It's my 2nd anniversary selling my wares on the craft/vintage online shop ETSY. I've had a real boost from the exposure and wide reach Etsy has brought my little niche.
An ongoing conversation has been going on in Etsy Forums and beyond, what is OOAK?? aka, one of a kind items. I recently scanned on of my favorite on-line food blogs now turned shopping experience! And one of their shopping categories was, One of a Kind, curious enough to take a peek to see what their offering might be... nice stuff and "sort of" one of the kind looking, but so not what the intent of one of a kind means. I'm wondering when One of a Kind became sort of one of a kind .... kind of handmade looking but really mass produced. humm. YIKES, Has the handmade item been buried under mass production. How will our customers know if handmade is really handmade. An infuriating conundrum to me and many others.
one of a kind lampshade. Mother and Child, vintage needlepoint sourced from Europe, vintage trim from a pair of French curtains, new fabric and trim to match!
True to be said, not all artisans do one of a kind items or wish to. 85% of my work is one or 2 of a kind; a few things I will do over and over! The goal of my business has been stay small and stay busy, stay fresh and creative. And continue to design and make the BEST lampshades I can challenging myself to grow and experiment with new materials.
Etsy has opened it's venue up for designers as of Jan 1, 2014. They are now allowed to design their work and OUTSOURCE and DROP Ship their work. Oh Boy, it's been hair pulling fall with this big change in direction. I certainly see a few good out comes, but mostly an onslaught of inferior produced work. The day after the announcement I watched a lampshade company in Berlin add 350 lampshades in one day; I've looked back and don't think they have done very well as their work looks pretty commercial. It took me months to get my inventory up to 100 lampshades and is a big job to keep my inventory up to that level, which seems to be a good number of items to have in one's shop as it is important to have enough choices.
On New Years Eve there was a forum post by a woman in India. She had said her friend's shop was just shut down by Etsy. She said her friend had just opened it and was afraid they would do the same to her. Folks posted encouragement to her and then checked out her shop after she mentioned that she could get such good prices as her wholesaler gave her a great deal.... OPPS, she let it slip out that she was a REseller ---- a HUGE issue for integrity in the handmade craft world and an Etsy issue. Her forum post really became a joke- no one called her exactly out but it was becoming apparent that she had become the fool in her own post. Eventually the post was shut down. I took a peek and her work was obviously totally mass produced! Holy Moly! The slippery slope Etsy Integrity will be up against.
Love these shades! So one of a kind!! Vintage embroidery, one trim on the bottom and rick rack on the top!
Here's a quirky shade for the eclectic home....so fun to make. Beautiful thick vintage crewel lampshade. Good luck mass producing this one! One of a kind for sure.
Happy New Year! I'm home & the shop is closed today due to a blizzard here in Southern Vermont! Maybe a foot of fluffy stuff. I swung by the shop this morning to pick up my laptop, feed the kitties and out to breakfast at The Station. A quick Executive Decision not to open the shop and head home to watch the snow pile up and scribble out a sort of whinny blog post. ohh, it's just principles... isn't it. Slow Craft carry on!.... I did pick up one lampshade to finish up today.... yankee work ethic.... Happy New Year. Cheers to 2014.