Why I Buy Handmade…

And why you should too!

Long before it became the “thing” to do I would take the time to make some gifts myself. I wanted the creative outlet, plus I felt that in making my own gifts I was showing my love.

Maybe as a child this wasn’t so. We, as a society, are immersed in the idea that the money you spend to give gifts is how your show you care. “If you really loved me, you’d buy me a Barbie, a Bike, a Gameboy, a diamond ring, a trip to Paris”… The more you spend the more you love me. But as I’ve grown older I’ve come to understand that the larger the gift doesn’t mean more caring. It’s the gift that is made with love and care. How I miss the nightgowns I would receive every Christmas from my grandmother.

One of the best gifts I’ve ever received was 3 vintage issues of Nancy Drew mysteries. Why? I received these gifts for my 44th birthday from my husband. Yes, my 44th. I cherish them because it meant that my husband listened to me. How I loved to read, how I loved Nancy Drew mysteries as a child. I collected the series, it began my love affair with a good mystery. I treasure these books, and yes I’ve re-read them. Yes, they are silly, juvenile, and easy to read. But they make me smile, and remember a time when I would spend days reading all about the trials and tribulations of Nancy, her Dad, and her friends George and Bess.

Over the last few years I’ve been making a concerted effort to buy or make handmade gifts. I have come to despise shopping malls. I only go to them when I’m in desperate need for something. I avoid them like the plague. Buying or making handmade allows me to shop online or at craft shows, art fairs, etc.

Buying handmade makes me feel like I’m contributing to the community whether locally or a far. I’m supporting other artisans like me. The range of talent out there is unbelievable. I peruse Etsy, Dwanda, Artfire, etc. daily. I always see something beautiful, useful, something to spark my imagination. These online marketplaces are not perfect, but hopefully they will improve with competition.

Another benefit to shopping handmade is a quiet activism. Shopping handmade means not contributing to sweatshops and mass production. Keeping money in smaller communities. Helping local economies. Buying handmade can also help with recycling and sustainability since many artisans choose organic fabrics and/or fairly-traded products for their craft.

I pledge to buy/sell handmade… do you?


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