Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Stories

I am a crafter, although for some reason I hate that word.  I hand make a number of things, but I just can't bring myself to say that I make "crafts". I feel that people equate that word with Popsicle sticks and macrame.  So, instead I prefer to say that I hand make "novelties and gifts" since typically the items fall into those categories.  Pretty generic enough.  A customer is buying an item which isn't life changing, or an absolute need-to-have, but they are usually convenient items that are fun and functional.  I don't often think of them as much more than that.

But then I hear the stories and that makes all the difference.

When I hear WHY a customer is buying something it turns my ordinary "novelty" into something much more than that.

Recently with the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings interest in my Boston Strong items, particularly headbands, really picked up.  I know that many people were purchasing something because they planned to head into Boston on April 21st to watch in person.  But occasionally someone would include a note with their order and that made all the difference to me.  Those headbands were even more special as I packaged them up.  For example:

"A friend and I volunteered with the blanket distribution team at the Finish Line last year.  We'll be again this year and can't wait to be wearing these snazzy headbands"
She was there.  She witnessed the chaos and tragedy.  And she was heading back there again, undeterred.

"I'm running the marathon in a couple of weeks and I hope to wear this!!"
That.Is.Awesome

"We just walked away from shopping and walked around the corner of the first bomb when we heard the first bomb.  My son finished almost 2 hrs. before."
I have no words for this.



But it is not just the Boston Strong items that bring forth stories.  Just this week I started work on a custom order for a woman who recently lost her grandmother.  She wanted some accessories for her children to wear to the memorial service that represented the grandmother's favorite flower, the daffodil.
I actually felt pressure trying to find a print that would work for this project and I do think I managed to find an ideal selection.  I finished the bow ties last night and posted a picture to my Facebook page.


The customer saw it and commented that they were "perfect".  Knowing the significance behind the request made this project that much more important to me.  Her story made these bow ties more than just a novelty or a craft.  It made my work something more than that.  I suppose now I can say that I make "novelties, gifts and memories."


Thank you for letting me be a part of your story.