I was working on a few items for Saturday’s Marketplace, humming to myself as I created some bunting with vintage linens and lace. I had spent a good chunk of time sorting, cleaning and ironing before actually creating the bunting in different color combinations. As I worked, I wondered if I would be hearing those dreaded words, usually whispered between friends or family members –“I can make that myself”. A discussion thread on Etsy once asked sellers what they thought were the worsts things to hear at a show, and that phrase was right up there.
Let’s face it, most of us are guilty of it. We’ll admire an item (and it seems more common with upcycled items) and mentally take a snapshot or deconstruct it so we can replicate it at home. These days, it isn’t uncommon for someone to actually take a photo with their phone. There’s a reason Pinterest is so popular!
But honestly, how many of us will actually follow through? Are you going to scour flea markets and auctions for vintage supplies? Buy the tools necessary to create? Spend the time cleaning, prepping, painting/collaging/sewing/nailing and end up with the same result? The hours that artists, creators, bakers, and all those other small businesses and hand crafters put into creating a product usually result in a woefully small hourly wage. Not to mention the travel, set up, fees and hard work that go into showing their products at an event such as the Marketplace. The hourly “wage” isn’t what drives them, it’s their passion to express themselves and create wonderful things. And I can personally testify that it takes a lot more talent than I have, which is why their work is so precious.
If you are visiting the Marketplace, you have already validated these amazing vendors and their work, and for that we thank you. The support from people like you is important and greatly appreciated. If you admire an item, let the artist or vendor tell you about it—their inspiration, their process, the story behind the product. Even if you don’t walk away with the item, you’ll have a new appreciation of how it came to be.
Vendors, do you have a phrase you really dread hearing? Please share!
See you at the Armory!