It’s a growing trend to seek out and buy handmade. It’s not enough to buy from a local business, but to know that the products were made from scratch means so much more to shoppers today. But you might stop and start to wonder, why is that? Why is handmade so much better? At the end of the day, aren’t the products pretty much the same?
So, what’s the difference?
When you buy handmade, you’re going straight to the source. When a product is purchased from a company that mass-produces items, you put your faith in the brand, but you never get to see how something is made, and you never get to talk to the people on the line that are assembling or cooking or crafting your product.Maybe your product isn’t made by people, maybe it’s partially or wholly made by machines. So, you’re putting your faith in the brand – that their quality control checks are covering most of the products, that their workers are happy and doing their best work on every item, that no one is coming to work sick, that the facility is clean, that the ingredients or materials are sourced responsibly.
When you buy the same thing handmade, the level of faith goes beyond trusting a brand that you’ll never really get to know. Instead of a logo, you get a person! A person who made that special thing just for you. What’s more, this person probably has an instagram or a blog where they talk about how they make their product. Maybe they’re making products when you stop by their booth or their shop. You can see pictures or watch videos of this person making the product that you get to have.
The person is an artist, and they have a name. They’ll tell you about why they love to make their products if you ask. They’ll tell you where they get their materials from. This artist probably collaborates with other artists, so maybe you get to support a local collective with your purchase. This person makes every single product from scratch, so the level of quality far surpasses what you will see from a mass-produced product. Also, this person depends on YOU to stay in business. This artist wants you to be so in love with your purchase that you come back again and again, and you bring your friends and your mom and your brother-in-law. This artist will make certain that you get the best level of service, the best product, and that your order ships fast and is perfect.
There is also something to be said for the local economy. Cities like Buffalo (where I live and operate my little bath and body business) are glowing examples of what can happen when you put your money into local businesses instead of in malls or department stores. Little businesses that grow add life back into the community, and they don’t just provide jobs, they provide good jobs for happy people who like to make things and be a part of the fabric of their community. Happy begets happy, and soon your cities wealth is spilling over in more ways that just cash flow. People who shop need to eat. They need parks to walk in. Maybe they’d like to live closer to the all the new life.
Buffalo is a great example of this. Main Street in downtown Buffalo was a ghost of what it once was, but over the last decade, small businesses and the people of the community have worked together to bring back shopping, restaurants, apartments and hotels to the area. Main Street opened back up to traffic, which is shared with public transportation. Bike services are now available. The trees and the plants and the little patches of grass are well kept again. The fountain in Fountain Plaza on the 500 Block is clean and pretty.
So buying handmade creates a snowball effect of positivity in the community. If you buy handmade from local artists, you can see the direct results of your support. If you buy handmade online from artists across the world, you can know that you’re getting the best quality. Your supporting another community that needs you, and you can trust that no matter where the artist is from, they will make sure you get your order and that you’re totally satisfied.
So, yes! Buying handmade products is important! And it does make an impact! Do the right thing to ensure you get the best quality for your money, and that your purchase is a big deal for the artist you are supporting.