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[personal profile] phoenvix
First off, let me say that I have never have been and now never want to be a member of folksy. This site is sorta of like a British-based Etsy, a place where craftspeople can sell their wares for a 20p listing fee and commission on sales. I had heard of it of course, one of my friends has a shop there and had considered opening one myself but obviously me and stuff, procrastination gets in the way as per.

Anyhoo, Folksy this week announced that they were tightening up the rules as to what constitutes handmade to them and their “vision” and any items deemed unsuitable by them would be removed from November 1st. As a result of this, a lot of people are very, very unhappy. A lot of people are basically getting kicked off because their work no longer fits Folksy's “vision”.

Unfortunately, the main target appears to be jewellery makers. I understand that there is a lot of people who simply bung a mass-produced pendant onto a mass-produced chain and call it handmade. This, I possibly agree with, these people are taking the cheap route. But on the other hand there is people like me, who spend ages deciding on the design of their pieces and whether or not they are made with mass-produced components, it is the maker's hard work in designing and putting together. This is now termed “assembled” which is a bit of asmack in the face to someone like me, who as I said above, spends ages rooting through her beadboxes trying to find the rigt beads to go with designs. Assembled sounds like random beads chucked onto a string. It's highly, highly insulting.

The main target of Folksy's crackdown on “assembled” jeweller's pieces seems to be “charms” and “pendants”. So, using examples from my shop, let's take a look at what would be and what would not be deemed “handmade” by Folksy's standards:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/65268498/living-fairytale NOT-let's forget about the excruciating work messing around with those damn chip-bugle beads, it has a “mass produced pendant as the focal piece” and is therefore “assembled”.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/77240756/black-and-white-acrylic-bead-necklace Would probably be fine, despite the fact that the above item took more time to put together. Huh. Herp. Derp.

Another item that is being target is the “tea cup candle”- basically, handmade, hand crafted candles...poured into a vintage teacup as a display. Nope, not handmade. Assembled. Herp. Derp again. Admittedly, I don;t know much about candlemaking but surely if the maker spends their time blending colours, scents, waxes and making sure it doesn't stink like a dog's sock then surely that is handmade no matter what the bloody hell its put in? Not according to Folksy.

Despite the seemingly confused way the rules are being implemented the way which Folksy has handled this has quite frankly been appalling. The admins' method of dealing with the situation has basically to light the powder keg, watch it blow up then stand around like “huh what happened?”. Obviously, at the end of the day, its their site and their rules but to do this to people who have maybe been with the site since day one, supporting it, putting money into it then to be told in the busiest months of the year-leading up to xmas no less that they're unsuitable is bloody horrific. Not to mention the ejit who has been in charge of the twitter account this week. Rude people are not helpful-YES, people are angry, YES they have a right to be!

But the true reason why I'm now fully backing Supporting Handmade However It's Made (http://www.diddybears.com/handmade.html set up by Diddybears for supporting and helping out the “unsuitable” sellers in our own albeit profane, saracastic way) is not the inconsistant rules, it's not the fact this has been sprung on the poor sods near bloody xmas.

It's the elitism and downright highschool wankery of certain other Folksy sellers and indeed to an extent Folksy themselves.

One thing folks know about me, I'm the Self-Proclaimed Outsider Queen. That means when there's underdogs, where there's bullies and elitism and crapbaggery, I am there. And I relate strongly with this cause because as I said, a lot of my stuff is “assembled” But its more than that.

I suffer with major self-esteem issues. I know about it and am trying to curb my negativity towards myself. My jewellery has been an outlet for this. I love watching a pile of beads becoming something pretty, something that's useful and I can think “I made that and you know what? It's GOOD!” Now imagine if you're like that, you've been quite happy selling your little wares, people actually LIKE them and someone comes along in a sneering tone and dismisses it as “bungits” or “assembled”. Imagine how crushing that would feel. I mean thats a major knock back if you're fighting feelings of self-loathing as it is. And I don't oubt for a moment that some of the “unsuitable” sellers are wondering if its worth continuing now just because of that. And people are actually saying this-there was a deleted post on Folksy's forums which actually pretty much cheered folksy for doing this as it “got rid” of the “bungits”. Cruel, high school bitchiness and completely un-fucking-necessary at a time when a lot of people are wandering about the internet hurt enough by the original decision as is. In short: NOT FUCKING ON.

So yes, I am fully behind SHHIM and will fight for these people. I couldn't look myself in the mirror if I didn't.

Carrie
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