Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Took The Pledge..will you?...Pt. I

I took the pledge...why don't you? I'm sure you're thinking this post was meant as a plug for my jewelry. Why else would she be promoting handmade? Well, this post is about another passion of mine, even before I started making jewelry, and I'm going to share with you why I took the pledge in hopes that I can encourage you to do the same. I'll also be featuring great handmade and Fair Trade finds on the web and sharing those products with you on a regular basis, in addition to all the other nuts and bolts.

Okay, so why should you buy handmade? For the purpose of this post and future posts, we'll refer to all makers of handcrafted items as Artisans. Over the next several weeks, I'll be telling you in separate posts, why I think you should buy handmade and hopefully by the end, you'll take the pledge with me. So, lets start with my favorite reason:

Handmade Items Have a Story

#1. There is usually a story behind a handmade item, whether it be the concept behind the business or the design of that particular piece, or the background of the artist, there is a story, I promise. You will always be able to share that story with someone else and you'll always remember it.

Every holiday season my son and I visit Carytown in Richmond, Virginia for some unique gift shopping. We stopped in one of my favorites this year, Ten Thousand Villages (available online). While I was off looking at something else, my son and a sales woman were huddling over by the music instruments working out a game plan. He then finds me by the music station and pulls me over to the instruments and the lady. He proceeds to show and demonstrate this metal bowl that hums. he was so mesmerized and taken in by the sound coming from this thing in his hand, he just had to have it. I asked the sales lady for the price...and at the tune of $98.00, (photo to your left) I quickly said to my son, "not today buddy", and suggested that he save some of his money and come back for it. But they didn't give up on me that easy, the wonderful volunteer, that's right folks...VOLUNTEER sells lady was doing her job that Saturday of tugging at my heart. She started with the following... "these bowls are called singing bowls. They are solid brass, and handmade in Tibet, and are used for meditation and sometimes prayer. Because they are made by hand, each bowl has a different sound." She then proceeds to demonstrate this and hands another bowl to my son, "this one only cost $40.00" (keep in mind they had a head start on this game plan) and gives me the larger bowl ($98.00).. she continues.... "Now if you hold this in your hands and rub the wooden dowel against the bowl, the humming starts. You will feel a warm vibration going up your arm and into your chest." And I DID!!! I tell you, it was a really weird feeling...I felt relaxed and at peace, just where they wanted me! She was really good, because what she probably really wanted to say was..." your sappy heart!"..but she's not finished with me yet....she tops it off with the you know Ten Thousand Villages is a Non-for-profit organization and the proceeds from the sale of these bowls, go back to a organization named New Sadle, where they offer FREE medical care to ARTISANS..(that would be the bowl makers folks) in Tibet who suffer with LEPROSY!"

Need I say more? okay, I will... the $40.00 bowl ----------> is downstairs now in our living room, where Eric tells the story and demonstrates to most guest who stop by. Purchase handmade and tell someone the story.

*don't forget to follow this blog, so you don't miss the rest of this series*

(photos of singing bowls from Ten Thousand Villages)



Maria said...

What a great story Dee! So true, about a story behind each handcrafted item. I do believe those "stories" are what inspire artists.

Creativity is so essential, yet so underrated in our culture.

Lori Anderson Designs said...

I took a conditional pledge, because with a six year old boy, it's hard to do only handmade.

But for me, all my purses are handmade, all my jewelry except for my wedding set, my stationery, gifts -- I think handmade before I think of anything else.

And YES, owning something with a story is so important!

Runako Designs by Dee said...

I think the stories are the best part! and I'm there with you Lori, I can't do it all, but its definitely a first thought, and the compliments outweigh anything I have retail.

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