Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dear Mr. Kutcher, Please Consider Handmade

This blog was written for Ashton Kutcher, in response to his Tweet last evening asking, "Looking for a great gift for under 100$ bulk any thoughts?" @aplusk

Dear Mr. Kutcher,

I apologise for not writing to you directly, but I'm not quite sure how to do that... Trying to write back to you on Twitter when you also have nearly two million others doing the same, is like trying to squeeze my head through an ant crack in the concrete!

I wanted to get this message to you somehow, though.

I'm an artist on Etsy ( and ArtFire (, and I have my own website as well; but it's a very difficult thing to do, to try and get noticed through the throngs of millions and millions of other online sellers. I'm part of a team on Etsy, Etsy's Dark Side Street Team, and in the past year a great deal of my teammates have lost their jobs and some have even lost their homes due to the state of our economy right now. These people make beautiful items, and they absolutely love what they do. This is our passion, creating art, and our heart goes into everything we make.

I've been trying to write to you to get you to consider making your purchase from one of the handmade artisans out here. I can see that I'm not the only one either, as @ArtByChrysti has actually managed to get her tweet through to you, asking you to consider her artography prints. I was greatly puzzled by your response to her though:

"@ArtByChrysti the problem with art is that it's very personal hard to do for 300+ people".

While it is true that fulfilling a handmade order for 300+ items will be a large task, I can guarantee you that any of us (artisans) would give our right arm to have the chance to fill that order for you! It is the chance to get paid for doing A LOT of something we love! Just imagine if you were offered the chance to star in and produce an epic movie based on your favorite novel. A daunting task, I'm sure, but wouldn't you jump at the opportunity?

There are a great deal of reasons to buy handmade too, and some of them already come close to some concerns of yours. I've seen you tweet about ending hunger in the U.S. ("Call to Action for Hunger Awareness" Join the campaign. Change yourself, change your community, Change the world Hungry people in the U.S. are people who have lost their jobs and couldn't get new ones to help them pay for food. They are people who cannot find ways to support themselves and their families, because jobs are outsourced, and very rarely do fellow Americans buy items that are "Made in America"! These people still have talents. A great many people can create, and love to do so, but until it becomes more popular to buy a handmade purse rather than a Gucci one, people will not be able to turn to their artistic talents as a way to sustain themselves!

There are other reasons to buy handmade (environmentally sound, personal gifts from the heart, made with great care...) but I will let you read about them on Pledge Handmade, because they have a lot of good arguments already! I will say one last thing though; if you decide to give 300 people a brand new toaster oven, they'll probably be excited and grateful, but in a few years that toaster oven won't be worth much. However, if you order 300 one-of-a-kind handmade items for your gifts, those recipients will have a present that will not only be made with pride, but will also become worth more and more as the years go by because of its rarity, and even more so because of your involvement!

Thank you for taking the time to read all this! I hope I've given you something to consider...


PS. Fellow Twitter artisans out there reading this, try to use #buyhandmade in all your art-related tweets! We CAN get the word out!!


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  2. I am so glad you wrote this. I have had the same thoughts. Let's bring this world a little closer and bypass the mass produced Wal-mart items. I love handmade and with all the well-known people on Twitter they could really do the handmade world some good by promoting us.

    Donna Smith'
    Dark Ridge Creations

  3. Great post! I'm so glad you wrote this. I saw his Tweet last night, too, and woke up this morning wishing I had replied. Way to spread the word about handmade!!! Thank you!


  4. I do art prints...and I would LOVE a 300+ order! I would probably cry tears of joy! (Let alone an order from a Hollywood actor!)

  5. Straight from the heart...well done :)

  6. A brilliant letter, very well written. If he does choose to order 300+ items from any of us, that would be awesome. And kudos to whoever gets that order :)

  7. Nice note! Very well put and gives us "others" a chance to take a look at your craft! Beautiful!
    Keep on keeping on, and NEVER GIVE UP YOUR DREAM!
    You will succeed!!! Maxann

  8. Well written and so true. I'd rather receive a handcrafted gift than some nameless "thingamabob" that was made in China. It would also help those who need the work... it's a win-win situation.

  9. Very well said, and very true! The product that we offer is a HandMade item; that can be customized to the needs of the client; and puts money into this economy!

    I too attempted to make contact, when I saw the request. As a business owner and artist, and my prices are in a much different price range.

    I, as you am in etsy, eBay, Artfire, have a website, as well as have been in Country Sampler, Mercantile Gatherings, sell worldwide and wholesale Nationwide and to Canada ...

    I totally agree .... given the opportunity a small business owner is very competent in completing this task!! HandMade is extemely important ... and that Quality is imperative!

    This is something that is lacking in mass produced! The jobs aren't the only thing that is taken away when items are purchased that are factory mass produced ...there is an allowable error in machining ... and as the machines are run the error increases ...this means the products increasingly are poorer in make-up and presentation.

    My slogan is simply HandMade With Pride ... and has been for many many years ... I see it is catching on and I am proud to be a HandMade Artisan that is also an Active Duty Military Spouse.

    Tina Shifflett
    HandMade With Pride

  10. Hi, fellow member of Etsy Dark Side Street Team!

    Excellent letter, and so well-put!

    In addition to the Etsy gig, I'm also a small independent publisher. Even with advertising, it's a drop in the ocean compared to mass market.

    Handmade items have so many good qualities, including good energy! We love what we do, we love what we make, and we definitely love our customers! :)


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  12. I love reading what you write - it's so eloquent (and let's face it, we have the same outlook on life).

    I hope that Ashton Kutcher sees this and reconsiders the handmade gifts option. You know, Kathy Cano-Murillo has made MORE THAN 300 of the same item (more than once) for large chain stores - I know that one of our crafty sisters/brothers could do it too!

  13. Very, very well spoken. I hope it reaches him.

  14. Fantastic letter! I hope this message gets out to many more than just Ashton. :)

  15. Great letter, thank you for being a voice for all of us artists and crafters!