Each piece you see here and on Instagram or at a market or friends house or your house is made by my hands (with the help of a few tools, a wheel, kiln, chemicals, clay, water, air, electricity…). While I was thinking about what to do to try and keep up with all the small business Saturday/Black Friday stuff…I kept feeling sick.
Yesterday while on a woods walk I wrestled with the fact that doing sales is great because it gives access to my work/handmade pottery for those who cannot afford the full price. Then again…my work is priced what it is priced for a reason. I am not making wild profits or doing anything other than taking myself and my work seriously. It is a tough line, and one that, naturally, I think IS important to give a lot of thought as a business owner trying to do something differently within this linear economy. As my inbox has flooded with discount codes ranging from 20%-50% off (not at all saying you’re wrong in doing that, btw)…my animal mind goes to “oh wow I gotta take advantage of that and buy now”.
Black Friday has seemingly become a similar shopping-cart-rat-race in this community of micro businesses/makers/independently owned small businesses than in the one many of us are trying to move away from. (Less is more. Supporting artists and makers. Appreciation for what you already have. Intentional buying- where a purchase is thought out rather than impulsive.) I am not a saleswoman and I don’t really want to be- sure I plug my work and market myself and work because I want to make a living doing this and have a business and believe in my work…but I believe you will buy my work because you genuinely want to. I honestly would rather you *not* buy these pieces if they are just going to sit untouched. No pressure. I have done sales in the past, and I will in the future. But the timing of adding to this consumer-based mayhem is just not going to be a tradition for me. Again, please do not hear this as me calling out my friends and fellow makers who did decide to do sales- if that is what you want to do, that’s great! But for me and my goals as a business owner and hoping to be a part of the shift towards circular economy: I’ve decided this is one way of adding to that.
We are in a crisis. A crisis of shit not being priced it’s true worth, which then in turn causes injustice on the side we don’t see (who makes it and the environment where said item is being made). We want all the things. And all the things for super cheap. And then new things when we get tired of the old things that either have broken or gone out of style. We all add to this in some way shape or form, because it is how our system currently is designed. But that’s exactly it- each of us must take small steps to move away from this framework. It may mean owning less. But the good news is you will love what you have that much more- Gratitude. Your belongings will tell and hold stories. They will become verbs and will make your heart feel a different way. Slowly but surely.