When I was a kid, I really loved to scrapbook. There used to be a store called, Rag Shop, that my sister and I would venture to every Sunday. (Rag Shop was like a smaller, ghetto Michael’s.) This store wasn’t too big, but big enough where we could stay for a good two hours without ever passing each other twice. Many dollars later, we would fill my sister’s Camry with bags of scrapbook sheets, cardstock, funky stickers (those were the best), glue, and other chotchkies (possibly a shadow box, or two). Then the items would stay in their bags for a good week before they saw the light of the day. Hey, it was Sunday, what do you expect?
My point is, arts and crafts has been in our blood, my blood, for a long time. When we decided to add invitations and party accessories to our line on Etsy, we did not think that there would be such a demand for products made from paper. Thankfully, there are people out there that appreciate paper, and how delicate it really is to work with.
In my past life, I worked for a publishing company in a big city with a lot of cool people. One of our vendors was in China (big surprise!), and believe it or not, a lot of the items we asked them to create were hand made! Yes, machines and printers did the bulk of the job, but the actual hand work was all done by them. Even though many people don’t appreciate the overseas factories, you have to give them some credit where it is due. Quality control is an arduous task, so when you do get that one picture book with the registration totally off on your kid’s favorite page, or when the last puzzle piece doesn’t fit exactly right – cue up Alanis Morisette – remember, these are real people building, creating, and following the instructions from the production and art departments.
Thinking about this now, I feel bad for leaving all of my impulse buys from Rag Shop in the bag for a few extra days. Inside that bag was the hard work of a factory worker “half-finishing” something just so I can sticker some 4-color scrapbook pages with some pasted family photos, and call it arts and crafts.
I need to say thank you. Now that we create each item by hand (we buy the paper, of course! We’re not a mill for crying out loud!), I appreciate the hard work of the factories that were responsible for fulfilling an order of 4,000 units within a three month time frame. That doesn’t include proofing, approvals, etc. Sweet Lemonims turn around time is two weeks for any quantity of order, and that includes design, mocking, proofing, sourcing, etc., it’s a lot.
I just wanted to say, thanks. Thank you, paper.