Free Hugs by kimberlyg on Flickr
Well, have you?
Sometimes we go to some piddly little craft fair or flea and you see someone there, maybe who obviously doesn't belong there amongst the cheesy crocheted dish towels or dollar store regurgitation or crappy plastic yard sale junk you wouldn't have given to the local thrift store. But hey, they are there, selling their stuff along everyone else. Maybe you buy something and maybe you don't, because you weren't anticipating finding such lovely goods amongst the trash.
OR, maybe you're the entrepreneurial craftsperson or artist just trying to get yourself out there and funds are limited and you think that you'll get your feet wet by dipping them into the local waters and seeing where it takes you. A local joint, where the fees are lower, but maybe the clientele may or may not be welcoming. You hope your work speaks for itself....
Sometimes it's nice to reach out and give those artists or craftspeople a hug. Maybe not in the actual physical sense. But in the encouraging sense. I've been in both circumstances, on both the selling and buying end. As a seller, I'm so encouraged when I get a kind word after the sale is done. Maybe someone comes back for another purchase or sends me positive feedback on Etsy, or just sends me a note to say, "I REALLY LIKE THAT. KEEP DOING IT!" Not all of us live in metropolitan areas where there are a variety of customers to keep coming and coming. More of us live in suburban or rural settings where many folks may wander by and think, "That's nice but I can buy it at (insert discount store here) for way less..." and keep walking. It's harder for us.
So, I've decided, as a point, when I buy something I really enjoy from a local business or individual, to THANK THEM. Whether in person, or in the form of a note or feedback, that I'm grateful to have them in my community. I thank them for their effort, for their product or service, and tell them what I like about what they do.
It's a lonely world out there for us artists and craftspeople sometimes, give a little love.