Monday, April 26, 2010

Don't Stop Believin'

 First off, no bags to show. This is what I've been working on and it's killing me. A serious shortage of fabric, colour matching issue has come up and I see no solution. Might have to abandon this baby and call it a UFO. (unfinished object?)

Next, I've been contemplating my future.

The handmade market in Singapore is tiny. Tiny is better than non-existing. Since April 2009, I've suddenly found myself in the company of a previously unknown species (to me) called Handmade People. To survive in the handmade market takes a lot of perserverance and belief in your products. I too have asked myself many times if I could go on. Other than the red dot design museum's MAAD, there aren't any places in Singapore known to me which supports authentic handmade products. Most baazars, flea markets allow 2nd hand goods (just label it Vintage, eh?)  and horrors - imported goods. This is why I no longer sell at such places. How do I compete with a reseller on price? Besides, whatever little money I make will only go to line the landlord's pocket.

I don't know any handmade people who has made it to the big league. Then again, I don't know that many people in the first place. I'm putting my money on Mandy. (no pressure!) I know I will never make it big. Oh, don't go feeling sorry. I'm a realistic person. Sure, I have my fans. (thank you, you and you and you) But it's a teensy number. I'm not giving up. I'm still loving making my bags. The future is uncertain so I'm just going to enjoy the ride every step of the way.

With this frame of mind, I decided I would put everything in perspective in a SONG. :)

I've been messing with Journey's Don't Stop Believin'. This song came back to my life fulltime when Glee started messing with it and my children couldn't stop playing it on youtube. I get Glee's version but I'm a die-hard Steve Perry fan so I'm sticking with the original. I've modified the lyrics and it will either make you cringe or laugh. I'll take it either way. (You need to sing it, not read it) To 99% of my readers who probably don't care for this song, please bear with me.

***Dedicated to Handmade People Everywhere***
with apologies to Journey
Don't Stop Believin'

Just a bag-loving girl
Livin' in a lonely world
She took the *MRT goin' anywhere

Just a handmade girl
Born and raised in Singapore
She took the *MRT goin' anywhere

(here pretend you are Neil and play the guitar really well)

A seller in a baazar
A smell of thread and cheap fabric
For a few dollars they can strike a sale
It goes on and on and on and on

Strangers shopping
Up and down every aisle
Their eyes searching for a good buy
Handmade people
Living just to find the right crowd
Sewing, beading somewhere in the night

Working hard to build up stock
Everybody wants to thrill
Payin' anything to sell just one more time

Some will win, some will lose
Some were born to sing the blues
Oh, the hope never ends
It goes on and on and on and on

C'mon readers

Strangers shopping
Up and down every aisle
Their eyes searching for a good buy
Handmade people
Living just to find the right crowd
Sewing, beading somewhere in the night

Don't stop believin'
Hold on to that feelin'
Handmade people

*****************

*MRT - in Singapore we refer to our trains as MRT.
Thanks for the indulgence.

Jane P out.
Don't stop believin'.

5 comments:

Chris H said...

WE have the exact same problems here selling Handmade products, just can't compete with the imported rubbish on price. It's a shame, but a sign of the times... people want to spend as little as possible. Handmade and quality mean nothing to most people.
I loved travelling on the MRT when we were in Singapore! It was so easy and cheap!

antmee said...

Your bags don't belong in a cheap "trash and treasure" environment. Your bags have evolved a lot in just the short time I have discovered your blog.

If you don't have a lot of the appropriate markets in your area, I was wondering if you've ever considered selling them in boutiques? It would require a lot of time and confidence to approach boutiques and "sell" the boutique owners on the benefits of stocking your products but may be worth it.

jane p said...

Chris, the MRT has evolved since you were last in S'pore. We had an additional line - North East line and recently the Circle Line (sounds exciting?) opened.

jane p said...

Antmee, thanks for your suggestion. I will certainly look out or such opportunities. :)

tamdoll said...

Now you need to make this a video.

And sing it holding your bags. You'll be an internet sensation and your bags will sell like mad.

Can't you just see the possibilities?

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