How to Respond to “I Could Make That” in Handmade Business
By Mei Pak of Creative Hive Co.
You’re busting your butt doing a craft show on a hot and humid Saturday. Your booth catches the eyes of two women and they walk over. They look interested! They flip your product over and look for a price tag.
Oh uh, sticker shock. They don’t quite notice you standing there in your booth. One of them whispers too loudly to their friend, “I could make this myself” and walks away. Kind of stings, doesn’t it? This is definitely one of those roll-your-eyes moments.
Or, imagine for a second what it’s like in my handmade jewelry business, where my primary medium is polymer clay. You can buy two-ounce blocks of polymer clay in any color you desire at virtually any craft store in the U.S. for under $3 each. The price of my material cost is a known fact to many polymer clay hobbyists, and hobbyists know that I’m only using a small fraction of a two-ounce block of clay to make one $28 necklace.
People balk at my high-end prices all the time. They also think they could make the jewelry that I make for a living. This is an important discussion to have, especially with the recent viral video where an art curator explains why you couldn’t really make that art. I bet at some point in your creative business, you’ve had someone say this to you too: “I could make that.”
I Asked a Few Creatives in My Private Facebook Mastermind Group How They Would Respond to This
Here are a few brilliant answers:
Dolores Shier from D’licious Treats: “When I first started selling my baking I got that all the time. They not only said that, but they would point out they could do it for cheaper, as they scowled at me. I would smile and say, ‘I’m sure you could,’ but believe it or not, the comments didn’t bother me as much as the way they looked at me when they said it. But I stuck it out and now I get, ‘Wow,’ I’m sure glad you’re doing the baking so I don’t have to.’”