Hi, happy Monday! As you may have heard, a little over a week ago, the UK voted to leave the EU. I've been trying to put together a blog post about that, but... I've decided I won't. Atleast not right now. It's just too confusing and worrying and just, well, a fucking mess. Swear word. Sorry. Feelings about this are quite raw.
Instead, I'll do a post that I've been meaning to write for some time. Something a bit more positive.
Small creative businesses, like mine, survive because of the people who support it. And a campaign here in the UK is shining a light on just that. It is called Just A Card. The campaign "aims to encourage people to buy from Designer/Makers and Independent Galleries and Shops by reinforcing the message that all purchases, however small, even 'just a card' are so vital to the prosperity and survival of small businesses."
I can tell you this, every purchase matters. It keeps the light on in the business of course, and there's a mortgage to pay and dog food to buy. But it's not just about the money. When someone makes a purchase, no matter the size, it helps the artist/maker feel more confident, in themselves and their business. It can be tough to run a business, and sometimes it feels a bit lonely too, especially if you're a one person biz.
Sales help the maker grow their business and makes them feel like their work is valued. Like it matters.
One of the things that started the Just A Card campaign was when one of the founders heard this quote: "If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought 'just a card' we’d still be open". Because the 'small' purchases all add up and make a big difference. Whether it's 'just' a card or an embroidery pattern or a pocket mirror or something else. It matters. And isn't it amazing to know that a small purchase makes a huge difference in someone else's day/business/life?
If we spent more of our money supporting the artists and makers we love, instead of buying random mass produced stuff, more makers could make the world a more beautiful place. Literally and figuratively. :-)
Right now, as UK makers are facing a lot of uncertainty about the future because of the referendum about the EU, the support from the people who enjoy our work is even more important.
And especially for people in the US, it is a lot cheaper to support UK makers because the pound is really weak compared to the dollar. For example, my Tree of Life pattern would normally be around $5.00 but because of the exchange rate, it is now around $4.30. That's a big difference! More than 10% in one fell swoop, crazy!
Obviously, it only works when the shop currency is pounds, but if you're a fan of a UK artist or maker, now is a very good time to support their work and save a pretty penny while you're at it. Or a pretty cent as it were! :-)
Of course, we're not always able to support the artists we love with our hard-earned cash, but there are other ways you can help too.
Mention them on Facebook.
If you bought a print from an artist, show it off on Instagram - and make sure to tag the artist so people can easily find them.
Maybe you stitched one of my patterns (yay!), I'd love to see it, but I'd be over the moon grateful if you told your friends or shared your stitchery on Instagram or Twitter or whatever. I know my fellow craft pattern makers feel the same!
Did you get a compliment about a brooch you bought? Tell them who made it, not just 'I bought it on Etsy'.
Perhaps you came across a birthday card or a crochet pattern that your mum or best friend would like, email them a link! They will appreciate that you thought of them and it will put the artist in front of someone who might not have heard about them. Win win!
Support the makers/artists/crafters you love so they can continue making the things that bring a smile to your world. Even if it's just a card. It makes a difference.
To sweeten the low exchange rate even further, you can get 10% off everything in the shop on my own site, polkaandbloom.com and in my Payhip shop until Monday (July 11). Just enter the code LOVEEU at checkout. The code also works in my Etsy shop, but since the shop currency there is dollars, you won't be able to take advantage of the exchange rate shenanigans.
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