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Handmade vs Big-Box Stores: Why Choose Handmade?

When it comes time to buy something for yourself, your friends, your family, or for the holidays, it’s too convenient to go to a local big-box store, or to shop online at places such as Amazon or Target.  However, did you know that, most likely, you will find what you’re looking for (or close to it!) that is handmade by someone who put a lot of heart and soul into making that product?  Not machines making hundreds at a time.  A human…an artist…who used their two hands to create something wonderful.

With a slew of places to buy handmade – you have access to thousands upon thousands of items that are just waiting to be enjoyed by someone who appreciates the time and effort that was given to create that amazing thing.  Have you heard of Etsy?  I’m sure you have. It’s the mecca of handmade.  I’m not just saying that because I sell on there.  You can find handmade items all over the place.  Even neighboring towns have opened up shops exclusive to locally made goods.  The farmers markets have also joined in on the trend.  You can find all kinds of great locally made products there other than produce.  Local craft markets – they are more than quilts and sun catchers, you know.

If you aren’t convinced already…let me give you some to buy handmade and shop local:

  • You support your local economy and community.
  • You can usually find some pretty unique items, not something you can get “just anywhere”.
  • Many artisans will create something especially for you – they call it “customized” items (color changes, names added, etc.). Since they are already hand-making the item, sometimes customizing it for you is do-able.  Big-box stores don’t do that!
  • You are not only supporting their business, you are helping them make a living. This may be their main source of income, and you are helping that person pay for everyday necessities, their mortgage, their food, etc.  As I said before, you are supporting your community and your local economy.
  • You don’t have to deal with crowded stores or long lines at the registers.
  • When you attend local markets and craft fairs – you deal with the “business owner” face to face”. Have questions?  They have answers!  Want to connect with them again later on? You most likely have their direct email and/or phone number.  No calling customer support or some 800-number waiting in a queue.
  • You will probably get most of your shopping done all at once! Whether it’s online at a place such as Etsy, or if you are at a market or craft show.  You have lots of items to choose from…you shouldn’t have an excuse NOT to take care of your shopping list!  Especially around the holidays…the markets and fairs are all over (and usually most weekends up until the holiday!).  Is Aunt Sue a wine lover who has everything?  I bet you’ll find something she doesn’t own!  Seriously – the choices are HUGE.

I know Spring is approaching, and the holidays are the LAST thing on your mind.  BUT – why not start now?  Not necessarily for the holidays, but maybe for an upcoming birthday, Mother’s Day, Easter…or just a little something for yourself.  Don’t you deserve something special?

I ask that you give it a try – buying handmade...seriously…the thought that I own something that someone made with their own two hands is a comforting feeling.  I know that person put a lot of time and effort into making that item.  Visit a local craft fair or farmers market.  Support your local artisans. Support small business.  Support handmade.