Buying handmade is one of the most rewarding ways you can shop. Whether you commission a piece to be made just for you, or buy from a selection already on sale, you can’t beat the craftsmanship of something made by hand. As a crafter myself, here are just a few of the reasons why I believe you should make the effort to buy from your local makers!
1. Handmade is made with love.
As crafters, everything we make is created with love and dedication. No matter how big or small the item is, or how much time it’s taken to make, we give everything the same care. Buying from us means that whatever you order from us has been made with skill and a real passion for what we do. We put our heart into every piece we make.
“When buying from an artist/maker, you’re buying more than just an object/painting. You are buying hundreds of hours of failures and experimentation. You are buying days, weeks, and months of frustration and moments of pure joy. You aren’t just buying a ‘thing’, you’re buying a piece of heart, part of a soul, a moment of someone’s life. Most importantly, you’re buying the artist more time to do something they are passionate about.” – Rebecca Joy Plett
2. We ask for a fair price.
As makers, we will never ask for prices that are unrealistic. Our materials, time and skill are factored in to our prices, but most of us won’t make much profit. We’re notorious for cutting ourselves short, and we do so because we love what we do. Please don’t try and haggle on price when buying handmade, we don’t make much on the first price we give you! Unlike big companies, money isn’t the reason we do what we do.
3. You’ll get our total, undivided attention.
We will always give you the red carpet treatment as on of our customers, or even just a potential customer. No matter what you’d like us to make, from a pair of earrings to wedding invitations, we’ll always go the extra mile for you. We’ll give you our time, for free, to ensure what we design and make is exactly as you’d like. From the initial ideas through to receiving the finished piece, you’ll have been involved every step of the way.
4. We buy from crafters, too!
If you ever need a recommendation on where to buy something handmade, ask another crafter! If you know someone who makes greetings cards, you can bet they’ll be able to recommend another artisan if you’re looking for handmade soaps. We spend a lot of our time networking, attending craft stalls, and posting in Facebook groups to build relationships with other crafters. We won’t be offended that you’ve not asked us to try out a new craft. Networking is how most of our orders come in. Tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll almost always be able to recommend the perfect person for the job.
“The biggest reason I buy handmade is to support the many talented people out there who are trying to get started with their business. I find the care and love taken in making everything I buy comes through when I get it. I feel a sense of extra worth and pleasure with each purchase knowing I have helped someone get one step closer to their dream. Supporting each other is after all the most rewarding gift we can give each other!” – Bueller, Bueller.etsy.com
5. We’re honest.
We’ll always give you our honest opinion. If we think your design will turn out differently to what you have envisioned, or if we don’t think you’re 100% sure of what you want – we’ll help you. If you’re buying for yourself, or for a gift, we’ll work with you to suggest the best. If you’ve chosen pieces we think won’t work together, we’ll make recommendations. Of course, we’ll always take your final word, even if we have suggested something else. As we are so passionate about getting our work 100% right the first time, you can expect us to discuss a variety of possibilities with you. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised by what a crafter’s imagination can add to your ideas!
6. We’ve learnt from our mistakes.
Before we sold our items, we spent hours trying and failing. We’ve used up rolls of ribbons, bags of beads, and hundreds of pounds worth of materials to find our niche. We’ve learnt our craft the hard way, but are completely grateful for each error. Even when we are experts at what we do, we’re always buying new materials to experiment with new techniques. It’s very rare to find a crafter whose home isn’t stuffed with materials from their previous and ongoing projects.
7. You’re supporting more than just a small business.
Some crafters decide to take the leap and go full-time with what they do. Whether that be working from home, running a website or even opening up a bricks and mortar shop. When you buy from us, you’re directly supporting us to keep doing what we love. As our craft is our main source of income, you’re helping to keep food (and materials) on our tables! As well as all of the lovely benefits you get from commissioning a crafter, you’re ultimately helping someone keep their small business going. It’s a totally win-win scenario!
8. Crafters take the stress out of shopping.
We’ve all been there – frantically wading through a sea of people looking for the ‘perfect’ gift. You might not have realised it, but every time you decide to venture out to the high street to buy a gift, you’re already limiting your options. When you choose to commission a crafter you’re not only going to get a bespoke piece, you’ll be able to work together to create something the recipient will cherish forever. Handmade gifts are so much more personal and buying them mean you can sit back and relax, and avoid the chaos of the shopping centre!
So there’s just 8 of the reasons I’ve thought of as to why you should be buying from your local crafters, and most importantly, buying handmade.
Are you a crafter, or do you regularly purchase from local makers? Let me know what your thoughts in the comments!
Featured image by Anna Alekseeva.