A Handcrafted Experience
A common complaint about handcrafted items is that artists
don't give consumers enough information about the item that
was lovingly crafted. There are many reasons to do this.
First of all, people buy or receive hand crafted items, they rarely
look at the item for more than its aesthetic value. The obvious
materials, glass, wood, ceramic, gold are items people have
had a lot of experience dealing with. But when an item is
handcrafted, it can and does change its reaction to hot and
cold, and often looks like a material it is not.
This is where story tags come in. People buying handcrafted
work for gift giving like a tag along with it that tells a
story, describes the process, indicates the materials. For
a very unique type of story tag, try soem of the more unique designs offered for scrapbookers. You might try rubber stamps on a newsprint-style paper.
Does Your Label Promote Your Craft Business?
Presentation/Packaging is key to good sales of an item. People
will often buy one item over another because it has a clever
tag or gives a better story. Especially if it is a gift. If
you're putting your handcrafted items out for sale at shops
and boutique shows you'll have realized that since you are
not there to explain the process, or give a good sales pitch,
your piece, however wonderful, might not sell as well as you
think it should. You also know from your own shopping experiences
that presentation is a very large part of sales. Custom
would make quite an impact.
Writing and designing a business-card size tag so that you
can print out about 10 on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet from your own
ink jet printer will give your sales a boost. Companies can
your digital images to create custom tags. Many offer
Big discounts on Business Cards. The information on
the tag should:
- Create a theme that "sells" your item
- Explain the item and incorporate the theme into a message
- Use unique typefaces & interesting graphics, so your pieces all
have a "look"
- Have indicators, if appropriate, for holes to be punched for pins
or earrings to go through
- Be grouped for items of similar nature and theme. (i.e. pin, necklace
and earrings made with same materials, the same way.)
Care Instructions and Materials Used
Many individuals are not aware of the proper way to care for items
they do not come in contact with on a daily basis like: porcelain, hand-thrown
ceramics, ornamental ironwork, and hand-turned bowl, an embroidered
cotton or spun wool garment.
For the amount of effort you've put into the work, it is reasonable
that it survives the decent amount of time so the purchaser and/or owner
of the item can enjoy it (and even come back for more!) So how to take
care of a handcrafted item is important.
Many people are, or believe they are, allergic to various fibers, metals,
fragrances, oils and minerals. It is important to label the content
as best you can so that there won't be a negative reaction to your handcrafted
product, or any reason to avoid it.
Labeling your craft item not only answers questions that might slow
down a purchase, but they also give your craft a professional look.
Printing up labels on your inkjet printer makes your items look better,
and also gives you room to remind them of who you are and where they
can get more of your lovely hand-crafted product. It also adds more
intangible value to your piece and may mean the difference between a
sale or a pass-by.
- Where it's Made, i.e., Made in U.S.A. If you're labeling a your
own hand-crafted item, give a bit more information. What about, "Made
locally in Anytown, USA"
- Size (if applicable). This can be the S-M-L-XL options.
- Fiber or fabric content, lead content (for food service), sterling
or surgical steel, synthetic or natural fragrances, herbs, etc…
- Care Instructions. Dishwasher safe? Machine wash? How do I clean
that pearl and crystal necklace? Leather belt or purse?