There are times when gloom and doom are all you hear about in the financial sector. There are plenty of times when people talk about how bad the economy is, and how important it is to make sure our nationwide manufacturing capability is maintained. I won’t disagree with this, but on a smaller level, the level at which Americans live and work, that “big corporate” mentality isn’t always the cure-all for all the problems that come up. After all, if a company has to lay off 100 employees in order to remain profitable, those hundred employees are now stuck. Remaining on unemployment isn’t going to get you anywhere, and there’s plenty of political dogma out there these days that tells you that if you got laid off, it’s your fault, and you’re a slacker for being out of work.
If you’ve ever spent any time on Etsy, browsing through the millions of craft products available there, then you may have some idea for just how big the craft industry has gotten in America. Far from being solely macrame and wood burning, craft in this sense refers to the industry of hand-made. Quilts, afghans, jewelry, glasswork, furniture making, tools and baked goods are all great examples, and done right, home-based businesses can make a very good living producing, marketing, and selling high-quality craft items right out of their garage.
I mentioned that this might actually save America. While that might sound like a bit of an outlandish statement, let me clarify what I’m claiming here. Craft industry might well drag us all out of the frying pan and the fire. All it takes is finding a niche and exploiting it.
This year, bankrate.com released a staggeringly troubling statistic- that as many as 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, without putting money into an emergency savings account. This is backed up by the equalling troubling reality that finds most people still unable to save money or pay off debt in spite of having been awarded a raise at work or a job that provides additional pay. Typically, that extra money just funnels back into day-to-day expenses.
Handicrafts can offset that lack of saving, providing a steady stream of income to get bills paid off, and even, provided that the venture is successful enough, replace your primary income with something you really do love to do. If this is the track you’d like to try, its important to remember that you don’t have to go all-in right away. You can go small at first, selling what you make on Etsy or at local farmer’s markets until you’re comfortable in increasing your investment. This also gives you the opportunity to make sure there really is a market for what you want to sell.
Eventually, we might live in a world where craft is the only way to do business. We may all have machines in our garages or basements one day, enabling us to work from home at our own pace on a variety of consumer goods. The final result could well be the elimination of carbon-spewing daily commutes, decreased stress, decreased workplace violence, and a far more acute sense of personal involvement in the manufacturing process, increasing yields, quality, and satisfaction, all while avoiding having to send jobs overseas for companies to earn money to satisfy their shareholders. It’s possible, if we let it be possible. Of course, if you prefer going to work every day…