Creative Envy


CRATE & BARREL VS. ETSY.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009, 9:11 pm
Filed under: craft envy, design envy, random | Tags: , , ,

I just received the Crate & Barrel 2009 Gift Guide in the mail yesterday and fell in love with these ornaments.

But here’s the thing. I feel kinda guilty about it. I mean, don’t I lose some considerable street cred if I were to purchase these and people asked where I got them, anticipating that I’d naturally say “Etsy” or that “I made them” instead of sheepishly saying “Crate & Barrel”? Nothing against this big, lovely store (my couch is from there), but when something looks handmade, don’t you want it to come from an individual who made it with love and care and sweat and tears?

I’m torn on this issue. While I truly appreciate how mainstream the craft movement has become (and hence, stores like C&B and CB2 are offering products in this aesthetic), it still bums me out. Because I feel like the big guys can mass produce these items for significantly less and make a killing on them in comparison to someone, say from Etsy, that has labored over their product and it is one of a kind (and, therefore, more expensive). Plus I prefer to support independent, self-employed artists but sometimes I just can’t afford it.

What do you think?

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

AGREED agreed agreed – go local. I was JUST talking about this the other day…

Comment by Lauryn Byrdy

I definitely hear you. Wading through everything on Etsy overwhelms me sometimes… that’s why I nominate *you*, Carrie, to give us some Etsy Fave Fives in the future!

Comment by Adrienne

The bird ornaments ARE handmade in India and I’m sure that the people who create them do put their time and talent and care into the ornaments. They are not cranked out by some machine. Even though the artists/craftspeople are in another country, they are still using their talents to create something beautiful that others will enjoy. They are making a living and whatever they are paid is helping them put food on their table just like our jobs do. No, I don’t know how much they make, but Crate and Barrel has been known for supporting whole towns in other countries by having handcrafted items produced there http://www.crateandbarrel.com/family.aspx?c=430&f=33929 . (And I do agree with the “buy local” idea and I try to do that myself as often as possible.) Not trying to be argumentative, just stating that *sometimes* buying items at larger retailers isn’t such a bad thing.

Comment by A

Good to know, A. Thanks for your insight.

Comment by CK




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