even if you are not local to Raleigh, NC, you should definitely check out these lovely human beings and their goods!

First up, Oak City Soap, Kevin and Brenda! They are a husband and wife team creating, as their awesome tag line says, “Luxury soaps for dirty people.” Don’t you love them already?!

DSC_0824

I got to sit next to Kevin and Brenda and chat them up during down time, they are charming and friendly and everything you want in small business owners! Their products are gorgeous and smell even better!

DSC_0827

I bought some guest soaps for my aunt and my sisters for our trip to New York (blog later), a bath bomb for myself that smells like Fruit Loops cereal (incredible!), and some bath bomb sprinkle as a gift for my aunt. They were a hit!

DSC_0825

If you are in the market for pampering yourself, you much check out Oak City Soap, even if they aren’t local to you. I will say, too, they have items for men like beard oil and shaving soap. I think men are often left out when it comes to luxury soap and shower sundries, so I appreciate that I can get gifts for everyone from Oak City Soap!

Across from me at the market was the very sweet Michelle of Full Bloom Coffee Roasters in Dowtown Garner, NC. She shares my taste for buffalo chicken and also for delicious coffee!

DSC_0830

Full Bloom Coffee Roasters has a brick and mortar location in Garner where they serve their hand crafted coffee drinks, breakfast and lunch grilled panini sandwiches as well as locally brewed beers- what else could you want?! Besides to bring your knitting!

DSC_0834

I couldn’t resist trying their Honey Brew, a cold brew coffee in a very cool brown glass bottle that makes me feel like I’m drinking an old timey magical elixir from one of those traveling apothecary carts. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy that feeling! And the coffee was spectacular! What I love about their coffee is that it has coffee flavor and does not have that burned bitter taste that big commercial chains (you know who they are) tend to have.

DSC_0833

If you are in the Garner area, do stop in and see them! Have some coffee and panini, maybe stay long enough to enjoy a beer and some knitting! If you aren’t able to stop in, then check out their website for Full Bloom Coffee Roasters and order online! You won’t be sorry and you’ll be supporting the kind of small business that cares about creating a quality product that also happens to beย Organic, Fair Trade, and Rainforest Alliance Certified. So you can feel even better about that glorious caffeine kick!

DSC_0832

You know the last maker that joined me at Downtown Knits for the Pop Up Market: it’s Miss Barbara from Super Stitchy!

DSC_0836

As per usual, Miss Barbara had a beautiful booth full of all the knitting and yarny goodies you could want! Here always amazing self striping colorways, her yummy variegated skeins, all the progress keepers and stitch markers you could need to bling out your projects and fabulous fun project bags to house it all!

DSC_0835

All in all, it was another fun and rewarding experience to hang with some hand makers and meet new fiber friends! Thank you again to Michele of Downtown Knits for putting it on in her wonderful shop! Stay tuned for the next Pop Up Market!

DSC_0822

As I have rebranded, I will have to rethink my booth set up to fit my new magical, mystical theme. I’m excited to relable my yarns and think up how to work my new mystical mojo to create a more cohesive brand! Wish me luck!

Thank you all for stopping, reading, and maybe even clicking to shop these lovely makers!

See you for the next installment in the Sisteresque Fibers saga!

Happy Friday the 13th!

Hello Fiber Friends!

You may or may not have noticed – there’s a new look, a new logo and a new name! I have rebranded to Sisteresque Fibers!

cropped-sf.jpg

No need for you to change the blog you follow, the Instagram or twitter, not even my Etsy shop. I have updated it all to reflect the new branding.

Change is good! As I am working on self love, self acceptance and just being more me, I needed a change to my business that would better reflect my particular interests. I love the occult, the creepy and the weird and I always have! In fact, some of you may have noticed, I also have brand new audio podcast with my sister called Sisteresque (like how I keep it in the family?) which you can find at www.sisteresque.com as well as on Stitcher, Itunes, and hopefully soon Spotify and Google Play!

DSC_0838
A Coven Wedding – you’re all invited! One of my new colorways for the new brand!

I hope this new brand will help me to have a more specific focus and that you, my yarniac followers, will grow and explore the mystical, the magical and the self with me.ย  If I can teach myself the website ropes a bit more, I hope to move my shop here to my website rather than Etsy, but baby steps. Part of my self love and self acceptance is knowing I can’t do it all at once.

Also, I’m pretty proud of my logo. I went ahead and figured out how to make one myself! Its a simple and a bit slap dash, but I love it for that.

Thank you all for checking out my site and for your continued support! Every like, every comment, every follow and yes, every purchase from my shop, gives me a boost in more ways than I can tell you. I love you all!

Happy Friday the 13th!

I’m with you Sisters and Brethren ๐Ÿ™‚

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑