Monday, April 30, 2007

We can take her socks....

...when we pry them off her cold, dead feet. My sister LOVED her birthday gift - the pedicure socks. She put them on right away (we all run around bare foot most of the year) and didn't take them off ROFL. And now everybody wants a pair. I am such a trend setter! My mother said I could go into business selling these things to day-spas and beauty parlours. I said first of all, there is a copyright issue. Second of all, I don't knit nearly fast enough to do something like that. If we "paid the rent" with my knitting, we would all be living in a cardboard box faster than you can say kid merino. I don't want to live in a carton with a DH and a DD and a dog and two cats and a canary and a fish and a snail. Where would I keep my collection of cookbooks and knitting patterns and throw pillows? Not to mention I can't stand the sound cardboard makes when somebody touches it. *shiver* No thanks, I'll leave the mass production of cheap footware products to sweatshop kids in third world countries like the lord intended. The truth is, in this day of dollar stores and discount chains, the market for home made items is in the toilet. Oh, people WANT hand knit and crafted things. They just don't want to pay for them. "I could make that myself for five dollars". No. You couldn't. Because it COST me seven dollars plus the labour time to make that, and I am fast and good at it. You are slow and suck at handiwork, which is why you are shopping at a craft fair for premade items. It is hard to get people to see the merit of your work when they can go two blocks over and get something similar in a dollar store for less money. Of course, it is not well made. And the colours are off. And it was indeed made in a sweatshop in a third world country by underpriveledged women and children. But it only costs a DOLLAR. You can't make it for a dollar. I once costed out a cookie recipe for a bake sale. I factored in labour time and the overhead (gas for the oven, etc.). I nearly fainted. It is cheaper to buy cookies premade than to make your own if you are making more than a batch or two. Does that make people appreciate home baked cookies all the more? No. Home baking is considered a cheap endeaver. "Oh. You made them yourself. How quaint. Are you out of work?". Who can compete with the grocery store bakeries with the minimum wage staff, and the power of bulk buying and commercial grade goods? Never mind they are loaded with chemicals and additives to keep them shelf stable and looking pretty. And the packaging, my god the packaging! Just short of bubble wrapping each individual cookie. Wouldn't want a crumb to break free, now would we. Of course, that is impossible considering the addition of dough conditioners and humectants but that is besides the point. Of course, I didn't factor in that to truly sell those cookies on a wide scale I would need a licence, have to take food safety courses, and would have to rent a certified and passed kitchen. No home kitchens allowed! Especially around here, where the health department pours bleach on egg salad sandwiches made by church ladies in the park. Since my job is ending, I have had more suggestions to start my own business. And it sounds like a grand idea, doesn't it? But where is the start up capitol coming from? For supplies and permits and licences. Businesses here (from restaurants to barber shops) go out of business here at the rate of about 70% within two years. Most are dependant on the local "big three" economy. They are laying off. Tool and Mold shops are closing. If the people who were to buy my products (and never mind we don't even know what I am supposed to be selling) are out of work and can't afford to buy things, where does that leave me? Holding the bag. Or the socks or the cookies or get the picture. Nah. I guess I'll find another day job ;).


JenTX said...

Glad your sister loved her pedisox. I thought they were cute too.

I totally understand the "homemade" dilemma. It's not cheap to hand make things. Only people who make things understand that. The Dollar stores have really screwed up people's perception of quality that's for sure.

Used to be, things were made to last. Now they are made to be disposable and cheap enough to buy new over and over. Bah Humbug!

Still think you ought to do some writing (for pay). Your blog is way better than a lot of stories in magazines. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

Well I knew she'd love them!! I didn't know if you would give them up!!!!
I'm still po'd about your pug situation!!! I still am hoping to read that CA has some sort of small claims court [for amounts under certain limits & where you can represent yourself!] against the kennel & new owner!! I can just see the little one running to you & dd when you call for it/him/her... burns me up that the kennel took your money & gave the dog back to the previous owners who maybe should be checked out by local animal shelter people for abusing animals.... to leave a dog in such condition [and frankly - why didn't the kennel report them anyway!!!!]
Can you tell that I am PEEVED!!!