Well it was bound to happen and I could see it coming. Barn Quilts have become so popular that now these are being commercially mass produced and available at Hobby Lobby. Small, and for indoor use but these are there. No, the quality and the size is not comparable but we brought this on ourselves. We have made these so popular.
I started offering BQ's at my retail location ten (10) years ago and at that time, I was the only one in my little town offering these as custom orders or cash & carry stock pieces, when available. There was one other party that was making these at the time locally but not in a retail space.
My business grew into what it is now. I have had to take a step back because it grew until I had over 190 orders at one time and a year out. I no longer had any time to make stock pieces. I had to do away with my local booth at a retail space and sell my retail business to paint BQ's full time six years ago.
Now, there is not a retail space in West Jefferson that does not sell BQ's. These are in every store. Stock pieces of course but these are out there. Everyone is on the Addiction and painting these. Some for pleasure, some for retail, and others are doing custom orders for people.
Has this hurt my business? No, not at all. I still am about 90-120 days out on orders and have about 80 pending at the moment. I don't advertise, I don't offer shipping and I don't try to do any stock and if I do, it is because I need a creative release and it would only be a 2x2. My orders are driven from the website and word of mouth.
I find that many people are starting the "hobby" than ever and the only problem I have is with the pricing of their work. I hate seeing a 2x2 on FB Market place for $60. We have to value what we are creating and the work that goes into these. Offering low prices and inferior work or cheap materials can only make everyone look bad. I see some ridiculous prices that could not even cover the artist cost.
So am I worried about Hobby Lobby? Am I worried about all the people jumping into the Addiction? No, not at all. I am much more worried about the abundance of people attempting to make this a business and flooding the local market with inferior cheap pieces until these all look the same, same patterns, duplicate pieces, and no artistic vision that makes each and everyone as beautiful as these should be.
So take pride in your work, be serious, hold your prices, and keep sharing all your beautiful work! Don't under cut prices just to get the business from a fellow artist. Don't consider a fellow artist competition, embrace and support.
Carry on with the Addiction,