Made in France – Spring edition 2018

News!

Etsy sellers everywhere in France gather again on June 2nd and 3rd for a spring edition of the ‘Made in France’ fair!

You can find me in this one:

See you soon!

 

 

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The Price of Creation

Pop-up shops are quite fashionable these days, as well as handmade local products. I am certainly not complaining.

With my short year of online selling experience, I am new to this field. I am now part of two creators’ collectives: Etsy team Petit Paris and Bien des choses. I have met many people driven by the same creative passion as I am, some younger, some older than I am, with various levels of experience. Those are precious encounters by all means.

Among our common traits is this little tune I (re)discover, that may be the secret weapon for pissing off any creator:

‘Oh, that’s beautiful! But way too expensive.’

‘A creators’ market? Don’t bother coming in, the prices will be crazy.’

‘I’m not paying that much for something I can do at home.’

Grrr. Please give me a minute to do some yoga stretching to regain my composure.

For a creator, setting one’s prices can be very difficult. We have to deal with the usual impostor syndrome, work that is often hard to quantify and/or qualify, and this terrible habit we all have of seeing reduced prices in supermarkets and other places offering industrial products. We often devaluate our work because of all this.

Many times, the customers we meet hold this preconception of a pretentious artist who sells rubbish for millions of euros. Understandable, but not exactly relevant in our case.

We all work with patience and skill. We spend long hours searching, trying, destroying and rebuilding until we come up with a satisfying result. If it satisfies us, it should satisfy the buyer because, let’s face it, we will always be more demanding with ourselves than they are.

And yet, this level of demand is rarely recognised. As is counting in our prices a fee for our working hours… and the fact that said fee is higher than that of the Chinese child who sewed my jeans.

We forget too easily that labour force is expensive and that an object made by a qualified artisan is a long-term purchase. Your hand-sewn handbag won’t fall into pieces like my pretty Desigual bag did (screw it, I’m ratting out: worst purchase I ever made). Your Formica jewel won’t break. Your Merino wool weaving won’t unravel. And your hand-sewn paper mobile may look simple, but it is not that easy to make at home.

Plus, all these are original, unique items that you certainly won’t find anywhere else.

This was Sunday’s advertising clip. Take a look at my colleagues’ shops, they are worth the time! 

 

That is to say: yes, the product in your hands is generally worth the price we set for it. It’s a simple change of habits: buy at a higher price to keep for a longer time.

This long and slightly annoyed tirade could also be summed up with this: think what you will, but have the decency not to shout down their creations’ prices in front of a creator. Being polite is never a bad choice.

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How to become professional (in France)

This article is not yet translated into English as it only concerns French citizens. I will translate it eventually, but it will take me some time. Enjoy this nice picture of Zouina, my dad’s lab, in the meantime:

zouina

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