Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Calling all Arm-chair Anti-Capitalist/Anti-Globalisation and Fair Trade Campaigners! Support Local


Do you quietly boycott the multinational global brands in a bid to make the world a better place?  Perhaps you even take to the streets?
Do you try and support Fair Trade wherever possible?
Are you concerned about the global financial collapse, carbon foot-prints and environmentalism?



If you do - you will probably also have some nominal notion about the importance of shopping local. Of supporting local crafters and ensuring they get a fair wage for the quality products they make.  If you do - you will believe in supporting people at a time of financial austerity as opposed to paying massive prices on items that aren't worth it.  You will resent paying way above the manufacturing cost just so you can get to see an advert about it on TV that will try to persuade you to buy more.  Adverts that proclaim luxury and quality whilst the company has workers tied (sometimes literally) to the   sewing machines - as demonstrated by my son!

I am therefore calling on all moralists, anyone with some form of social concern and desire to rectify this sorry, jaded and false consumerism to take a stand.

I'm not asking for much but I am asking for action.  Action that requires you to click that little left button on the mouse a few times to register your support for crafters - people to make things, the manufacturers located in your own homes, towns and villages that we so often overlook.  People struggling to get by because they love what they do as opposed to worrying about trying to gain that prestigious and luxurious prize of a "minimum wage".

I'm asking you to wage a war against the capitalist multi-nationals in a bid to support your friends, acquaintances and  yes, even that odd old lady(kindly demonstrated by Carla) down the road that is really quite a recluse but who faithfully knits scarves to sell in order to raise funds for an orphan in Africa (better that then actually send the thing!)



For the first week of September I am asking you to spend a few minutes each day working in support of Craftfest: clicking, supporting, liking and tweeting lovely little items that you find on this on-line craft market.  Craftfest runs a few times a year in a bid to create an online community craft market where sellers can work together to promote and share each others wonderful creations.  It gives fellow crafter's the sense of being part of a bigger community, of supporting and encouraging one another and promoting each others work to their own client base.

Most of us register in a bid to try and sell a few more items and make a little extra wonga...

But in reality Craftfest is much more than that.  You see even the on-line world is dominated by a multinational: google and specifically, google ads.  Other search engines all work the same way.  BIG on-line companies pay for space that dominate the top pages of any search.  Whilst the search engine's claim to work democratically there are ways to promote your work on-line.  You must word items in specific ways, tailor it to specific items and make sure you edit your descriptions so google doesn't treat it as spam.  This all makes sense to an expert but to a novice crafter - the on-line world is daunting.

One solution to this is to make a little noise on the net.  The more noise you make then the likelier it is you will get noticed by search engines such as Google.  If you create enough noise you may even get the wonderful chance of having something going viral.  The only way of doing this is by using Social media.

Herein lies the genius of Craftfest.  The craftfest community is about a market stall - but it is so much more than that.  It is fundamentally a means of creating noise on the internet.  The sheer fact that the 200 stall holders will be working our butts off all week tweeting, blogging, pinning etc. each others work is all in the hope that the favour will be returned.  If returned that means you have up to 200 more people tweeting and commenting on your items at the one time.  200 people taking one hour to tweet and re-tweet just may get noticed but if they can also recruit people to campaign with us on our behalf then we could really up the anti!

If each crafter brought with us another 1 or 2 people to campaign with us then we can up this number to 600 people liking, tweeting and pinning at once.  If we get 10 each - 2000 and so it goes.

What do you get out of it?

Many of the crafter's don't have cash and can't offer discounts (the barely make enough money as it is).  That's the point.  This is a campaign.  This is you taking the high ground.  You may not be able to purchase - and to be honest that is fine (sort of) but perhaps more importantly you can help us get noticed to buyers.  That is awesome.  Why do it?  Well... its because you believe in it.

I'm a firm believer in Organic, in fair-trade and in ethical shopping - but the reality is that most of this helps people abroad.  Shopping local is an idea but its been difficult to see it become a reality.  By helping to promote the people of Craftfest - you are doing your bit to change to world.  To change the focus from the global, to the local.  From the mass-produced to the hand-made, custom orders that the people of Craftfest specialise in.

So what do you say?  Are you in?

Craftfest: www.creative-connections.bing.com
It runs from the 1st - 8th Sept.

We will be tweeting, FBing and blogging many things over the next week and we would love you to play a part.  Share, like, pin, tweet, talk about us to anyone and everyone.  Do it a few times a day at different times in the day.  Sure we love you sharing about us at any time - but this week is special - its about creating some noise!!!!!

So lets raise the warrior cry for our crafters!  Lets give some artisans our support - lets stick our tongues out to the people that brand us and define us and say "ENOUGH!"  We will do our own thing - thank you very much.

Feel free to pin, share and like this to your hearts content - lets get craftfest out there!

My stall:  http://creative-connections.ning.com/photo/albums/scentcosmetics-craftfest

My other details:
OUR WEBSITE