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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
Looking at that list, though most are reasons why I buy handmade things, they’re also reasons why I make handmade things. I’ve still got lots of stuff from market I need to photograph and put in my store, but do have a look at my TalulaMei Etsy store for my handmade bags, pencil cases and pouches. Yes, I made them all, mostly while watching Gossip Girl, Suits or the Newsroom – Suits and Newsroom are for when I’m cutting out and pinning; Gossip Girl is the best for when I’m actually sewing, because I don’t have to pause it when I run the sewing machine (it’s not like I’m going to miss out on anything crucial…). Though I’ve watched all of Suits now, and am rationing the Newsroom. So I’ve started on Freaks and Geeks, which so far is pretty fun.

But I digress. My point is – buy handmade! You know, if you want. 🙂