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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 (http://www.etsy.com/) and ArtFire (http://www.artfire.com/), 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 http://bit.ly/MGWTc) 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...

~KitCameo

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