Why buy Handmade?

Today on Etsy, someone posted a question that drew a hoard of responses - all equally correct, and beautiful. Why buy handmade?

Well, let me first tell you my reasons.

When you buy something handmade, you're buying a story, a part of a persons life, a joy, and sometimes a memory. When you support the handmade market, you're not lining the wallets of wall street, or the big corporations. You're helping enrich the lives of people who want to create beauty in the world - and to share that beauty with others. Handmade is so much more than someone "making" a craft item - it's love, and passion, and the desire to do something more with our lives than just be a statistic for a company that doesn't see it's employees as people - rather as numbers. That is what handmade means to me.

Another fellow artist from HotOffHerHook.etsy.com said, "To support small and/or local businesses; Handmade is so very often 'bettermade' than machine made, in its look, texture, and feel; Materials chosen to be used in handmade are often of superior quality than those used for machine made." She is right. Handmade items are made with love and care. Artists don't source the cheapest material to make the most profit. Most artists LOSE MONEY when selling their hand made items. Making an item means more than profit. It's taking pride in what one makes with their own two hands.

Annette from RescueMyRacks.etsy.com said, "My goal is to upcycle/recycle items that were bound for a landfill and give them new life. Instead of buying new wood, use what is already out there." Upcycling and repurposing in the handmade world is a big deal. We're not wasteful people. We save scraps because some day, we might be able to incorporate it into another project. We see beauty where others may see trash. Repurposing old furniture, old clothes, hell, even old toys is all part of what encompasses the term "handmade". Keeping things beautiful while preventing unnecessary waste is key. Leave a mark on the world, but leave a better planet for the next generation.

If I drive to a big box store right now, I'm not going to have that same euphoric feeling I do when I buy something made by someone elses hands. I don't get that happy feeling I would knowing my money is going to a mom working for extra money to buy her kids a gift, a dance lesson, or even something special for herself. I won't have that personal experience that I've grown to love on Etsy dealing directly with the maker of a special treasure. There is a unique one on one feeling you get when you deal with an artist. They CARE about making you happy. They WANT you to love their hand made items.

There is history in creativity. Paula from www.etsy.com/shop/PTurnbullandBishop said, "Traditions, making things the way it was done so many years ago. Keeping the craft tradition alive and passing it on to others. Native American style beadwork like ours where every stitch must be kept inside the leather because bags didn't have linings sewn in them. Items that other sellers make isn't just a craft but it was a way of life years ago. The Blacksmith, the Rug maker, the cobbler or the Furniture maker. These days with such a throw away attitude it is great to have such a wide variety of quality handmade items in one place."

So, this is why you should support hand made. Care where your money goes. Care about the people behind the product. Care that you're going to be receiving something that can be treasured and loved for generations. Handmade is made with love.

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