Monday, March 9, 2009
How do you "see" your final product?
I had a customer ask me the other day "how do you see what a child would like"? I thought it a rather odd question and then I started to really think about it. I went into my sewing room and just sat there for a while looking at all I use that helps me create the toys I make. What did I "see"?
Machines first, an embroidery machine, a "regular" straight stitching machine, a serger and then fabric, thread, stuffing, scissors.....and pictures. Pictures that parents had sent me with their babies or toddlers playing with the toys I made. When I looked at those pictures I saw several things; a happy baby, maybe a smile or that darling drop of drool while they chewed on a toy. Then I really focused on the toy, here is where the "how do you see what a child would like" part came into play.
I looked at it first as a Mother, then a Grandmother (or Nana as my 9 grandkids call me). I saw something that was safe, no removable parts, nothing to small to choke on, something that can be washed (every Mothers dream), something that can't bang up little heads or hurt them when they fell on it as they learned to toddle and walk and nothing that could dent or scratch the furniture! Then I looked at it from a child's point of view, it was bright, colorful, chewable, small enough for tiny hands to hold on to, interesting enough to create my own "fun" with.
As I sat there a bit longer I realized that the very last thing on that list of what I "saw" was "will it sell". All of the other things were more important to me. I firmly believe that when you turn your thinking and your creating from something you love to do, something you want to share with others to something you just want to make a "living" off of, you've missed the boat. You have just taken the "Artisan or Crafter" out of the picture and put the "retailer" in!
You've gotta have heart I guess I'm trying to say...put your heart into your work and the rest will follow...I see the babies and the toddlers, and I see the Mothers and Fathers and Grandparents that feel good about giving their little ones something created by hand, that is safe, and something that is fun, something that will last for years and years to come. THAT is how I "see" my final product...