Folksy Ltd

What's the ultimate achievement for a maker?

(Camilla) #1

Can you help? We’ve had a questions from one of our followers on Facebook. He’s doing some research and wants to know:

  • What’s the most prestigious thing that can happen to a craft seller?
  • Is there an achievement that unifies everyone’s endeavours?
  • What’s the pinnacle of success for you?

(Helen Smith) #2

I would think the ultimate would be to have something acquired by an institution such as the V&A for their collection…

Or, just being able to make a decent living doing something that you love.

Now I can’t decide… although I think the second would follow on from the first, but there are other ways to get there too…

(Leathermeister) #3

The most prestigious thing we have done was to gain a national distributor. The pinnacle of our success is being recognised by a trade magazine that ours is an aspirational brand, knowing that our customers love using our products and wanting to buy more.

(Sams Gemstone Jewellery) #5

The most prestigious thing would be getting recognised by a well known organisation -ie V&A, a well know magazine, jewellers guild etc.

Any sale is an achievement I would think for most people.

The pinnacle of success for me would be selling enough to be enable me to make this my full time job.

(Liz Clark) #6

I think for me it would be making a living but also having people know my work sufficiently that it’s a valued brand. I can but dream :smiley:

(Christine Shephard) #7

I agree that making a living from my craft would be my ultimate achievement, but seeing/hearing my name mentioned anywhere as a designer/maker of quality items would be wonderful too.

(Ronald Koorm) #8

Totally agree.

Receiving positive feedback and comments overrides any financial remuneration .
Even negative, but constructive feedback is helpful, so I can learn more from those opinions.

Problem with ‘art’ is that it’s so subjective.

Have sold a good few large prints of some images, which, some people that I know dislike them, but that’s OK. One friend of mine says my highly coloured abstract images “…make his eyes go funny…!” Others buy my colour abstract cards, not to send, but to put in a frame, as they are too good to send out !
( Even my dentist has one of my abstracts in his waiting room to calm his patients before he drills them…)

But when people rave about a piece of my work , and even re-order time and time again, it’s not the money, it is that I have been so lucky to find something to inspire another person.

(Diane Burton) #9

I agree that making a living from my craft would be the biggest achievement I can think of but every sale is it’s own mini-achievement, it means I’ve designed & made something that someone else likes so much they’re willing to pay money for it and then give it to their loved ones.

(Jo Sara) #10

I agree with you Diane. The fact that someone likes my work enough to buy it for their own garden, or even to give to someone else as a gift, that’s a big achievement for someone like me who hasn’t trained in art, design, or business, has learnt my craft through my own research and has pretty much gone it alone since starting up, as friends and family aren’t involved in the craft business and don’t really understand it either.

Not sure what the most prestigious thing that could happen, or what the pinnacle of success would be for me. It would be difficult to pin down one thing that covers all types of craft, wouldn’t it? I can’t see any of my bird baths turning up in the V&A :wink:

(Leathermeister) #11

I think one of the hardest things we as designer/makers/artists do is stand behind our work. Every time we do a craft fair we see and hear customers response, so often we wonder if our work is good enough, does it meet the standard, is it priced correctly, will someone else like it (not friends and family) they support us but the public do not know us they are subjective. When we sell from our internet shops you are shielded by anonymity and can’t see folks immediate reaction but at a fair its personal. A sale from the shop makes us feel good, but a sale face to face with a customer who loves our product that is the achievement, the success we all want.

(Camilla) #12

I totally agree that having confidence in your work and ability is an issue a lot of makers struggle with. I wonder if it’s something women suffer from more than men? I read an interview with a silversmith recently where he said one of the things needed to be successful as a designer/maker is a degree of arrogance. Do you think that’s true?

(Leathermeister) #13

I don’t believe that any designer maker does not suffer from design paranoia, that is the doubt we all have that we’ve got it right as much as we hope we have. Arrogance is nothing more than the front we put up to cover the natural insecurities we suffer from. I am not sure women are less arrogant, men just wear the mask better.

(Christine Shephard) #14

I think to be able to sell your own work successfully you have to be either very self-confident or be able to detach yourself somehow from it - from experience I’d say that men are generally able to do this better than women. Maybe it’s just a confidence issue, but women seem to find it harder to ‘blow their own trumpet’ than men.

(Oh Button Me) #15

People that buy your work and enjoy it as much as you have enjoyed making it.

Sadly haven’t had a sale since January so waiting for that feeling again. :blush:

(Ronald Koorm) #16

You hit the nail on the head. Crafters and artists can often doubt themselves, particularly when selling at craft fairs and similar. Those who have never done craft fairs should give it a go for the experience, - quite unlike online selling, and much more challenging, in my view.

But so much more rewarding, talking face to face to customers, and even people who look but don’t buy first time around. There is a place for both forms of selling.

Have found that doing craft fairs, often results in increased online views of my website.

(Bobbys Boutique) #17

For me my product has already achieved more than I could of ever hoped for, I manage sell enough to help me build wonderful memories with my family, and my little creations seem to make folk smile.

The first time I had a happy customer return, that felt like the ultimate achievement. And to know that all over the globe, there are people wearing my little creations, that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling too. The first time a bride wore one of my tiaras for her big day was also pretty special!

It’s overwhelming to think that people who work really hard for their money, would choose to spend what little disposable income they have on one of my little creations :slight_smile:

(Nostalgia Knits) #18

Seeing someone out and about (not in my home city) carrying one of my handbags was pretty flipping exciting. Took all my will power to not run up to her and ask where she got it from and whether she like it.

The low point will be when I eventually see one of my creations in a charity shop. Yet to happen…