Posted on June 30th, 2022
Each time you give or receive a handmade gift, you can rest assured that someone has put honest and genuine thought into it. Not simply the artist, who undoubtedly put thought and concerted effort into creating something original and from scratch but also the buyer and recipient, who clearly value the art of the craft.
Speaking of value, those who create handmade product understand the value of making that product the highest of quality. While it is tempting to get a deal rather than pay a higher price, it’s important to remember that spending less typically means you’re getting less; less integrity of the product, less trust in where it came from, and a lesser quality of material.
Every nick in the wood, each wire-wrapped gemstone, and every brushstroke on the canvas of a handmade item makes it uniquely its own. When you buy handmade, you are paying for a commitment to authenticity and a guarantee that no two pieces will ever be exactly alike; and that is pretty priceless.
Buying handmade means that the number of hands your item passes through is far fewer than those of big biz manufacturers (and even then it is debatable whether real hands are ever involved). Keeping the process small ensures that the footprint of a handmade good is tiny. And, in a world where footprints seem to be getting bigger and bigger, there is certainly nothing wrong with each of us sporting a smaller proverbial shoe.
The over-production of many products – especially those that require natural materials, metals and minerals – amplifies the potential for the unethical sourcing of goods. More often than not, artisans who specialize in handmade goods care greatly about where their materials come from and will pay more for that quality and subsequent peace of mind. Simply put, handmade items offer a more sustainable alternative to their “bulkier” counterparts.
“Support your local economy.” It is a topic that is often discussed but not always upheld. The quickest, most effective way to keep small businesses open and keep the money you spend feeding into and through your community, is to support local endeavors. Buying local and handmade is a big step in the right direction.
I alluded to it in #4 but it is important enough to mention twice. No product made in a factory, on a machine, moved down a conveyor belt, packaged with mechanical arms, and shipped out via a flatbed truck receives the same attention to detail and consideration that a handmade item does. Handmade is not a buzzword, it is a genuine and authentic representation of the good you are investing in - made by hand.
Buying mass-produced products can feel cold and impersonal but the beauty of handmade is that many times, it can be made just for you. Personalizing your piece is something to take pride in.
These days, there are no shortages of artists, tastemakers, crafts(wo)men, and the like making the most exquisite of handmade items. Whether exploring your local market, art festival, boutique, or doing a basic online search for “handmade (insert desired item here)”, odds are handmade is an arm’s reach away.
Last but certainly not least, handmade is a “soup to nuts” endeavor. From conception to creation, handmade goods often stay under one small, mighty, and proud roof. And when you buy handmade, you’ll likely shake the hands that made your item. Is there anything better than that?