Is it wrong to like shopping for stationery more than for clothes? I have infinitely more patience for it, anyway. I’m always amazed by the bargains you can pick up in £1 shops, too. Anyway, I have returned home with a bag full of ‘essentials’, such as different-sized envelopes, paper clips, thumb tacks… Add this to yesterday’s haul of a long-reach stapler, felt, and a glue runner, and I’m in seventh heaven!
You may notice that none of the above are, strictly speaking, relevant to weaving or needlecrafts. They are, but only inasmuch as that in putting kits etc together, my inner craft setting defaults to papercrafts. With the DIY Weaving Club ready for its first mail-out in a month’s time, I have lots to prepare!
Why is it that I am incapable of typing up a set of instructions onto plain A4 paper, then simply popping them into a grip-seal bag, along with any extra bits? Aesthetics, I suppose. I could, quite easily, do exactly that, and I guess it would diminish my preparation time by at least 50%. I don’t think I’m overly elaborate; I like using simple, recycled (wherever possible) materials, and I don’t go overboard with decoration, but the presentation is important. In fact, I try to make my packaging as functional as possible – either re-useable in some way, or with custom pockets/sizing to suit the product. It does take more time, but I think it’s worth it. More to the point, I enjoy the process, and I appreciate the end product.
I guess that, actually, is what being a genuine cottage industry is about – the personal touch. Another manufacturer could give you the same instructions, but in an entirely impersonal, mass-produced manner, and (for me) remove almost all of the charm. I don’t spend time on the packaging because I have to, but because I enjoy it. If I just sold instructions packaged in a grip seal bag, I would lose enthusiasm immediately. If I didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t do it, and that really is the end of the story.