Monday, March 23, 2009

Buying Handmade

I finally did it. I opened the Etsy shop.

If you don't know about Etsy, I encourage you to explore it. Etsy provides artists a venue to display and buyers to discover small hand-made treasures. Most of the work there is inexpensive, ranging from $10 - $100.

It's the place to go for a special gift. It's the place to go to support an artist. It's the place to go to buy hand-made.

I'm happy to see our culture returning to an appreciation of fine hand-made things. I've given hand-made gifts for years: note cards, pottery, knit scarves. Most people appreciated them -- some didn't. The ones who didn't thought I was being cheap. The ones who did loved that I spent time creating something just for them.

When I want a gift, I love buying finely crafted hand-made gifts. Of course, not all hand-made is created equal but the best hand-made
  • is fair trade. I'm buying from the artist or the artist's agent.
  • often is local. Not many resources are spent in shipping. Lots of the materials are local too.
  • supports a fellow artist. Lots of us support ourselves our families from the work of our hands. We appreciate our patrons.
  • preserves the craft and allow us a glimpse of other cultures and other peoples.
  • introduces me to the artist. There's something special about owning or giving a gift when there's a personal connection to the maker -- even if the connection is a short email or phone call.
  • reminds us of our values. Integrity of work, quality materials, customer service. No one's work is exploited in my studio. (Ask my intern. I think I'm fair. If not, I'll correct it!)
  • is special and comes from the love of the work. That shows in the items created.
Every other generation or so, as a people we return to our roots. We pick up the basket reeds and clay lumps amd charcoals and needles and begin to create for ourselves again. I'm sorry that sometimes it takes an economic downturn for us to reject all the over-packaged, grossly-advertised store-bought, but I'm glad we're getting there again.

Hand-made is special. Hand-made is holistic. Hand-made is sustainable.


Linda said...

Welcome to Etsy, Jeane.

I like the read house

Heather Haymart said...

Congratulations Jeane! I just checked out your shop and it looks great!

ChaoticBlackSheep said...

Very cool shop Jeane. I hope it generates much interest. Are you going to market larger and smaller prints on etsy too?