Monday, August 17, 2009

The Handmade Crusade Part 1

Welcome to any new readers who may have found this blog through my Etsy shop. If so, it's preaching to the choir to tell you why buying handmade is great, but that's not the idea. The idea is to tell everyone who isn't buying handmade -yet- why it's awesome. If there's someone you know who seems to be a retail junkie, feel free to share this post with them. Otherwise, for the members of my street team, I have a plan in the works for this holiday season on how we can spread the word. Stay tuned!

Why buy handmade?
Oh, where do I start? There are lots of reasons, but today we're going to focus on one of them-

Ever watch Antiques Roadshow? Notice how the older something is, the better the quality of the craftsmanship seems to be? Some of the work I see seems near impossible to me, because the skills needed for these crafts have fallen off over the years. That's because as we neared the industrial revolution and the economy changed, it didn't make as much sense- profit-wise- to keep making things by hand. Machine-made is a good idea on some items, like cars. But when was the last time a button fell off of a new garment you bought after just a couple of washings? Or that you ripped a seam by removing a tag? Or that a piece of jewelry just broke, without any stress whatsoever?

Handmade artisans make their goods because they're passionate about it, and almost always, the quality of handmade work is exceptional, especially when compared to assembly line products. Part of the reason for this is that most of the time people who handmake goods also hand-sell those goods. People who buy them often look the maker in the eye, or talk to them directly. They're accountable. And they respect their craft, their work, and their buyers. They aren't going to look you in the eye and take money for a pile of crap. And most crafters give their goods as gifts to family and friends, and they aren't going to give a gift of poor quality. When I make something, I always ask "would I buy this? would I be happy with the quality, the design, the function?"And I don't sell it if the answer to any of those questions is no.

Every dollar I earn is hard for me to get, and money isn't coming easily for most people these days. So when you have the decision to get a $10 shirt at WalMart- or a $10 handprinted garment from a craftsperson through Etsy- go handmade. And support the handmade crusade by telling a friend!

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