Thursday, January 1, 2009

Why Buy Handmade?

For centuries craftspeople were very important to their towns and villages. Townspeople depended upon craftspeople for their goods because they could not get along without them. Talent and skill were a considered a necessity and cherished. The "trade" as it was called gave these skilled craftspeople a chance to train the young willing to learn and earn some money too. The senior craftsperson felt great pride in passing on their skills to keep the trade alive. It was truly a cottage industry.
Today, all artists and craftspeople, including myself, still love and take pride in their work. Although craftspeople do not have their towns depending on them to produce goods, they are always looking for creative and unique ways to bring their art into the world as gifts. Each gift is a priceless treasure that will endure for years to come. Buying unique gifts gives these craftspeople the support they need to continue their work, their craft, their trade, generate interest, and earn a living.
I remember the most thoughtful gift I ever got was a handmade amethyst silver necklace. It was original, unique, beautiful, made with care and attention, featuring the skill and craftsmanship and personal touches that cannot be matched by mass production. Knowing I was the only one to own this precious treasure made me feel special.
Being an artisan, I appreciated the time and skill it took to make the idea in one's head become a reality. Buying handmade makes a statement. It means making a conscious decision to buy handmade products instead of mass produced ones. Buyers appreciate quality, craftsmanship, and supporting small businesses instead of big retail stores.
Most artisans use unique materials. When you buy handmade products you are paying more for a handmade item but it is really an investment. You, the buyer, are helping to support the artist and have a unique heirloom item to be enjoyed for years to come. Meaningful gift giving comes from the heart, what better way to honor someone who is unique with a gift the is as special as they are.
Our society has been encouraged to be consumers, not producers, of our own goods. Mass production has left us with cookie cutter decor, clothing and furnishings. Now with the failing economy more and more people are turning their hobby into a business to earn a living. The cottage industry is now returning. Dining room tables are turned into a work space to cut material used for sewing clothing, stay at home moms are making jewelry while the kids are at school, Knitting and crocheting circles are returning, the artist making paintings that promote a good cause, I could go on.
Just think, back in the remote past craftspeople were needed and appreciated. Today we have come full circle back to our cottage industry roots. Economies were built on the backs of the craftspeople and creative thinkers, until the industrial revolution occurred. Isn't it funny how history repeats itself?

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1 comment:

The Muse said...

you are now posted on A Divas Hammer and are more than welcome to share my testimony with clients:) or shoppers...you can also use the Muse badge :)

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