How many times has your business been confused with being a hobby rather than a legitimate endeavor? Have family or friends complimented you on finding a craft to fill your extra time? Then there’s the one person who says, “It’s a great hobby but you can’t make any real money”! Really! I believe the problem lies in the assumption of what constitutes a craft. I looked at a few of these terms according to Wikipedia:
A craft is a pastime or a profession that requires some particular kind of skilled work. Hobbies are practiced primarily for interest and enjoyment, rather than financial reward. A business, also known as an enterprise or a firm, is an organization involved in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers.
There it is, in black and white. The first one for using your skills as a pastime, the second one is simply for enjoyment, and the latter is for making money. When Etsy (an internet storefront to buy and sell handmade items) launched, crafters and hobbyists finally had a venue to showcase their wares. This was the first great opportunity for millions to transform their craft into a business.
My friend Tracey recently shared her perspective, “The contribution that hand crafters make to the cultural stability of our culture, keeps alive and updates crafts that are inherited from family and history. Many crafters today have combined modern technology with ancient skills to make all things old new again.”
The terms we use to define ourselves is how others see us. I am a crafter but I am firstly a designer and creator of handmade fiber products. Whether you are a photographer, painter, card maker, wood or metal worker, or quilter, you are a talented artisan and deserve the respect of the business community.