How to support handmade without spending money
I’ve been thinking of ways we can surround handmade artists with virtual high fives and love without spending a dime. Think of some of your favorite creators (the maker of your knit hat, art on your wall, or something on your wish list) and try some of these ideas to help them keep doing what they love.
1. Give your Facebook or Twitter community a heads up.
If an old friend on Facebook generates a quick note to tell all of us that something is awesome, I start to think, “Ooooh! That does sound fabulous…” I can’t even count how many nerdy guy gifts I’ve found for my brother because of friends sharing cool finds on social media.
2. Love bomb her on your website.
Surprise her with a blog post about how much you love what she’s doing. Or mention her within a broader post, like if you’ve tucked her sunglasses case into your purse and are blogging about what’s in your bag.
(Here’s a shoutout to the wonderful new Etsy creator of Niklas’ sock monkey above: Pearl and Poppy Shop. He loves it!)
3. Mention her to big blogs.
Sometimes, a big blog hasn’t written about a handmade artist because they aren’t aware that person exists. You could be the messenger with a quick email, tweet, or blog comment. Email is the most powerful.
Hint: Keep your email brief. Send a link to your favorite item at the shop and why you think that blogger and her readers would love to know about this creator.
4. Spread her beauty on Pinterest.
Pinterest is one of the easiest ways to spread the word about awesome creations. It’s a community that’s primarily made up of women who love creative ideas. When we see something we love, we repin. We keep spreading and spreading the message with this simple gesture.
Hint: Many women with online shops will gently nudge you with a “Pin It” button. That’s their way of giving you permission – of asking you – to share.
(I’m trying to give more shout outs on my Pinterest account – even just one or two pins each day.)
5. Tell the people around you.
Standing around with other moms before the kids get out of school? Tell them, “Hey! There’s this budding artist that I think you’d just love…”
Getting a compliment about your handmade tote bag at the bank? Don’t stop at a “Thanks!” – tell that gal about the woman who made it and where she sells it.
6. Write a wish list.
One conversation that comes up every birthday in my extended family is, “What should we get so-and-so?” I tell my sister about a handmade shop that would suit the birthday girl/boy well, and she brilliantly slips this message into conversations with other gift hunters.
Or just flat out tell people what you like. We all forget that our families don’t always know exactly what we love or see what we do.
7. Just tell the creator.
A virtual hug and kind note can inspire a creator for days, so pause and write to her. When you see her at a craft fair, pause and chat. Write her a quick email or tweet when you’re using something she created or just thinking about her.
When she knows there are people standing behind her, she gets braver and keeps pushing her business and her creativity to new levels.
Your encouragement can make all the difference for someone trying to create a handmade living. Let’s keep telling those women and men who create, “You’re fabulous. Keep dreaming and keep creating.”
Homework: go do one of these things to promote a handmade shop and report back with an enthusiastic, “I did it!”
(Only catch? The Gadanke journal shop doesn’t count. Let’s spread this cheer beyond you and me.)