I went into Typo the other day and saw a laptop messenger bag for $15. My heart sank. If you could get something like that for so cheap, why on earth would anyone buy my handmade messenger bags for $65? (and many handcrafted bags sell for a lot more than that)
Then I remembered I was in Typo, where absolutely everything mimics a vintage/handmade/hipster type look for as cheap as possible. Typo is owned by the same people who own Cotton On… so it would be like looking at a $15 jumper and wondering why anyone would buy a hand knitted jumper for many times that amount.
So why would you buy anything handmade?
Well I don’t know about you, but I know why I would and do. Here are some reasons:
- The object itself will have had every bit of it pored over, thought about and put together by another human (usually the person you are buying from) – I mean this as distinct from an object that has many, many people involved in its creation and distribution
- The object will be unique, even if similar to other objects in the maker’s range
- The materials used will often be ones that you wouldn’t see in a mainstream store
- I’m supporting another creative person in their creative pursuit
- I’m encouraging that person that spending time on something creative is valid, and giving them the juice to keep going
- Even though it is purchasing another Thing, so it is not breaking the cycle of materialism, it is actually putting more of a value on a person’s time, and on the object itself. Yes, I can buy a mass-produced sweater in a chain store. But will I appreciate it and value it as much as as a jumper that Karen, for example, might have made for me? Of course I wouldn’t.
- You don’t have to go into malls
- And now, knowing the joy I get whenever I hear the little Etsy cash register noise on my phone when I make a sale, I know that for the maker, it is really exciting to know that your creations are finding new homes
But I digress. My point is – buy handmade! You know, if you want. 🙂