love plate by Hideminy
by guest contributor Shrie L. Spangler
There has been a lot said on the interwebz lately about a concept called “creative tithing”. As crafty business owners, we’re often so focused on making that paper and pushing ourselves and our own ideas that we forget to support the community that supports us. As Megan Auman touted in her Crafting an MBA post, “more profit = more to give”. This is an important phrase to grasp, because your crafty endeavor can only grow with the support of people just like you, trying to do the same thing you are… SUCCEED.
How does an independent business become profitable? Well, most importantly, from the money generated by sales. If you’re spending all your time and effort on growing your business but aren’t giving back to that same craft/indie/DIY machine that propels your biz, then you’re missing out on the big picture. Every small indie business owner has the same dream, and these dreams need customers in order to become a reality.
Seems simple right?
cobblestone heart rubber stamp by norajane
Some approach the creative tithing idea in a percentage form, taking 5% or 10% of their crafty earnings to pump back into independent sellers. Others strive to buy handmade for gifts or for themselves, investing in other artist’s creations as other’s invest in yours. By doing this you’re aiding creators in going for their dreams instead of wasting away at the desk job they abhor, and you’re allowing them more flexibility in their personal and creative lives to really work towards fulfilling that work-at-home creative goal. You’re validating the talent of an artist who may not necessarily feel that they’re so talented to begin with (and let’s be honest… don’t we ALL feel that way sometimes?). And in the end, you’re sparking a little bit of creativity in yourself, the whole process coming back full circle.
i bring only this by Gumball Grenade
And Tara at Scoutie Girl makes a good point, saying “It’s commitment-meets-good karma-meets-the golden rule-meets-pay it forward all in one.” And it’s not all about money though… it’s about *hearting* other’s shops and works on Etsy, it’s about commenting on people’s blogs when their creations and artistic voice make you take notice. It’s about community and support, and communication, and LOVE. So just because you have a passion to make dog collars, or create custom embroidery pieces, or hang the halls of every house with intricate paper cuts art pieces doesn’t mean that your creative supporters don’t ALSO have a vision. Pour your soul into what you do AND what other people do, participate in a little creative tithing of your own, and you will reap the rewards tenfold.
About the contributor: Shrie L. Spangler is one of the latest Indie Fixx interns. When she’s not doing story research, coordinating projects and coming up with posts, Shrie writes over on her blog, Lo & Behold. She also writes at guerrilla candy and at another rainy saturday. And she’s got her own Etsy Shop. She’s one busy lady.