It is no secret that I love handmade things. I make and sell handmade children's clothes, I buy handmade gifts for friends and family and I could wander round craft markets and artisan fairs looking at handcrafted goods for hours. It brings me great joy when I stumble upon a craft fair when we are on a day out (I think it pleases my husband less but perhaps that is for a different blog post…!)
Handmade items are incomparable to mass produced goods. They are not made in the same way and we shouldn’t view them the same way when we buy them. But what is about handmade goods that mean people are prepared to pay more and perhaps wait longer for them. Why should you choose a handmade gift over a mass produced item? Here are several reasons I love handmade and why I think it is better to buy handmade from a small business when you can.
When you buy handmade you are buying something that is….
Unique and Individual
When you buy a handmade item you can guarantee that there will be no other quite like it. The maker might have made several that look the same but as each will have been made individually and not as part of a factory line you can be sure it will not be the same as anything else available. You can find a handcrafted item that is exactly what you want, you might even be able to purchase a custom piece of work and get something that is made just for you – how cool is that?!
Ethical and Sustainable
Handmade goods are not made in the same way mass produced ones are. Small businesses don’t buy fabrics and materials in bulk – they can’t force down production and labour costs. Handmade might cost more but you can be sure that you are paying a fair price for it. There will be no hidden costs to your item – no cheap labour, no unethical production practises and you know that the money you pay will go directly to the maker!
Supporting ‘real people’
A few months ago I stumbled across a photo on Instagram that perfectly sums this up. And it really is true. When you buy from a small business you can be sure that you are directly impacting that person. I know that every order I receive makes me do a happy dance! So when you buy a handmade item you can be sure that there is a person like me smiling every time and order comes in! I also love to know that I am supporting other small businesses – I follow them on Instagram and facebook and it is such a joy to see the pleasure that other people take in their work!
Forever – not just for nowHandmade goods are often a much better quality than mass produced things – and when you have paid for something to be made just for you, or that you love not just because it ‘on trend’ or because you just needed a cheap replacement you will think twice before you throw it out. I know that handmade children’s clothing have a high resale value – there are lots of Facebook groups dedicated to handmade clothes resales – so you might spend more in the first instance but you will recoup some of its value when you want or need to pass it on. You can also find some great bargains in these groups - beautiful, individual handmade items for really good prices.
So next time you pass a craft fair, or spot some stalls in town why not take a look and see what special things you can buy as gifts or add to your home? And if you have birthdays or occasions coming up why not take a look at a small business for an inspiring gift and give a small business a happy dance!
Why not leave a comment below and tell me why (or why not!) you love handmade!