The handmade movement has allowed artisans from all over the world to make their creations easily accessible to consumers. In this era of online retail, you can shop an infinite selection of handmade gifts from the comfort of your home. Plus, affordable shipping options make it easy to have that item sent directly to your door, relatively quickly. This means handmade is now a viable option for any occasion. Beyond convenience, what you gain from a handmade purchase is much more than just another gift.
There are many surprising benefits that make buying handmade a smart choice and a more valuable alternative than shopping mainstream. Here are ten compelling reasons that will hopefully make you put some extra thought into your next gift buying purchase.
1. Feel-Good Factor
The intimate and personal shopping experience attained from a handmade purchase is a feeling that a big box store is unable to match. Your ability to help an artist fulfill their dreams will leave you with a sense of value and self-worth. You can take pleasure in knowing that your purchase has a profound effect on their life – as this is their livelihood and how they support their family. Be proud to buy handmade!
Each handmade purchase is an original idea crafted by a skilled maker. These items are not easily replicated due to the intricacy of each piece. Even with products of the same style, levels of variation will occur in color, texture and shape. The personal touches added during the design process allow the artist to impart each piece with its own individual personality. This accentuates the charm of handmade and allows each one-of-a-kind creation to be a true work of art.
If you want exceptional quality for your money – handmade is the best choice. Mass produced items have a tendency to be made as inexpensively as possible in order to maximize profits. While artisans typically use the highest quality materials and ingredients, often hand-picked and locally sourced. They may spend hours perfecting each piece, giving great attention to detail. There is no comparison to an item just rolling-off the assembly line with a piece touched and shaped by human hands.
The desire to create is an innate spirit that lives on the inside of each of us. It gives us a way to express our individuality and imagination. This creative spark guides an artist’s passion, enthusiasm and commitment to their skill; fulfilling an essential need in contemporary society. We should all strive, both as makers and as patrons, to embrace the value of creative spirit and give a voice to human talent and self-expression.
With handmade you have the opportunity to give a truly customized gift. Makers love working with their customers and can usually accommodate most custom requests. Anything from a personalized name to colors and designs, an item can be tailor-made to meet your needs and specifications. Instead of spending hours searching for the perfect gift, save yourself time and give a custom-designed expression from the heart.
6. Keep Tradition Alive
You can visibly see the hard work and dedication that went into making each handmade treasure. These are techniques that are rooted in the foundation of our history, back to a time when craftmanship and quality prevailed. Too often today these conventional techniques are replaced by shortcuts and conveniences allowed by our modern world. Let’s stay true to tradition and keep these time-honored skills alive.
Handmade means that an item is predominately made by human hands – not machinery. This conserves energy by reducing the need for large production facilities and eliminating any build of chemicals and waste. In an effort to pioneer a more sustainable future, handmade products are often made using green processes and many makers implement best practices for packaging. In addition, you are likely to find recycled, reclaimed and repurposed materials used in the making of many of those items. This makes handmade a better choice for shoppers looking to buy goods made in a more earth-conscious manner.
8. Local Artisan Support
By supporting local artisans, you are actually investing money back into the community where you live, which is vital in today’s economy. You are supporting a person who may only have a small craft studio or just a room set aside in their home to pursue a trade that they love. The artist is often the only person responsible for crafting, packaging, marketing, selling and customer service. They have a lot invested in each piece, and your support is more that just a profit to them. Your purchase is a compliment to their work and encouragement to continue on the path to follow their dream.
9. Connection to the Maker
Shopping handmade means that you can make a lasting connection with a real person. Your purchase represents a relationship with the maker and an appreciation for their work. You get to know the individual story behind each piece, including why and how it was created. You can actually talk person-to-person with the maker and share your specific reasons for choosing to buy their work. This enables that social connection to form and takes buying handmade to a more personal level.
10. Handmade Means Love
Handmade is where thought, love and creativity come to life. A true artist has a passion that shines through into what they make. The individual attention given during the creation process is what makes each piece special. In the same way, a handmade gift is emblematic of how you can express your feelings of appreciation and gratitude to the recipient. The essence of love instilled by the artisan is essentially transferred through the act of giving.
Buying handmade gifts for the people you care about is a memorable and meaningful choice. Created in an environment of love, handmade products are sold with honesty and integrity and are meant to last a lifetime. Your friends and family will appreciate the value of owning an authentic handcrafted piece of art instead of a factory-made product.
In this current environment, shaped by rapidly changing economic events, it is crucial that we develop a deeper understanding of how goods are made and where the materials came from. Let’s reignite our desire and appreciation for local artisan gifts and craft processes. Starting today, I encourage everyone to buy more handmade gifts; not just for the holidays but for every occasion.
Need help finding the perfect handmade gift? Use our handmade gift guide to find creative ideas for everyone on your list.