Before my hiatus from card making, I used to sell my creations during holidays like New Year, Valentine's Day and Christmas. I make customized cards too for friends who have specific preference and much as I wanted to cater to their budget, I just couldn't "underestimate" the value of my labour of love.
People ask me these questions over and over each time I approach them to check out my creations and buy few ones for their special someone. Trust me, selling my work was never easy even if I knew they should sell well. People just don't support the idea of handmade because of many reasons and lack of proper information about the craft. Here are the common questions I encounter with my handmade card passion:
Why is it expensive?
Here's my question back, do you put a price tag on someone that you love? It's just like that.
- A single handmade card, before it is even crafted by the maker, is well thought of. I have a sketch pad of my ideas, the color scheme I would use, the patterned papers I would cut and in what shape and border, the ribbons I would add and even the kinds of embellishment I would put.
|Few pages out of my sketch or doodle pad for layouts and ideas|
- Aside from that, I don't make handmade cards when I don't feel like making one. I don't want it to look like it's rushed or forced to be done. It has to come from the heart so you can tell that each card that I made and will be making is made out of love. Hence, Handmade with Love is my card brand.
- I scout for materials and they are not cheap. I buy my stuff in the U.S. whenever I am on vacation and I don't spend less than a $100 dollars for my craft. I spend more than that just to be sure that each card I will make last long, the glue will hold the pieces together, the papers and ribbons won't fade and the papers are acid free for archival purpose.
- Right now, I am trying so hard to make embellishments on my own so my next batch of cards will be slightly cheaper than the first ones while maintaining the value of my craft.
- No two cards will ever be the same. I guarantee you that. Even if I try to copy my previous work, it will never come out exactly the same way as the original. So the recipient of my handmade cards are assured that they are the only ones who have that kind of design.
- Lastly, I buy commercial licence from designers too. Handmade card makers know these (well at least the ones in my circle do). We have to respect the copyright of these designers. If we use a stamp in our designs, we have to make sure we abide in the "angel policy" of that designer. Same goes with die cut shapes and sentiments used in cards. Everything has to be noted and well credited. We don't want to end up in an ugly law suit just because we used someone's design without permission.
You see, all that goes into a single card that we make. So, the next time you see a handmade card in your local craft store or bookshop or when I approach you to sell my craft, remember what you have read here. Don't say, "That's too expensive" because when you do, it's like insulting us and degrading the love we have for our craft.
A lot of love, time and effort has been put in that single card to make someone very special happy. And that is priceless!
Do you earn a lot in card-making?
Honestly, no. It is not even break even, well I am speaking based on my experience. There are well established handmade card makers in the US, UK, Australia and Canada who are really earning a lot. I'm not yet there, not even close. Like I said, I love to make cards. I have tons of ideas in my head which can't be translated into words. I have to let them out and card-making is my medium.
I am hoping that my future venture into this card-making business will be received warmly by people. I am in the process of building up my stocks, looking for great deals with shipping companies here and checking out tutorials so I can make my own embellishments. That will reduce the price of my cards without sacrificing the quality. And I do hope and pray that you will support me in my journey to become an entrepreneur someday.
More questions in Part 2. Please visit again.