This week I popped on to Twitter just in time to find out that it was time for the monthly Craft Social chat and I was able to rearrange my day so that I could join in. I had a really wonderful time talking to everyone there about the idea of value in craft. We discussed what value means in the handmade arts, how to increase the value of your products and other related topics.
I thought I would share here what my answers to the topic’s questions were. The Craft Social site will be putting up a full transcript of the entire chat so you can see what everyone else said and what the rest of our conversation was in this chat (or of course you can go to Twitter and enter hashtag #craftsocial and read it all there). Update: The roundup transcript is now live.
Here were my thoughts …
Q1: First, what does value mean to you when you talk about handmade?
A1: Value is the preciousness or emotional connection evoked by a handmade item. First anyway, financial value comes later.
Q2: Do you feel that the perceived value of your own handmade work is accurate?
A2: A little different for me bc my “product” is writing about crafting. People do tend to value writing, I think.
Q3: How do you explain to the value of handmade to the uninitiated?
A3: It starts with just letting your passion and enthusiasm show through. Then answer Qs abt the work to show the value. Also find that sharing the stories behind the item really touches people’s hearts and helps them feel the value.
Q4: What can you do to increase the perceived value of your work?
A4: Also as we’ve said, talk positively abt the work and value it yourself and that spreads to the people you share it with and really only create and sell work that you’re truly proud of because then you’ll naturally be able to show the value. Having a sharing your own value system, too. Eco-friendly, animal kindness, support small biz, whatever your values are
Q5: How do you handle and/or value requests for your time that are unpaid?
A5: I never say yes to those requests until I’ve had time to think about if I really want to do it! And I always value my own time enough to say no – in a polite way that educates the asker about why I’ve said no. It’s all about figuring out what you want to get out of a transaction and then staying true to that for yourself.
Q6: What kinds of freebies (special packaging, blogs, tutorials, giveaways, reviews) are worth your time?
I agree that I’ll do various freebies as part of an ongoing relationship regardless of “value”. I constantly do assessments/journaling to get a sense of what I’m getting value out of and what I need to change to feel btr.
Q7: How have you added value to your own handmade goods/crafty content?
A7: I always try to provide the most comprehensive information possible in my niche topic to add value to the niche. I also always pay attention to feedback and try to incorporate it (although do so with a grain of salt to stay true to me!)
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!