I set up and sold little birds at then Romweber Tri-State Artisan Bazaar in Batesville, Indiana last weekend. A combination of falling snow, professional football and some organizer shortcomings left us with very few folks to sell to. I had two kinds of customers — loyal repeat collectors or other vendors.
One nice lady selling handmade soap, whose name will be added here when I can get to my notes, purchased four flatties — small two dimensional painted birds often used for ornaments. I was selling them for $12 each or three or more, for $10 each. She shared with me that this was a real value and that plastic Hallmark ornaments cost much more.
I had never thought of that and I was dubious. I did a bit of research last night while doing some family shopping at Meijer. I found a display of American Greetings plastic “heirloom” ornaments. Most were $15 – $20 and some were much more. I was blown away!
The Elmo ornament was $17.50. Emily, my step-daughter, pointed out that it did have music. (Though that is true she was being sarcastic.) A quick examination of the silent 1970 Chevelle, also $17.50, revealed that sound or music wasn’t the sole indicator ofprice points. I suspect that a high quality diecast metal Hotwheel or Matchbox car could have been found in the toy aisle for a fraction of the price.
The point is that handmade/art/craft is often much less expensive than mass produced junk. Junk doesn’t hold value. It doesn’t preserve memories and worst it makes no personal connection between the folks that make it and the folks that use it. Oh, and every penny spent purchasing it leaves your community.
The $1,200 Thomas Kincaid
painting, print, poster? Don’t get me started!