Originally Posted by Hallupino
There is a huge difference between artist-quality and craft-quality materials, and I think this is the trap that we crafters often get stuck in. Sometimes (though there are many exceptions!) the manufacturers who market stuff to the "crafting community" seem to not take us, and therefore the quality of their products, as seriously. We are largely seen as hobbyists, not professional-level artists with the clout to make or break a company's reputation. The irony here is that "the crafting community" is just that- a very social group of people who get together and communicate all the time in classes or forums like this about what products we like or don't like, and the kinds of experiences we've had with companies and their materials. And I should add, in case anyone thought I was saying we lack artistic ability, there is a great deal of stunning artistic talent within this community and several members who DO make a profession, and sometimes a living, out of this "hobby".
It's sad and frustrating to see the decline in quality of both products and customer service from so many companies these days, not just in crafting. What gives me hope is that many of us are trying to do and make more things ouselves and not relying on the cheap waste that gets passed on to us in the stores. Could there be a better time for something like Etsy? I do try to support those companies that make better-quality products, that provide useful and easy-to-access support for them, and that keep the jobs here. Those products are more expensive up front, but at least they're keepers. And companies like that need more support than ever in these very tough, race-to-the-bottom times.
I love what you wrote. I always bought professional art quality tools before I got into paper crafting. Like you said there are exceptions. I use cheaper brands too. I love a lot of Crayola products. There are some art quality tools that are bad quality but for the most part that is the rare exception.
When I got into the paper crafting world. I bought all the different type tools. I was not happy with the quality. I fell in the trap of trying to get them to work the way I wanted. I finally gave up last year.
I am one who will make my tool before I buy it.
Another thing I think keeps us creative girls from returning faulty products is the popularity over the products. You hear everyone raving about the product but you are having problems with it. You always get that group of women who make you feel like it's your fault and your the loser. I call it keep up with the Joneses mentality. You keep trying to make the product work or you just don't like it. If you don't use it you feel like a loser too. I know what I am writing is a bit controversial but I actually get PM's from girls over this every single week. I have fallen in the trap too. Mine was due to depression. You know what changed? You Tube videos. I started watching You Tube videos and I would come across some of these women who rave only to find out they can't use the products either, ROFL!
I buy what works for me now and makes me feel good using it. If it's faulty I have started returning. If it's something I am just not good at using then I give it away. I know somebody can use it. A lot of times I have gotten a tool that a friend could not use and was perfect for me. It's a nice win-win situation.