Family diplomacy?

My sister in law in the Uk has just taken up jewellery making as a hobby, and has been showing her efforts via Facebook. When I asked her if it was a hobby or was she planning on selling her creations, she had quite a lot done and all bagged up, she replied that she was planning to give some to my husband , her brother, next time he was over to see how they sold in France!!

Now we are artisans here and sell on markets amongst other places , so I can see where her mind was going. I have told her I can't sell jewellery as that isn't what we are inscribed. I have knocked her back mainly as I don't want to mix business and family (apart from working with my husband that is) I have pointed her in the direction of Etsy Uk to set up a boutique. But honestly is it me? Does the fact that we are Artisans d'Art make us fair game for every odd ball family member? and we have plenty of those believe me.

How I hate these dilemmas, this type of situation just makes me squirm. Dos anyone else find this type of situation difficult or am I just too diplomatic?

I agree with Sarah C. You could accept to give it a whirl.

I live in a town where everything, EVERYTHING is artisanal, and everyone is only too happy to point customers in the right direction for whatever it is they are talking about.

otherwise, if she really is talented, you could point her in the direction of another person in your area that might help. I know that in many situations (our lagal eggs-man, brasseur, saucisson guy, and beekeeper all need to buy stuff in from time to time, to keep their sales up).

Unless you are feeling something else that you're not saying here. If you feel it might all go pear shaped for whatever other reason.... then a "trial" is a perfect way to say "no, it is not working."

Yes that's exactly it Ben it's a delicate balance. We have been the holiday destination for all many years ago but now we have been here too long and are no longer interesting!!

I don't mind being clear it's the personal hope I haven't offended feeling after I send the answer, that I hate. Why do they put us in this position?

These kind of delicate questions fall into the same category to which also belongs the issue of how-to-tell-my-family-and-friends-that-our-French-house-is-not-a-free-holiday-home-in-which-they-get-catered-and-pampered-for-a-forthnight-at-little-or-no-costs.

Being very clear on these issues is best, there's no way around that. It might upset some people but then again, if they're already upset by this maybe the relations weren't that profoundly warm-hearted anyway. In this case you can simply (but in the polite English way) tell that (besides the evident legal aspects) you don't intend to mix business and family (well other than the thing you and your OH have going on), period.

I know that and I am pretty sure I have made that clear .

My husbands response was why would I want to sell something for her and only get a % to a customer that would buy something of ours for 100% gain . I know I sell clothes but I sell children's clothes that I design and make, jewellery is not suitable even as an accessory. As I said she's not the brightest!

I know what you mean about outfits. I find my items sell much better when presented as a whole look even if they do only buy one item.

My dilemma is that I hate having to say No and cause a potential family upset. Just my Libra tendencies I guess. Every body happy and in balance.

There is your answer Claire, you cant do it by law, as has been suggested ask her to meet the costs of adding her goods to your stall, photo copy all the paperwork and send it to her explaining what is involved it may just put her off, then again quoting from my own experience back in the 70s/ 80s we had a childrens wear shop, it always amazed me that one item on its own didnt sell put two items together that made up an outfit and it sold, those were the days of frilly dresses for little girls that made them look like little girls not a clone of someone off top of the pops, when i wasnt engineering i loved working in the shop it must have appealed to my feminine side

French inspectors would kill me and I have had 2 inspections since mid December . One from Ursaff and one from the marlet placier, full papers insurance etc.

This is the whole conversation with names removed for diplomacy!! Please bear in mind My SIL is not a bright bunny sweet but...... Do you think I have been clear?

  • ME:
    Do you have somewhere to sell them? Think about this site it's for crafters.
    Buy and sell handmade or vintage items, art and supplies on Etsy, the world's mo...See more
    I was gonna give some to H in next sales trip
    To see if sell in France
  • ME:
  • Etsy is a very good site for this type of product, much better than Ebay, and it's also good for findings/ beads also. Don't know that Howie's that much into beads ! LOL
  • HER I meant for your stalls ?? To accessorise your clothes !!
  • HER I didn't know what findings were till other day !
  • ME:Well now you have "found" out. LOL I can't do jewellery on the stall I'm only allowed clothes and statues as per my inscription with the artisans guild. I really do recommend Etsy to start an on-line boutique. It's good for the search engine and for the fees also.

As Sara said unless you are actually breaking the law do it on a sale or return, who knows while they come to have a look at the jewellery they may buy something else of yours, bringing in the customers is what its all about getting people to your stall,unless there are personel issues here,back in the uk i was expected to give up whole days and pamper to relations while neglecting my own customers that i wouldnt do and was called for it but i couldnt afford to work days without earning

Well there are a few responses I can think of:
You could say that the licence you have for the markets is very specific and doesn’t allow you to sell her jewellery.
Your husband is not prepared to take on other people’s stuff even though you are family as he has had trouble with this in the past
Both responses will probably leave her annoyed (it’ been my experience that people who push stuff onto you without asking never realise it’s a liberty to begin with!)
If you don’t want the backlash then take some of her stock and return it some months later apologising profusely that despite your best efforts it just didn’t sell!

Me personally, I call a spade a spade and if they don’t like it well that’s their issue not mine! I do know that sometimes this is not as easy as it seems but I do have a husband with broad shoulders who is quite happy to take the heat and blame for “not allowing me to do x” lol

I always hate it when someone puts you in this position in the first place and no it’s not you!
Good luck with that

Explain how busy you are keeping your own business going in such difficult times, but that you'd really like to help her and point her in the direction of all the French bureauracy she'll have to deal with to set up her own business. Alternatively, offer to go through all the hoops of setting yourself up to do her trading for her in France, get her to pay your social charges, etc.

Either of the above solutions should keep her off your back for quite a while!

Once she looks at Etsy's charges, they'll seem very small compared to the cost of doing business here in France!

Providing no market inspectors happen upon your stall, why don't you do sale or return on a trial basis. Tell her you will take a commission and if nothing moves by the end of the summer give the stock back

It shouldn't interfere with family ties if your decision is based on sales achieved and she can't take it personally if it transpires that customers don't want to buy products

One thing against the idea is that French artisans are suffering and the Made In France label is what most crafts buying customers are looking for as it supports their economy rather than someone else's