I’m so excited to see conversations happening around the craft community about “creative tithing”…
The first instance I saw was over on Olivebites, where Cat talks about taking 10% of her monthly craft-business earnings, and making a point of spending it in the craft community.
Then, this post on Scoutiegirl took up the subject, speaking of the hugely positive effect these kinds of purchases have on your fellow artisans – and how, by actively supporting their dreams, you’re also investing in your own.
And here’s a post from Stephey Baker, talking about how an investment in your creative community is also an investment in living more creatively yourself.
I think all this discussion is glorious, because this is an idea who’s time has come.
Because here’s the thing: a large percentage of us run small businesses. A large percentage of us dream of making our living doing what we love.
Well, not to get too blunt about it or anything, but these dreams need customers in order to come true. If you’re constantly marketing your business to your online community, but you aren’t completing the cycle by supporting other businesses, then this whole ecosystem becomes unstable.
A healthy ecosystem needs both producers and consumers. And, to my mind anyway, producers make for some of the most conscious consumers around.
It doesn’t take much money, either. If you take even 5% of your month’s business profit and buy a simple pair of earrings from someone, you’ll have a profound impact on their week. And tiny acts like this, multiplied over our whole community, could add up to more prosperity overall.
So, tell me what you think of this idea…
I’d actually like to see this “creative tithing” idea become very public and visible. I’d love to see some kind of monthly blog-along where we all post about the purchases we made in support of our fellow indie crafters. I’d like to see blog badges and maybe even a public list of participants.
Because here’s the thing (again): accountability is powerful. If we publicly pledge to support other businesses, and then we create a public deadline for ourselves around it, I think it helps us keep the practice alive. Without visibility, it can become just one more great idea we read on a blog somewhere and promptly forget about.
…But this is also a tricky sort of idea. Would it make us feel competitive toward each other? Would it make some people feel left out? Would we stick with it?
Would you participate?
I’d love your honest feedback here. How do you feel about creative tithing, and what are your thoughts on making a public, ongoing project of it? Comment away, please!
UPDATE: Here’s some more coverage of this idea that’s appeared in the blogosphere since this post:
More Profit = More to Give, from Crafting an MBA
Creative Tithing: We Are Growing Bigger Things Than Muscles Here, from Olivebites