Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Why Buy Handmade?

What a great writeup found on Cozy Cat's blog.

8 Reasons You Should Buy Handmade Products over Commercial Products
1. Handmade products are unique. Do you really want the same scarf, mug, earrings, necklace or other item that 20,000 other people have? Of course not! Handmade items are always unique, even if they are the same type of product because they are not made by machines they are crafted by human beings so each piece will have its’ own unique characteristics.
SO true! I may make this necklace over and over again but each and every one is completely unique and hand crafted by my own two hands!
2. Handmade items have personality. Life is not about being blah. Life is about expressing yourself and to do that your things need to have as much personality as you do. If you are happy with buying mass produced items that have no personality off a shelf at Wal Mart think about what that says about you. Don’t you want to express some personality?

3. Handmade items are special. When you get a gift don’t you feel a little bit more loved when someone gives you a handmade gift? Everyone loves getting handmade gifts or wearing something that was made just for them.
I LOVE to give handmade gifts and 75% of the gifts I'm giving this Christmas are handmade.
4. Handmade items last longer. Because they are made from high quality materials and handcrafted by trained artists items that are handmade last longer than low quality imported mass produced items.
I don't find this is *always* the case but an experienced hand crafter is going to use the best quality and have skills that ensure excellent quality.
5. Handmade goods are high quality. If you are a person who values the quality of an item more than the price then you already know that handmade items are far superior to mass produced items. While a mass produced item may be cheaper initially is it really cheaper when the item needs to be replaced a month later? When quality matters, go handmade!
How many times have I bought a cheap shirt at Costco and had to throw it away (or make a rag out of it) less than a year later because it gets holes or starts to wear through?!?! So frustrating.
6. Handmade items are not made by children in sweatshops in Third World countries making 10 cents a day. Experienced and trained craftspeople make each handmade item. So while you might pay a few dollars more for a handmade item it’s because you are paying for quality materials, years of experience, artistic talent, and well-honed craftsmanship. Isn’t that worth paying for?
I will say that the kids in Third World countries are going to work no matter what because 10 cents a day is more than nothing. Their families need to eat too. I'm not sure that buying the products marked up 1,000 times really helps them though. I think it's more important to change the climate in their country so they can go to school instead of working 12 hour days.
7. When you buy handmade you are supporting traditional arts and crafts techniques that have passed down through generations. In today’s high tech world the old arts and crafts traditions are being replaced by mass production but when you buy handmade you are saying that you prefer your items to be high quality pieces of art instead of mass produced trinkets.
I admit...I love trinkets. I have to control myself and luckily my husband isn't that interested in these things. I've gotten much better at avoiding the "stuff" on the shelves at Walmart.
8. When you buy handmade you are supporting local and small businesses. By paying artists and craftspeople for their goods you are supporting them and all the businesses that they do business with. If you are a person who believes in supporting your community economically then buying from local artists is a great way to support your community and make sure that your money goes to support local businesses.
Again, when I shop at Walmart I'm still supporting a local business with local employees. People work there who live in my community. One of the Walmarts near my grandparent's house is the main source of employment and shopping for people in the area. HOWEVER, I only buy things that I can't get from artisans like Tylenol and Toilet Paper. =)
Keep these things in mind the next time you see a scarf, a bracelet, some great handmade soap or other item and think,” I could get that for half price at Wal Mart.”!
So the next time you need a gift for someone - buy handmade. Jewelry, scarves, bath and body. It's all available out there - handmade by someone with love and care.


Anonymous said...

I write a monthly newsletters for my ladies - may I reference, or cut and paste this, in my next edition?

You can see a sample of my work on my website at www.lisamariediasdesigns.com

Thank you!

Jennifer said...

Yes, handmade by an artisan is far superior to prefab dullness.
BTW-Good timing with the post, gave me an opportunity to gush and link you all at the same time.

CastoCreations said...

Ah, thank you jennifer!

LisaMarie...I didn't write it but feel free to reference it and the original author. :)