In just 5 short days, Captain Sexypants and I will be happily manning my booth at the Uptown Village Market in Long Beach. A lot of folks will be coming through, and there will be a lot of artists showing off some fabulous handcrafts.
One of the things that bugs me and invariably happens at every single show I do, is that one person will walk past my booth and say, “Pssshhht. I can totally buy this for $3 at WalMart (or whatever big box store, insert the one of your choice.)”
Normally I smile and say, “No. No you really can’t.”
Inspired by several articles on other blogs and in several professional journals that I read, I’m trying a different tack this time. I’ll have this sign printed out and tucked somewhere discreet but visibly in my booth:
Some reasons why you can’t buy this for less at Wal-Mart:
These items are handmade by an artist.
These items are handmade by an artist in the USA.
These items are handmade by an artist in the USA, living in your local community.
These items are handmade by an artist in the USA, living in your local community, who will turn around and use the money she makes on this sale to support more businesses in your local community when she buys groceries and vegetables to feed her family.
These items are made with components mainly sourced from businesses that are owned and operated in the USA.
Many of the pieces on this table were made with components that came from other small, local artists and they were purchased at a fair price.
This small business is eco-friendly.
This small business is woman owned and operated.
This small business employs people from the local community and it employs them at a fair, hourly wage.**
These items are the result of a lifetime of acquired skills.
NONE of these jewelry designs are available at any big box store. Sure, you can buy something shiny that a company buyer bought for $.02 by the gross, made by children working in unsafe factories overseas, for a substandard wage… but why would you want to?
So when someone hauls out the tired Walmart trope. I’m going to smile and invite them to read this instead.
**”my teenage child” counts as “people”, right?