Buy handmade, buy bespoke, buy handcrafted!
If you’re anything like me, you hate being told what to do; these commands don’t really work for you. You know there’s good intention behind the handmade craze but you really need to know more before choosing to move away from the beloved high street… If this relates to you even slightly, it really is worth giving my blog post a read!
With the sudden surge of hipster fashion, vintage shops, beardy men, veganism, moustaches, raw foods, incense and tie-dye we have also been bombarded with this crazy new ideology of people actually making things with their own two hands!
For some this may seem like an odd concept, for years it seemed everything was focused on working towards the end goal- mass production and the replacement of human labour with robots. But with these advancements, it is has become unfortunate but true that we have lost the authenticity and uniqueness of many items.
I feel that this acknowledgment has contributed to the popularity of all things handmade.
Some may now however argue that it is somehow ironic that objects that are made with the intention of being individual have now just become thoughtless purchases by those who want to use the label of handmade to fit in with the ‘cool kids’. For myself this argument, this journey towards handmade items becoming another short-lived fad is why I find myself sitting here crouched at the laptop, frantically writing this blog post.
Handmade is so much more than just a faddy label, handmade for me means that a persons character, emotion and most importantly time has been put into the making of the item. This means that when I purchase an item that claims to be handmade I am not only buying into the product, I am buying into the person and their life- their past, present and future.
I now have first hand experience of this. As a small business owner in the beginning I often felt like I had been giving my all to my business, the products looked great, the social media had been getting great responses and everything seemed to be tickety boo! However and it is a big HOWEVER, I wasn’t making the amount of sales I wanted and money of course really does talk. Now when an individual decides to purchase from me if ever ,I had doubted my work or felt a bit down this all suddenly disappears and I am back on top of the world. I am then reminded of why I made the decision to start my business in the first place and able to carry on creating inspired handmade décor and art! (I am pretty sure that the owner of a high-street corporation does not feel the urge to do a happy dance when £10 is spent in their store!)
It would be false of me to state that I have always felt this way about handmade items. Before becoming a self-employed crafter I would look at two things, and only two things when deciding whether to purchase at item. 1- how much and 2- does it look pretty? If both questions resulted in yes’s it would be definite purchase never to be thought about again.
It is only now that I realize the most important factors that I had been overlooking. For example may somebody else have suffered in the quest to get this product out on the shelves at such a price? Or will this fall apart in 2 weeks and end up in landfill? Of course price is still something I have to look at due to sheer the cost of living today but what I am trying to say is it is now not the ONLY driving force.
Here on my very own website I claim to specialize in handmade decorations and artwork. I want to clearly clarify what this means- and not just the practical connotations of my hands having played a part in the production!
This means that I have spent a lot of time and thought in planning the ways in which I am going to create something that I hope will bring joy and happiness to the buyer. It also involves sourcing the correct materials and bringing it together in a way that not only results in something that looks good but that is also original and individual. For handmade commissions there is also the task of making sure that the item fits the client’s requests, personal style and taste.
The reason why my I always point out that my items are handmade, bespoke and or original is because as humans we are individual, the way we see and interpret things can never ever be the same, similar yes- but never exactly the same. Therefore, although somebody could attempt copy a make, it will always be a copy and I can guarantee they would struggle to mirror my style and technique.
Handmade therefore guarantees a personal experience, often I will make or customize many of the same item. For example my hand painted baubles, however even the same design is never the same on each piece as for me I find this an impossible and pointless task. Being different is what make us special and in my eyes the same theory applies to the way we should shop for decorations and artwork.
So to answer the original question- what’s all the hype around handmade?
- Guarantees uniqueness
- Makes the customer feel like they are part of the purchase
- Feels like money well spent as a small amount can make a huge difference to an individual’s life.
So, all in all if that isn’t enough reasons to shop handmade you are either very tight, have no hopes or intention to have something that hasn’t already been done or quite simply are happy to settle!
Thank you for reading
Asha – Ambience Arts