Why I Buy Handmade?
As I stood at my workbench this morning making little toadstools I pondered why I buy handmade products.
I like being seen as a person, not being tossed into the sea of humanity and counted as a number, as insignificant. I like it when people recognize me, as me. Not because I think I'm such a special snowflake, but just A snowflake.
I'm an individual. I don't expect everyone, or anyone, to know me. What I would like is to be seen as an individual, not "just one of many". What I mean by this is when the company sees their customers as "one of many" they don't seem to offer the care and consideration as smaller business and most importantly, handmade artists do.
I observe the companies behavior. Is this the "Wal-Mart" feeling? Or does this person behave as if each customer is important? When you have earned each and every customer you value each one. I think as if this is maybe the only time this person connects with. What kind of impression do I want them to have? How can I convey delight? How can I treat this person with the most respect, so they feel I have bowed to them, acknowledged them as a person?
The other day, while following up on what I'm calling a "bid" for a soap job, I sent a custom box with my soap samples. I made the box as if this was a person who I wanted to impress with my attention to detail. I asked myself "why am I going to so much trouble for a job I don't want?"
As it turns out, this company fell apart with follow-up phone calls, and after all the empty promises of a phone call, they blamed me for backing out. I did send them more than 5 pounds of handmade, custom soaps. So, there's that.
My thinking, "each encounter I have with another gives me an opportunity to create, with them, a special moment". They invited me into their world and as a good guest, I bring a gift. An extension of my energy goes into many homes, I want to be a gracious guest.
I want to inject a sparkly bit of delight, which I see as magical, into that person's day.
I get to fill each order with anything I want to give. I have no boss or someone looking over my shoulder. I can be as creative with package presentation as I like.
So far, not one person has complained about getting too many samples, soap cookies or complimentary soaps, so I will keep listening to my own creative drummer and march that beat right through to your mailbox.
Thank you for inviting me into your home. I do not take this invitation lightly.