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  • All Done and a Plea for the Crafters

    June 2, 2009 | 12 Comments »
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    (a few of my Craft Stylish projects over the last year)

    Last week was my last post as a regular contributor to Craft Stylish. If you follow craft gossip (yes it exists, believe me!) you may have heard that Craft Stylish has restructured the nature of the site (you can read about it here) and all the regular contributors were let go. This is another unfortunate blow to the crafty publishing world. 

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    More and more people are picking up crafting as a hobby every year and yet, it's really hard for craft magazines and websites to stay in business. Some of this is just part of the flailing economy; the publishing industry is doing fairing pretty poorly across the board right now. Also, people are really used to getting everything online for free. The only model for money-making online right now is ad-based. What happens when no one is buying ads?

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    And what else can be done? I wrote about this a few months ago when the print component of CRAFT folded but I do think that people who love crafts need to put their money where their mouths are. Nowadays, it's so easy to find free craft tutorials and projects online that a lot of people don't even bother to pay for a magazine or a book but crafters need to make a living too! Sure a lot of what we do is for love but love doesn't pay the rent.
    Craft is all too often undervalued: crafters underprice their wares and buyers often think, "well I can get this cheaper at Target or Wal-mart (and no, I'm not linking to them). But you can't get the same thing. Handmade items have soul, they have heart, someone made it by hand for you. The same goes for a handmade tutorial. They take time to do right: not only do you need a great idea put you need to write clear instructions and take well-lit, well-styled photos. Writing a good tutorial is a craft in and of itself which is why people who are good at this should get paid a decent, fair wage. 
    So I beg of you, if you love beautifully made crafts, support your favorite crafters! Buy their books (and I'm not just saying this because I have a book coming out!), shop at craft fairs, appreciate the value of something the is made by hand. Think about the possibility of paying a subscription for an online craft magazine. Buy fewer but more well-made things. Really think about where your money is going. I'm going to try to do that too and maybe we can make this better together.




    12 Responses to “All Done and a Plea for the Crafters”

    1. I 100% agree with you. I’m on my way to a craft fair this weekend to support my local crafters.

      And I am confused–is that why I haven’t recieved any new CRAFT magazines and only the MAKE version? I wasn’t alerted of this at all and I have a year subscription. I have only recieved two of them!

    2. kayte says:

      Oh good! I’m glad you’re going to a craft fair this weekend! And as for CRAFT, yes, that’s why you haven’t gotten a new issue. Head over to the CRAFT website and find out what they can do for you. The website is still great by the way! they still have original content for many of the contributors to the magazine.

    3. amy says:

      yes, TOTALLY! i grew up with a mother who is a writer, so we cherished the written word from a very young age, and no matter how low income we were, we found money for books. i think it’s one of the most valuable lessons she passed down to me. i often feel like i spend a ridiculous amount of money on books and magazines every month, but it’s SO worth it! (the new bookshelf to get the stacks of books off the floor – also worth it!)

      as much as i love reading craft blogs and sites like craftster.org, it’s not the same. they fill different niches, and that’s okay, as long as we remember to support BOTH. as tired as we are all of hearing about the recession, times like this make it even more important that what money we do have, we use to support others like us. even small amount can make a difference – save less than $1 a day and buy a new craft book a month, splurge on a magazine instead of a coffee (scarily, similar in price!), support local indie bookstores, subscribe to craft sites.

      thank you so much for this post. i’d actually decided that i wasn’t going to buy any craft books this month because i thought i’d gone a (little) bit overboard this spring, but you’ve reminded me that books are never a wasteful expense.

    4. Cassandra says:

      Amen, sister. I have no problem buying beautiful craft books/magazines/patterns. They’re just one of those things I find essential.

      And I always feel good adding a beautiful etsy purchase to my closet, and proudly proclaiming that “someone made it for me.”

    5. yes, YES! Absolutely, take time/buy better/buy less… swamped tagging for Renegade tomorrow but so happy (and sad for the unforunate inspiration) to read this. thanks!

    6. Anna says:

      I’ve been thinking about this post quite a bit in the last few days (and even decided to splurge on a craft magazine over the weekend!), and I have a couple of questions you might be able to answer.

      1) If there is a magazine you love, is it better to subscribe or to pick it up on the newsstand? Which is more beneficial to the staff and writers?

      2)I buy most of my books on Amazon (hello free shipping for orders over $25). Would it benefit the writer more if I purchased their book at an actual store?

      Thanks!

    7. tia says:

      AMEN! Yeas I so agree with you! Well said!

    8. kayte says:

      Hey anna-
      good questions!
      1. it’s better to get a subscription to a magazine. You aren’t really supporting a magazine unless you are getting each one. Since magazines don’t really make money off the cover price anyway, it doesn’t matter that you are paying less for the subscription.

      2. i don’t think it’s bad to buy books on amazon but of course, it’s always better to buy books from an independent store.

    9. Jessica says:

      I completely agree with you…as much as I love target.There is that special feel to handmade items.I love to support small business as well as local and online crafts.Also when shopping my favorite stores I go for inspiration to make my OWN things…Why spend a 100 dollars on a sweater with vintage scraps sewn on when I know I can do it myself and proudly say I did.

    10. chiqui says:

      what are those cute things on the top photo of this post? I wish I could sew like you. I’m scared to death of the sewing machine.

    11. Gigi says:

      I try to avoid the Great “Wal-Mart” of China for purchases. I worry about the safety of many imported small craft items, toys, etc., and the conditions for the workers who make them. And I appreciate the artists and article more if I can I add a memory of buying something at the art fair, gallery, or even online like at Etsy.

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