Really, Larissa said it best: "I've been told so many times by people who see my baby sling or things I've knitted for Binx, Oh God you should sell those! Well, if I had 10 bucks for each of those people, I could have made back the money I spent on all this month's speculative crafting." And all the other things she said, too, about how we're into channeling the soul of the unknown grandma... creating something beautiful out of that spark we saw somewhere, in the endless folds of a shapeless (but wonderful) skirt, in the sleeve of a cast-off sweater.
I made slings galore, and little geese that make me smile every time I look at them. I made perfect little jewels of quilts to go on t-shirts. I approach sewing with a sculptor's mein: finding the thing that's in the scrap of fabric waiting to come out. Discovering the soul of the cotton and the silk and the vibrant patterns. Enjoying the process nearly as much as the finished products.
I knew, of course, that people would fall all over themselves wanting to purchase my beautiful, arty things. Bacon made of chicken fabric (that's so perfect, yes?) and eggs made of sushi or flowers or little nests and bunnies. It's ironic and, most importantly, non-cute. The same can be said for my teething birds; they're useful, they're perfectly-shaped, they're elegant in this amazing way, even when stuffed inside Truman's mouth. Let's be frank here: cute is the death of children's style. I hate teddy bears. There. I said it.
But high art, even at $5 a teething bird, doesn't sell at the Alberta Art Hop, or at Crafty Wonderland. We sold a few t-shirts and one plate of bacon and eggs. And as everyone raved over how great our stuff was, and then did *not* buy it, I kept reminding myself: this is a lark. an adventure. an exercise in the experience of sitting here. See the thing is, Larissa and I, were we to charge our rightful hourly rates -- Larissa's a leading non-profit grantwriter, I'm a freakin' Wharton MBA with some serious marketing management experience, not to mention my facility with a financial statement -- would be charging something in the three figure range for each of our creations.
So in the future, when you see my things and wonder why I don't make a business out of them, or even if you take a look at my photos and think, my, she would be so wonderful if she were a full-time professional photographer!, well. It's not ever going to happen. I will, because it's so enjoyable, persist in creating these things, in photographing people, and even do it for pay. But it can't ever be my main line. Think of it as a professional hobby.
Now who wants to buy some birds?
Updated with Etsy link(Yes, I will sell my birds, $8 each, and my slings, for $50 each. I also have eggs and bacon for sale. Contact me at mama [at] cafemama.com if you'd like to talk further.)