Selling Handmade: Taking Criticism

Selling Handmade- tips for people who want to sell the stuff they make from someone who sells stuff they make.

It’s been a while since I’ve made a Selling Handmade post, but I’ve come across a couple of things lately that inspired this post.

If you create something and put it out there in the public, you will receive criticism about it at some point. There will always be people who don’t find what you make to their taste, and there will always be people who think that they know better than you do (whether or not they actually do). You might hear constructive criticism, it might be, “Well, I could make that for WAY cheaper,” it might be, “OMGLOL THAT’S SO AWFUL AHAHAHAHAHA!”

Criticism is one of the best learning tools for an artist, but even constructive criticism can be hard to hear. It’s up to you to objectively evaluate what’s been said and see if there is any merit to it, which is often WAY easier said than done. Usually what I do is sit on it for a while, and then evaluate it when I’ve come to terms with what was said. Some things to keep in mind: Is the person who said it in your target market? What is the actual message behind the words- is it just that they don’t like it or do they actually have a valid point about something other than their taste being different than yours?

You will probably never convince someone who doesn’t like something, to like it. Don’t waste your time or energy trying. We’re all different, this is a good thing. This is the internet, you can just walk away. Punch a pillow, go for a walk, pour all of your energy into your work in a spiteful, “I’ll show them!” kind of way… I spite-clean my house. Remember, everything on the internet is public to everyone around the world. If you react very negatively to criticism, “everyone” is going to hear about it, and you will find a lot of people saying, “Well, I’d never buy anything from THAT person.” If you do have an informative counterpoint to correct misinformation, then do it politely and respectfully. “That’s definitely a valid concern, but I use glitter straight from the unicorn as opposed to the stuff that’s mined by gnomes in unsafe conditions.” If your counterpoint is something like, “Well, that’s just your opinion,” don’t say it. Just don’t. They already know it’s their opinion, they’re the one who’s saying it. They don’t need your permission, or even acknowledgment, to have their own opinion.

The best way to handle all other forms of criticism other than, “I JUST DON’T LIKE IT,” is again, walk away or be polite. “I hadn’t thought of that.” “That’s certainly something to think about.” “I tried that and it just didn’t pan out for me, but I’m glad you’re having success with it!” “I wish I had the time to take that on right now!”

A while ago, someone suggested that I try something new in the form of constructive criticism. It was something that I had briefly thought about and dismissed. As soon as I got over myself (criticism is hard, yo), I really evaluated what they were saying and now I’ve had a lot of success with my uterus keychains.

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