Thursday, October 21, 2010

Why Handmade?

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?


  1. Jeez, lady, you just about have me crying! Although I don't remember it, my mom used to crochet. I don't know why I don't remember it, but I don't. My grandma taught me how to crochet when I was 12 or 13. I totally remember her crocheting! I wish my mom and I had shared an interest in crocheting together. I, sadly, was not very good at it and did not pick it back up until the Christmas after mom died! :(

    I try to buy handmade too, because someone put their own heart, soul, thoughts and ideas into that particular item. I just bought the cutest little pirates from a fellow blogger and Etsy member the other day! I can't wait to get them!!!

  2. Thanks for sharing! I've loved handmade since I was little. All your points are spot on! "Heart and soul!" Handmade's the only way to go!

  3. EXACTLY! Well written points. This is exactly what I have been trying to get across to people. I love that I support another creative, talented person. You may have to pay slightly more but handmade lasts longer.

    It used to bother me when people would look at a price and walk away. I am proud of my pillows and I want them to be purchased by someone that adores them as much as I do.

    Thanks for writing this article, I hope it gets seen by loads of people. Way to go!

  4. My desire to buy homemade products have rubbed off on my family and friends. Everytime someone has a baby I know its my responsibility to crochet a blanket for the new little one. Homemade blankies stand up to the strolled rollovers, pavement drags and anything else in their way. Love that your mentioned generations past. Brings back good memories of learning to crochet. Let's all do are best to pass it on to our younger generation.

  5. I'm with you!

    especially on the 1st point, I like the fact that our money goes straight into the pockets of those who made the items, which leads to the 2nd point when you learn the passion & drive behind those handmade goodies, it doesn't matter if handmade costs a bit more!

  6. Wow, beautiful article!
    The reason #6 - because you might never meet another person wearing exactly same scarf. Also handmade scarf can be way more original than from a common shop. Handmade higlights your individuality!

  7. Excellent piece of writing!
    Every handmade item does have a story and people pour their heart and soul into their work.
    Let's hear it for the world of handmade!!

  8. You have said it all so eloquently! I'd love to share this on my blog and link back to you here! May I?

  9. Whyte, you are more than welcome to.

    Thank everyone for the comments! I'm so glad to call the handmade community my community. Such a wonderful, lovely group of people. Three cheers for the beautiful, unique and special handmade!