On one of the venues I sell through, Etsy, there was a recent uproar regarding Resellers and the true Handmade Artisan. There was a large outcry to boycott the resellers, to change our Store Avatars to a picture of the hands behind handmade. I am too embarrassed by my hands, and the thought of having an avatar photo of my hands without a manicure, was too much, (oh the horror!).
So these are the hands behind HM Mills. The dark spot on my wrist is a burn I received from the iron, and what you can't see are all the pinpricks and scratches from pins.
The dialog back and forth got me thinking about my handmade business. What is handmade, do I make the metal components for each bag, no but someone else makes them in a factory. How about the fabric, do I weave the wonderful hemp or linens I used in my Messenger and Market bags, no someone else does that in a factory too. To me, handmade is being an Artisan who starts with a flat one dimensional piece of fabric. An Artisan who is choosey about the fabric and chooses based on durability. An Artisan thinks about how she can make a Messenger Bag better, (i.e. large enough to hold a 17.3” laptop or pockets big enough to also carry an iPad, etc.). An Artisan, cuts, folds, pinches, sews, presses, sometimes there is a little swearing and forces that wonderful piece fabric into a wonderful Messenger or Market bag.
And that is Handmade...