The Importance of Feedback

August 11, 2017 by NJPainter

We are a culture of online shoppers.

We pick it out alone, we buy it alone, it shows up at our doorstep, we’re done.
Sometimes we order multiples so we don’t have to try things on in badly lit dressing rooms. Sometimes we add things to our carts knowing we’ll never even keep them because we just want to hit the free shipping quota (guilty).
Online shopping is a solo project.

And so we forget, I think, when we buy something handmade, to alter our experience.
We’ve mixed these two experiences into one.

…So here I am, devoting a post to why we should make the conscious effort to separate them.

Buying handmade involves you and one other person. 

It means that person came up with an idea, out of the depths of their own brain, and put it on paper (or canvas, or leather, or whatever) so you could enjoy it.

It means that person might have changed their entire life to chase this idea.

It means that person hemmed and hawed about details that you will never, ever notice and stared at the ceiling while laying in bed, wondering if they made the right color choices.

It means that person may have actually shed tears over it. (Guilty).

It means that person devotes space in their house for things like stamps and tags and garment racks and tissue paper and has accepted the truth of all handmade small businesses: you will never be appropriately paid for the time it took to create the thing you’re selling.

It means that person thought to themselves multiple times while making and packaging and sending your product off to you; “I hope they love it.”

In short, buying handmade is meaningful.

It’s part of what attracts us to particular products. And while it’s not mandatory that you join hands and enter the circle dance of Etsy fanaticism, it will definitely make someone’s day if you send them a note that says “Hey, this is great. Thanks.”


This is a selfish request.
It’s a strange thing to put that much effort into a piece, send it off to a stranger, and never hear from them again.
“Was it not what they expected?,” I think.
“Was that shade of pink not the right one?,” I worry.
“Is she going to tell her friends?,” I hope.
Am I taking it too personal? Maybe. But it’s a personal business that I’m running here.

We are quick to leave feedback when the product or service we’ve received is bad. But what about the pleasantly surprised? What about the impressed? Why are we forgetful reviewers when we’re happy?

Hand makers have chosen a life of outward shining love.
Go ahead and reflect that love back to them.