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The Good and The Bad

You know, it seems like now that we live in this virtual world of ours we should spend our days in constant amazement. We have the ability to meet new people, learn anything imaginable, and experience-even if it’s just virtually-the world as others see it. It can be-and, ideally, should be-an absolutely amazing thing.

And, for the most part, it is.

Through Meatbagz we’ve gotten to be far more socially outgoing than we would be/are in real life. Instead of a couple of broads in a small, upstate New York town (where everybody knows us-or at least thinks they do-already), we’ve gotten to be the gals from Meatbagz. We’re purveyors of cool bagz, designers of awesome accessories, and, even better, we get to get to know-again, even if it’s just virtually-some really amazing people. And honestly, that’s what makes our day even more than making a little money.

Over the last month or so we’ve heard from a few separate customers and folks we’ve featured on our Shout Outs who have been so absolutely lovely it’s made our day. One artist thanked us for featuring her work on the Shout Out by forwarding us a free printable product. Do you know how great that made us feel? Not just because of the freebie, because we never would have looked for or expected that, but because of the genuine and wonderful sentiment behind it. It made us grin from ear to ear that we could give this lovely woman a little of well deserved recognition, and it was so great to have a chance to get to know her a bit in our e-mail exchanges.

We had another woman who thanked us for featuring her and expressed gratitude because lately she had been feeling like Etsy, and the world of the handmade craft, had been becoming a negative influence in her life. For whatever reason, she fell into our view (and our Shout Out) at the exact right time, and she wanted to let us know how much she appreciated being appreciated. And we were so, so happy that we could fill that role for her.

We’ve met tons of other amazing people, too. Some of whom we’ve come to count as friends, even though we’ve never met in person. (Trust us, for a couple of gals from the country, that seems like a weird thing to say even if kids these days would think we’re nuts for even making a note of the difference.)

But with all of the positivity, we’ve also been exposed to some of the negatives as well. We had a potential customer contact us last week about purchasing a bag. They had been burned by a bad purchase with another seller, and things did not end well. Obviously we weren’t a part of the interaction and we wouldn’t want to call anyone out or take sides without knowing the full story, but in any case, the customer purchased a vintage bag from someone and ended up being extremely unhappy with the sale but was stuck with it. Despite our best efforts to communicate with them about the vintage bag of ours that they were interested in, in the end they decided that they had been burned too badly in the past, assured us it was nothing personal, but said that they lacked confidence in buying anything from Etsy again.

A one time customer and amazing photographer who we’ve worked with posted on facebook the other day about how her photographs, as well as the artwork of others, were being stolen by an Etsy seller and printed onto cheap iphone cases. The seller apparently has had other shops shut down in the past but he or she just keeps opening up a new shop after new shop and continues this completely disgusting practice. We can only imagine how infuriating and frustrating this must be for the artists whose work is being stolen from them, and it saddens us to think of people’s work being stolen and sold without their permission.

Our point is this: There’s good and bad that comes with Etsy, the internet, or hey, just interacting with people in any form. It makes us sad to think of the people we’ve come across who have had a hard time, even if that hard time is not of our making. And it makes us so incredibly happy and grateful to have a positive impact in people’s lives just by a Shout Out feature, getting them a bag that makes them feel great, or even just letting them know that we care what they have to say. So as you head out into that real or virtual world today, do us a favor, peeps: try to make it a good day for everyone you meet. You better believe that we’ll be trying to do the same.

Be nice to people. BitsoTruth. $12.