Huh, Pah! & Meh

I did not enjoy the craft fair at Troon Concert Hall on October 17th, so there won’t be a cheery little message saying it was fun and I loved being there, because I didn’t. I could take the old advice of ‘not saying anything if I don’t have anything ‘nice’ to say’, but what is ‘nice’? Sometimes being ‘nice’ is about lying, and I don’t feel like being ‘nice’ today, even if being so would only take the form of keeping quiet. When I have had a good day and am inspired to share that news here, then it is true and I mean what I say, the same goes for this entry.
So why am I in a Grump? It’s because the craft fair at Troon was on the same day as a boot fair in the hall next door, and the people looking for cheap stuff there came through the craft fair complaining that craft is ‘dear’. I got fed up, it happened too often to dismiss, I could feel the soapbox sliding into place under my feet. Basically, there’s ‘craft’…and then there’s some really amazing crafted work made by talented people who really care about what they do. I don’t even know what category handmade glass beads fall into, craft, art…whatever. What I do know, is that it costs money to set up as a lampworker, it takes time to get reasonably good at it, costs money to do every second that one is actually doing it, costs money to hire a table at a fair, costs money to get to the venue, and to then have smug people with a skew (ok, different) idea of worth and no appreciation at all of what things cost to produce (not to mention that a bit of my soul went into it) tell me my work is too expensive? Pah! I can handle the odd person with that kind of attitude, it’s to be expected, but that day was rife with it (just in case someone wants to tell me that I do this out of choice, no one is making me – uh huh, I know). However, I am not grumpy with the lady who said ‘they’re lovely, but I can’t afford to pay that for a bead’ she is let off this tirade, because she was honest.

There are about five criteria that I use to price a bead, I think my prices are fair…I also hope that they do not undercut the majority of lampworkers in the UK, that would be bad, not to mention unrealistic. After many years of low self-worth and low self-esteem, I have had to learn that I can have self-worth, and to get to know what my self-worth is, not to think ‘poor’, and to value what I do. What the bargain hunters at Troon wanted me to do, was work for far LESS than the minimum hourly wage in the UK. I will never pay the mortgage off doing this, but I will also not give my work away (mind you, I have a friend who thinks I do, and my husband often queries my pricing, truly, I cannot win).

So, to conclude, there is nothing wrong with people looking for a bargain, I’m not averse to one myself, however, there is something wrong with trying to market one’s work in a disadvantageous environment. It’s just silly. I won’t be present at one of those boot/craft fair clashes again, it brought out the Diva in me, she’s a bit high maintenance, I can’t afford the amount of chocolate required to push her back in. And I don’t mean financially.

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