Monday, January 25, 2010

Buying Handmade... Best Deals Even When Times Are Tough

Greetings and Blessings..

Tonight, I decided to bring up a subject I brought up last year, and one that repeatedly comes up. Why buy handmade and not mass made products?

I bring it up because I was wearing a pair of my earrings today, and a lady at the store asked me where she could find the same earrings or something similar. While I was not surprised, I got a little discouraged that she was disappointed to hear that she couldn't run to Target, KMart, Walmart, Sears, Kohl's and so on and find the same earrings.

It was then, while we waited to go through checkout that I got to again share my views with another unknowing person about the benefits of buying handmade items.

I started off by telling her she could rest assured that she'd be getting an original, more times than not a one-of-a-kind piece that has not been mass produced by machinery. I know most others, like myself, will make certain items that look similar, for say Valentine's Day, but that each item is indeed different whether it be by adding a crystals, silver balls, or shortening or lengthening the item. Occasionally, I will make an identical pattern with different gemstones or crystals, but still, each piece is made with my own two hands and my love of my crafts.

Furthermore, at least in my case, 98% of all of my items can be made to fit, and if not, I can closely recreate a similar piece to custom fit. In most commercial/mass produced pieces, that cannot be done. Don't get me wrong, I am a big consumer of all things mass made as well, but my perfumes, body lotions, and jewelry, I just love the idea of something being a one of a kind or less than 5 of a kind creation :)

With handmade jewelry, the only hype you will get are all of the questions and comments about where you found your wonderful jewelry. The hype that comes with mass production/commercial production is often the brand name which raises prices because of trademark issues. I can keep my prices low because I don't care to brand my products other than by word of mouth or opening my own shop in ten years lol.

All times are uncertain, even the good ones. In this current bad economy, this is the perfect time to go handmade for the very reason I told her above. Most artisians I know, whether jewelry makers, bead makers, painters, etc., we put so much love into our crafts that no matter what, we often underprice our items either because we a) want to or b) have a hard time knowing the true value of our items.

Each handcrafted item takes on a life of its own and has its own character. Personally, I don't find that with commercial/mass produced items, even as different as they can be. I used an example of Webkinz, which is one of my personal addictions. These are adorable stuffed animals that have a virtual world where you play and take care of them. I can pick up ten of the same animal in the store, and really not be drawn to one in particular because they are identical, all cut from the same mold.

With handcrafted items, that is not true, well at least in my opinion. For example, at a recent bazaar there was a man there with 10 pairs of earrings all made with the same stone, same colored crystals, and even though they appeared to be the same from a distance, when I got closer, each one was a slightly different pattern, slightly different length, just enough something different to make it unique.

These are some of the reasons I buy handmade and encourage others to go handmade.

Perhaps these will help you when faced with a similar question down the road if they haven't already been used by you :)

What are some other reasons that you all choose to go handmade??

Reminder.. make sure to go back a few entries and enter yourself in February's giveaway by posting a comment on that blog post.

Blessed Be

1 comment:

  1. Lacey...I am one that feels the very same as you about handmade. I like that I put my heart and hands into designing something that actually I don't think I could repeat myself. ^_^ (those being my ooaks) You are right about our jewelry pieces too...each one is unique. I have been asked several times when wearing one of my jewelry pieces where it came from. When I say I made it..they say "Awesome" and just smile. I think something that I need to do more is finish that statement with "I do make pieces to sell if you are interested". I seem to always forget that part..LOL!!

    Now how I feel about mass produced ooaks and other original handmade items. I think it's wonderful that an artist is recognized for one or several of their original characters and to have them cast and reproduced is probably a wonderful feeling. To me though, you only get part of the HEART of the artist in the piece that was done completely by hand, no molds, no cast, no reproduced. Feeling that way is probably why I will never be a "great one" or one that makes money at her craft. It's just me!!!