I adore buying handmade. Not just because I sell handmade either! I love buying handmade for several reasons that are very important to me.
1. I like my money to go to a person instead of a corporation. There are real people behind handmade products. They have real families. They have real stories. They aren't executives sitting in an office getting rich off the hard work of others. They are people like me. People like you. They work hard and they deserve to be paid well for it. I would rather hand my money over to them instead of Walmart or Target any day of the week and twice on Tuesdays.
2. Handmade products have a story. I am all about stories! I love a good tale! Every handmade product has a story behind it. A story of a young single mother raising two beautiful daughters while sewing to put food on the table. A story of a middle aged man who left his desk job to follow his passion for working with wood. The story of inspiration sprung out of a single moment in time listening to a robin sing in the park. Those stories cling to the items and become a part of my home, my family, myself. I think it's beautiful.
3. Handmade products are higher quality. It's just true. People who make their own products take pride in them. They produce work that is amazingly high quality. Maybe it's just me but when I spend my money on something, I want the best. Handmade, in my very humble (sometimes) opinion, is the best.
4. Handmade products connect me to other people. This is my biggest reason for buying handmade. It is also my biggest reason for selling my own handmade products. When you buy a scarf from Wally World (shudder) you get a scarf that came off the assembly line, was made as cheaply as possible, is covered in chemicals and is completely impersonal. When you buy a scarf from me, you get a product that was thought up by me. I have carefully and with glee selected just the right yarn to knit or crochet it with. MY hands made that scarf. The same hands that knead the bread dough for my family's meals. The same hands that wipe the tears from my child's eyes when they are hurt or sad or afraid. The same hands pick flowers and vegetables from my garden. A handmade product is highly personal. Every time you wear a handmade scarf or drink your coffee out of a handmade mug or look in awe at a handmade art piece you are connected to another human being. It is an awesome and humbling thing to think about. In this vast world, this infinite universe, we can connect to other people. People we never would have met, never would have know and they become a part of our lives through their product. I just love that!
5. Handmade products connect us with our past. When I pick up my crochet hook I cannot help but think of the thousands of women through history who have made exactly the same stitches I am making. My great-grandmother crocheted. I only knew her for a few year of my life but every time I crochet, every time I wear a crocheted scarf or snuggle my children into bed in a crocheted blanket, I think of Great Grandma Doris. These arts, these crafts have been passed down generation to generation and when we participate in them, whether through the craft itself or just by using a handcrafted product, we are connected to our ancestry, our history.
Those are the big ones for me. Those reasons and so many more are why I buy handmade whenever possible. What are your reasons?