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Monday, June 6, 2011

Are Supplies Really Necessary?

Photo Courtesy of massdistraction

 As someone who makes handmade jewelry and glass beads, I have a bead addiction problem. So, of course supplies are necessary!

But...is it really necessary for the big "handmade" sites to sell supplies as part of their offerings?

Yes, there are handmade supplies. Lampwork beads are considered as much on many sites.

But do these sites, that promote themselves as handmade, really need to scores of other supply shops, offering made in China merchandise alongside those supplies handmade one by one? Isn't this in conflict somewhat with the mission of these sites, to support the handmade lifestyle and artist?

If you are a source for handmade products, then *everything* allowed should be handmade by individual artists--even the supplies.

I'm curious to hear what other artists think about this situation--should Etsy, Artfire, and Zibbet have a supply section that allows re-sellers and importers? Is this of benefit to handmade crafters because they can in theory shop on the same site that they sell? Or is this just a ploy to cushion the earnings of the sites on the backs of handmade artists?

My opinion? I think allowing resellers and importers, even when they are properly identified, undermines the "mission" of these handmade sales venues. If you are a source for handmade products, then *everything* allowed should be handmade by individual artists--even the supplies. I would gladly do my shopping elsewhere for my crystals and chains that fill out my jewelry creations.

Let me know what you think. Let me know if my bringing this up ticks you off. Or is it a non-issue?

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