COTTAGE INDUSTRY 101 STUDIES
HOW THE HOME seamstress, WEAVER or Knitter can enter the
GARMENT or TEXTILE INDUSTRY...
In the old days, all women sat home carding flax and weaving their fabric to make
their family clothing. SEE THE FLAX SPINNERS. IF they didn't grow flax, and
it was warm, tropical, they grew cotton. If it was cold, they had sheep and were
carding and knitting/ weaving wool. But all these ancient women had looms in the house
and when they weren't digging, planting, watering the fields, cooking, they were spinning
or weaving. You'd be surprised at how many yards of fabric a woman could
produce. Enough to clothe her whole family and ten other families. So she had
a source of income. Again. In the old days.
The textile mills started up in the early 1800's and it was no longer
necessary to spin cotton, grow flax, shear wool, card and weave. Women could
go to work in those factories and make a huge income for that day, enough money to
buy property! Buy more farmland and pay for dowrys. Industrialized clothing saved
women from home slavery and paved the way for equality and the vote.
You can buy any garment today cheaper from China but oddly, today, there is a
tremendous marketplace for hand knitted wool hats and sweaters. Asian acrylic
sweaters simply won't do. If there were home knitters, how and where would
these knitters sell their product?
The smart money these days will EXPORT to EURO countries as our costs/ prices
seem very reasonable to them. Ever go shopping in Mexico City or
Acapulco? You can actually buy everything you see without blinking. The
stuff is cheap. And even cheaper in outlying cities Puebla, Oaxaca or Guadalajara and
even cheaper in the village an hour from the outlying city, perhaps in Tlaquepaque.
Exploit that principal. Sell to Europe where dinner costs forty bucks.
From america where dinner costs $3.99. Be their Tlaquepaque. Next, serve
them up utilitarian objects they need as they're feeling the pinch too.
It's cold in Europe. They want soft sweaters and coats but they have british design
coats. They might more readily buy an AMERICAN INDIAN exotic design.
A navajo wool coat would sell a lot more easily in Europe than say a classic Peacoat.
They 'got' peacoats. But do that AmerInd piece with some art and design to it.. you will
nail a sale. For that you need designers, artists, who can translate traditional
Navajo blanket designs to wool and create something that looks very NEW MEXICO.
A BRIT friend read that, told me:
Your advice to the cottage artist might have been good a few years ago
but subsequently, the EU and local councils moved in to close such cottage
trade down - back then it was good advice and did work to a degree with
items like knitted sweaters, hand crofted rugs for instance - which could be
bought cheaply and sold for hundreds. But Not anymore.
The rise in fuel and fuel duties and export/import tariffs killed this
dead and made it unprofitable. Clothes into the UK and Europe come in by
the trailer load from sweatshops in ASIA and are sold cheap next to
nothing. It is not possible that even a cottage industry could compete
with this unless you had a specialist market which the Government
deliberately legislate against and the rates and retail property taxes
and VAT increases kill it dead.
What you have to remember is that these are deliberate strategies to
increase state control and intervention - beyond capitalism."
I think what he's saying is, the STATE wants all at home businesses to become
part of all industry which is expected to ENRICH the State coffers. The state
doesn't care for hand knits. it wants its workers clothed for bottom dollar even
if that means importing from China, and everybody wearing the same coolie costume.
The exploited third world maquilladoras make everything first world needs CHEAPER.
The uneven game table, the competition being nil, third world having lower prices all
combine to mean that any native economy which fabricates cheap items can do well.
I think, however, that there is always a luxury marketplace. Boutiques in Hollywood and
Beverly Hills get 1000$ for a hand knit sweater. A Department store gets 400$ for a good
cashmere cardigan. Walmart gets 9$ for an acrylic sweater that looos much the same as
the second one. All three sell out. But there's still a niche market. The hand knitter who
can create an opulent, soft bulky knit cardigan for $100 to 200$ has her place in the
economy. If she can reach her potential consumers via her website, Craigs list, Etsy.com
or other auction sites she will do well.
She must HUSTLE well, take lovely photos of her goods, then a client awaits her. She lives
in the crack between marketplaces but a lot of buttered crumbs fall her way. For instance, she
can avoid giving half the sale price to a retail boutique. She can avoid paying HUGE rent on
her own shop in a village lane. She will escape paying high utilities, sales force as well as retail
gov bureau sales tax CUT which WOULD make her sweater even more costly to the buyer.
She also avoid licenses fees and even income taxes if she has the real brass. Last, she does
her shivering clients a service delivering a fine and obviously hand knitted, warm sweater at
an affordable middle marketplace price.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *<=== BACK TO THE FRUGAL TIPS and CHEAPO LIFESTYLE WEBPAGE
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