This particular piece mentioned in it that the public and media push for sustainable resources, renewables, greengreengreen etc. is really helping out my industry, which wasn't news to me. I totally agree that as people move away from a consumer mindset and become aware of things like planned obsolenscence, business increases for local markets and entrepreneurs.
The crafters often interviewed always mention though how we should not undersell ourselves. Take into account the amount of time spent on a product, on photographing it, puting it into your store, searching for supplies, running websites and advertisements...yeah right. One comment in the article reflected on how vendors often have to haggle for that last $5 on their work because people want cookie-cutter prices for unique handmade items.
I do all of those things but if I honestly factored all that in, even at minimum wage, my pricing would be astronomically uncompetitive. People are still happy to go into Barnes and Noble or Borders and buy a mass produced journal for $35 (or more). There's nothing original about these books, they aren't even usually stitched, just glued but people gobble them up not giving a hoot-n-hollar that they're made in China (and we all know what that probably means what with those labor laws).
In the mean time, here I am with other book binders and paper artists like myself wondering how to be competitive with that??
My books take me, on average, anywhere from 5-8 hours not including materials or webwork. Trust me, I'm not underselling myself, I am trying to compete with the big box stores and a public that likes superficial apperances rather than internal quality or worse! They expect that small businesses churn out the latter for the same prices as corporations who are off-shoring their employees, customer service and anything else they can exploit - and then sweep up the tax breaks. *sigh*
I take a lot of pride in my work, in my customer service and really every aspect of my whole business, I just wish I knew the formula that could bridge the gap so that people would TRULY embrace going handmade, buying and shopping local and being conscious of recycling and thinking green and maybe give up a tiny bit of immediate convenience for some originality and quality.