Rachael did make a very good point in her comment on the Please don't ask me THAT question post the other day. She mentioned that when people ask her what she does, she always feels as though she has to explain that although she has a craft business, it doesn't make enough money to support her. Why do we feel this way? Because we do don't we! Why do we always feel that we need to defend ourselves. When you think about, there are so many mainstream businesses out there that have very small turnovers and in the current financial climate make losses every year! How much money it brings in does not define your business! And to be honest, it is no one elses business but your own. We should feel confident enough to hold our heads high and shout to the world that 'This is what we do!'
So the next time someone asks you where you work. Say proudly that you own your own business, you are a Professional Crafter. And don't forget that you don't just have to compete with the shop across the road! You sell online! You are in competition with the rest of the world! Every sale that you make is extra special, that customer chose you out of the whole world!
I dread people asking me what I do! Because I'm not sure they ever really listen to the answer. Because I don't go out to work I always get the impression that they think I am either making things up to get out of doing the housework or am either too thick or lazy to get a 'proper job'!
Are they totally insane! Do they really not realise how hard it is to start a business from the ground up, from absolutely nothing, whilst trying to ignore everything going on around you. (Housework, small children, pets etc) The answer! No, I don't think they do.
Everyone that works from home knows as well as I do, that although we love our work, and we really do love it! It certainly isn't the easy option. We rarely, ever stop work. You will still see us beavering away whilst cooking tea and juggling children. Doing a spot of PR on twitter or Facebook during advert breaks in the evenings. Often sitting up through the night to finish off orders and projects. So please, please, please don't accuse us of having a hobby! It isn't a hobby, it is our LIFE! And lots of us are very good at it so credit where credit is due!
I started the Professional Crafters Guild, initially to give people something visible that they could slap on their websites and blogs etc. Something that shouts "Hey! I am working here!"
As it is starting to grow and develop I am coming to realise that we could actually make a difference, so if you have any ideas on how we can mature and support eachother I am all ears. :)
With regard to my answer to 'that' question! Well, it is always difficult to say. Yes, I do have a jewellery business, I also run a social network, I publish a magazine and now have this Guild. What do I call myself exactly? ( A total raving lunatic perhaps!) A good friend once said that I do too much and that it is 'virtual self harm'. She could be right, but I love it all too much and so I shall keep on going until I explode. :)
Alison is a creator of Patchwork Lovelies and Quirky Scarecrows
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As our new blog is up and running, we thought that we would give a mention to our new members as we add them to our merry Guild of Crafters. We now have 180 members! Which isn't bad as we only kicked the whole thing off mid July!
Member no:250811073 Emma Maudsley from the Sock Money Emporium has some fantastic news!
She is 1 of 3 UK members of the US based juried craft community The Artisan Group. They represent artists at celebrity gifting suites prior to major US awards ceremonies.
As a result she is sending her business cards to be included in the swag bags gifted to celebrities at the GBK Productions Gift Lounges prior to the Golden Globes and The Oscars.
Also through The Artisan Group she has just sent 2 personalised sock cats to be included in a special gift bag for actress Jessica Alba. They are currently en route to her manager so hoping she gets them in person soon!!
If you are a member of our Guild and have exciting news, let us know and we will share it with everyone.
The Professional Crafters Guild was created in July 2011 to help working crafters show the world that they are 'serious' about their craft as a business and not a hobby! Nothing will rile a working crafter nore quickly than thinking that they are hobbiests rather than professionals.
The working crafter works excessively long hours and puts their body and soul into their work and deserve recognition for their efforts.
As the Guild grows we hope to achieve great things and look forward to meeting new people and working with them to raise awareness of our work. In this mass produced world we must strive to keep ancient crafts alive and keep generations of experience within our communities.
Initially, your first step is to wear your unique PCG badge with pride on your sites. Show your customers that you mean 'business'! Never be afraid to get in touch with ideas for the Guild, we need you to help us push forward into 2012.
Together, lets make 2012 the year of the Professional Crafter!
On joining our ranks you will receive a Welcome Pack which includes your unique digital badges that carry your registration number. Your details will also be added to our members list on our website. You will also have a digital certificate which you can print out and keep.