Monday, May 27, 2013

Is handmade all about babies and kids?

freesias asked
"Why do the majority of Handmade sites mostly stock babies and kids wear? Is that all that sells?"

It does appear that many handmade sellers do make for kids - I am one of them.

I make kids items because I have kids and it relates to what I'm doing right now.  I have noticed that my fellow kidswear makers are also mothers (but not all of them).  I've also noticed that these makers products have evolved as their children get older.

There is also the fact that handmade kids products sell.  Especially items for girls in pink.  Personally I don't like pink and I have spent my entire life avoiding it, but that might have more to do with my red hair.  When I started out making beanies in 2009 I wanted to make exclusively for boys but I kept getting requests for girls beanies.  After having my daughter I now understand the impulse people have to buy pretty things for the the little girls in their lives.  Its a bit likes shoes and accessories in your pre children years.

There are many sellers out there that make for adults:


You can find them on Etsy, and  


If you are looking offline for handmade items that aren't made for kids, I would check out boutique markets like Canberra Handmade, Finders Keepers and the Rose Street Artist Market in Melbourne who cater more for adults and creative folks.

Handmade Friendly Stores

If you are looking for a bricks and mortar store that stock handmade products for adults I would check out In.cube8rCultiverThe {East Gippsland} Makery, Little shop of Handmade and similar stores.

Where do you purchase your handmade items for adults? 

About the Contributor: 
Christine is a Wife and a Mum of 3.  She is the owner of C Percy Designs and the Editor of The Contemporary Handmade Alliance.  She is also the Editor of the Handmade Cooperative - Australian Handmade 4 Kids and is a little obsessed with all things crochet. 
To find out more about Christine go to her blog or follow her on Facebook.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Handmade Crossroad

At a crossroad

I'm at a point in my handmade journey where I'm wondering if I should continue.  My heart is screaming "Continue on, there is more to create" and my head is going saying "How are you going to fit everything in?".

In the last week I've been offered an amazing job, its located only minutes from my house, its during school hours, the pay is decent and its a great introduction into the world of getting back into perceived "real work" (I think I've worked harder as a handmade seller than I ever did when I worked for someone else, but that's not how many of my non-handmade friends see it).  My husband was made redundant a few weeks back and has decided to start his own business.  Financially things are tight, I've been able to contribute to the family finances which has been great but to be totally honest I can make more money working for someone else.

I've seen many handmade businesses come and go over the 4+ years I've been in operation.  A lot of them have closed their doors due to family commitments,  finances, the dive no longer being there, disillusionment,  conclusion of maternity leave  ... the list goes on.

So does a having a "real" job mean the end of my handmade business?

I hope not.  My business has become part of my identity,  its kept me sane during the 'years of tears' (the term I made up to describe the time when I had 3 kids under school age at home with me), to be honest its given me a a sense of self-worth and a much needed creative outlet.

What has your handmade business given you?

I know not all handmade creatives aren't mothers or in fact women, but seen its the Mother's Day weekend I proposed a this question on our facebook page today

As a Mum, what does your handmade business give you? 

and I was amazed at the honest responses.

Shantelle from Missy Melly "A creative outlet and I've made a heap of fabulous friends"
Blogger Bree from Me and My Two Guys "An outlet and a way to keep creating".
Clair from Angel Caprice  "My business gives me a sense of my own identity. As a mum we become feeders, nurses, drivers, cleaners and well just mummies. When im at the markets selling my wears for a few hours I'm 'Just Clair, the handmade business owner'. Its my time to create and show the world who I am."
Becci  "self worth and creative outlet for sure. Also a sense of satisfaction, some me time and that 'all important' validation when someone buys something"
Hollie from ZZ Totz  "Certainly my creative outlet and something that I am doing for me. Very satisfying!"
'kaetoo' Canvas Photo Boards "A focus. Before I started doing this, I wasn't as happy. My handmade business is something that is for me, that I fully control and that I can do as much or as little as I want with, not like parenting or working a "real" job."
Samantha from Said the Ladybird to the Turtle   "It is my sanity, and I really notice when I can't create. I'm not able to now and I've had to look for other ways to find some relief and identity."
Elizabeth  "Most def creative outlet, it also gives me a sense of contributing to family income, and satisfaction of creating something that maybe someone else will like. My children also see me sewing/creating and I can involve them by way of sitting on my lap while I sew and hopefully that inspires them to be creative. Very importantly it gives me a sense of myself, ie not just a mum who cooks , cleans( haha) etc. There are so many reasons why I create"
Kellie from Mudpuddles  "The feeling of contribution, even if its a small amount, my husband works long hours and every little bit helps. Plus I love that I can work from home doing the things I love."
Cassie from Rainbow Lollies  "A sense of achievement and of course an outlet to unleash creative mess!"
Tania from Squiggle and Stitch "Similar to the other ladies comments. Mainly it is something I do for 'me'. It is definitely a much needed creative outlet and has allowed me to earn some extra money and meet some fantastic women who I now consider friends. I started it as a way that I could earn a small income from home and still be around my kids, however I must admit I now find it very difficult getting anything done with the kids around....but that's another story."

Running my own handmade business whilst being a Mum has given me more than simply a bit of extra cash.  And it is for this reason I'll be keeping my handmade business running.  I might not be as prolific but I can't simply let 4+ years of work go waste, nor can I give away the benefits I have received.

Do you have another word to add to our Word Cloud?  

Words used:

  • Identity 
  • Self-worth
  • Creative-Outlet
  • Friendship
  • Satisfaction
  • Validation
  • Happiness
  • Control
  • Sanity
  • Income
  • Inspiration
  • Contribution
  • Achievement
  • Balance