Friday, February 27, 2009

I Took the Pledge...will you? Part II

As I was saying on Wednesday, I took the pledge to buy homemade and I'm inviting you to take the pledge with me. In part I of this blog series, I begin listing my reasons for buying handmade items by giving you an example of the stories you can share with others about the Artist or the particular piece. Today, I will continue with my reasons for support:

#2. Handmade Items are Unique
Each handcrafted item designed by an artist is unique and in some cases one of a kind. You won't find your neighbor or best friend scurrying off to find a replica, because there likely won't be one. There are no assembly lines of production workers and no industrial machines. What you'll likely find as the workshop is a garage, spare room, basement, corner or even dining room table. In addition, you'll probably find some hand tools, a small workspace or bench, and a few pieces of equipment, depending on the craft, and one or two talented designers. My own personal workspace is about 49 x 36! At times it can be even smaller than that when it travels with me to my sons sports practices. Please excuse my messy space in the photo, I'm working on clearing some stuff away this week, but it's like this most of the time and believe it or not, most of us Artisans/designers can't create when things are too organized...we need chaos! Now... that tag that often comes with a retail purchase that reads "made by somebody you don't know", suddenly means even less to you when you're using or wearing your new handmade item by an Artist you just met over the weekend, who told you how they got started, who told you the story behind that design and how it took 3 hours, two weeks or two months to make. The price tag also may begin to not look so bad, as handcrafted items are sometimes a little more expensive, but the craftsmanship and uniqueness of it all somehow removes the sticker shock.

#3. Handmade items are High Quality
Most Artisans put a lot of pride in the designs that they make. They labor over the design creation process as well as the actual creating of the piece. They realize that one bad product could mean the end of their business and the trust of their clients. They agonize over perfection and choose high quality materials that last. The last thing I want when I sell a piece of jewelry is for it to turn or fall apart on a customer... could you imagine my dwindling customer base? For some, their business is their career, and for others it's a passion, or part time job; either way, neither can afford a bad rep. Handmade items are made to last! I have an old quilt that my grandmother made that is stuffed with clothes instead of filling. When I was young I could barely move when sleeping underneath this thing, but guess what? The quilt is over 70 years old and we still use it on cold nights...handmade means heirloom!

So, the next time you ponder over whether or not to purchase a handmade item, look it over closely and remember this post. The uniqueness, quality and detail put into the piece will definitely be something you can be proud to show off and pass along for years.

If you already buy handmade and want your name entered into a drawing for a FREE pair of the handmade earrings below (your choice), leave me a comment and tell me why you buy handmade, don't forget to add your email address so that I can contact you. Get your name entered twice if you sign up for updates or become a follower. Make sure you let me know you've signed up when you leave your comment. Drawing will be held Wednesday, March 4th...Good Luck!



dominique henry said...

I actually got into to buying handmade to assist a coworker who had fallen on hard times. As a single mother she needed to make additional money so she started to make jewelry. I would always buy a couple pieces from her. I have not bought handmade since last year but I am getting back into it asap! I love the pieces on your site!! I feel that buying handmade falls in line with why we buy american. For me its a support thing. I love to see and support people out working hard and making beautiful items that help to make others happy!

Anonymous said...

I love buying handmade jewelry because no 2 are alike, as well as it is more pesonal and obviously unique. The quality is better, and I can find more of what I am looking for. just absolutely LOVE handmade! Keep up fantastic work!

Anonymous said...

I love handmade jewelry because it is unique, often one of a kind, and can be specially made for specific outfits or ocassions. I also love making my own (thank you Dee!).

let me know if you need my email since you have it via our jewelry group.

Dawn Sherwood

Runako Designs by Dee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Runako Designs by Dee said...

Hi Dominique, Thank you! and what a great way to start buying handmade! If you're in Richmond, I'm sure you attend Arts in the Park every year..I love that event, and I never miss it!

Runako Designs by Dee said...

Hi Dawn, thanks, and yes I have you. See you in a few weeks hopefully!

Elaine said...

I buy handmade because I believe in handmade.

I can appreciate a product created by an individual artist over a product that's been massed produced. An artist will put pride in their work. It shows up in the details. The quality and the level of craftsmanship are beyond compare.

Handmade - A product that makes you feel like it was made with you in mind.

You just can't compare the quality of work of a true artist to work that has been massed produced.

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