Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Why Buy Handmade?

I dont like to talk about political type subjects here but this is one near and dear to my heart, Handmade. I am very proud to be a part of the Handmade Movement that seems to be growing so much lately, I feel like America can be changed back to the way it used to be thru handmade. So you say that a bar of soap, or a tissue cozy cant change America...oh I beg to differ! Let me explain.

Say you neeeed something, be it a special outfit, more clothing to replace old clothing for a changing season, a gadget holder for your newest gadget, some dishes in your newly renovated kitchen, or anything else you can imagine. Instead of going to the nearest big box store, how bout making that purchase from a local craftsperson?? If none can be found to make what you need, then hit up Etsy, Artfire,1000Markets, or even (gulp) EBay to find what you need that is handcrafted rather than mass produced. Your money will be going to that individual for that item. its not going to China, or to a multimillion dollar corporations that dont need any more money, your helping out an individual, a family in most cases. Your helping them grow a small business, and helping them care for their family financially

If every person in America would vow to buy ONLY from handmade artisans rather than from big box stores, we could easily take this country back and start putting our money where it belongs, right here at home.We could change the economy, guys. We could bring this country back and not only that we could empower our own people to quit jobs they hate and work from home where they can be with their children. It feels great to buy from someone local, or someone who is just a stay at home mom trying to help make ends meet but cant afford daycare, or chooses not to put her child in daycare for whatever reason. Darnit, it just feels good to buy from ANYONE who is taking the time to sell their art or crafts to us. Whether its a single guy working out of his moms basement or a work at home mom, it just feels good knowing I helped a neighbor.

I wont buy anything that I know I can get handmade. I am very poor myself, but I don't mind paying the price for top quality handmade items, and I have to say I have never in my lifetime purchased a handmade item that was inferior but i have brought home lots of junk made in China that fell apart within hours or months of purchase. Because of my financial standing I do a lot of trading to get things we need or want, and when I have money I am all too willing to buy! My motto is: "If I cant make it or buy it handmade or second hand then I dont need it"

I wont buy anything new. I do shop at thrift stores for electronics or kitchen gadgets we cant buy handmade, or I check the local freecycle or craigslist for things just so I dont patronize a big box store. I also buy from individuals rather than stores when it comes to electronics that the kids want. I plan on building my next computer with parts I buy from a local small business shop. I wont be going to Best Buy for my next one thats for sure!

I do make all of our soaps, and cleaners here at home. And the last time I bought commercial made soaps and cleaners was about 4 years ago...been a while! I make my own clothing, or trade for clothing others have made. Sometimes I get surprises of large boxes of beautiful handmade clothing in the mail! I am so blessed! I am proud to say that about 90% of my closet is handmade. Only my underclothing, socks, and a few t shirts are mass produced and I am working on changing this number to 100%

I make a lot of Maylee's clothing, and her other clothing is from second hand sources. Her shoes are even handmade! I have purchased a few things new for her but I try to keep the new clothing purchases to a minimum. Almost all her toys are handmade as well except for a few her father got for her that make noise.

Tyler is not so easy...I buy ALL of his clothing from thrift stores or from generous gifts from friends. Same with hubs. We dont buy anything new here. Its just feeding the machine to do so.

Whenever I need anything my first thought is," Do I know anyone who makes it on my team" I go to my Street Team first for stuff I need, then second if we dont have a member who makes what I need, I think about my other friends online. If they dont make it then I hit Etsy or Artfire and do a search. I buy Local first if I can. Supporting Kentucky is my goal, and if I can find someone here in Louisville that sells what I need then all the better!

I encourage you all, especially with this holiday coming up, to Buy handmade. A handmade gift means so much more usually, and is so treasured and appreciated. There is no better way to say,"Love you man!" than with a handmade gift, and a handmade card!

Live a Handmade life.

Photo notes: Maylee's friend Kitty is our newest family member. He was located in a thrift store about a month or two ago, and Maylee grabbed him and hasnt put him down since. She takes him everywhere she goes and even rocks him to sleep at night. He also gets a small portion of all her meals....

The shirt with the pink hood on it in the 2nd to last photo was made by *ME* this is my newest love. T SHIRTS! I love chopping them up and making other stuff from them!

The outfit Maylee is wearing in the bottom photo was hand batiked by Justine of PotomacRiverGoods She has finally outgrown it I think! It lasted us about a year! Its ready for the next baby who wants it. Its in great shape and the colors are still vibrant and beautiful!

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