We all want to get our family and friends the “perfect gift” for Christmas. But finding that item can seem quite an up-hill struggle.
Here are some reasons why buying a handmade gift from Etsy, a local fair or shop, or making one yourself can help ensure success in your gift-giving this Christmas time.
1 – Something they don’t already have
We all know how it can be to buy things for that person who seems to “have everything already”. A handmade gift can be something original and unique – you know they won’t have one just like it!
There are lots of artists and crafters offering amazing items that make perfect gifts. How about a hand knitted pair of gloves for grandad? Would Auntie Louise like a one of a kind pendant? Encourage little Joseph to read with hand crafted letter blocks.
2 – Unique items for special friends
When you give a one-of-a-kind handmade gift you are showing the recipient that you think they are special too! A handmade present reflects that you have spent time thinking about the recipient, rather than buying from your nearest big shop.
3 – High quality made with love
Handmade items are made with love and care. The creator has given your item special attention. You don’t get that with mass-produced things!
And don’t forget that with handmade items you know that a real person has thoroughly inspected the item before sending it to you. This is not something that has just rolled off a production line with no human involvement. Handmade can really have the edge on quality.
4 – Customized just for You
Many creators offer options for customized items. Whether it is adding a name to their item, making it in the colours you choose, or creating something unique just for you.
A custom item will make an extra special Christmas gift for both children and older friends and members of your family.
5 – Ethical construction methods
When buying mass-produced items from big companies and shops, you may wonder just how ethical the production methods were. Has this item been made in a sweat shop full of underpaid workers? Are the materials ethically sourced?
Before you buy handmade you can ask the maker questions. Because they make the item themselves they will know where the components and materials came from. And you know that they are making the item out of choice, not under unethical conditions.
6 – Supporting your local community
Buying crafts and artwork from local fairs, shows and galleries helps your local community. Many small craft selling shops are suffering in this current economy, buying from them helps keep them going. This provides local work and a craft shop can be a tourist attraction – something that is good for your town/village/area too. Local gifts are fun…
7 – Personal details
When you buys something from a big store you may struggle to find someone to ask about any questions you may have about the product. Are you wondering if the earring hooks are sterling as well as the silvery bits dangling from them? Would you like to know how what the filling of the quilt is made of? How would you use this?
And if you have any problems with the item you can contact a real human being who can help you!
8 – Supporting small businesses
Many people start craft businesses to supplement their incomes. There are crafters who are on disability benefits and run their shops both to help with finances, but also to keep them positively active. Some are very busy realizing their dreams of self-employment. Some are stay-at-home mums who are crafting to bring in some extra cash and give them something that is “all theirs”.
Supporting small businesses helps encourage new ideas and new products. Who knows what amazing things are out there!
9 – Buying from people who think like you
You will no doubt have seen news stories where big businesses make political or ethically charged statements and then people start declaring they will never shop with them again. Many large companies do have connections with many other organizations which you may not be comfortable about.
When you buy from someone who is hand making their items you are dealing with one, or just a few people. A very viable alternative to the “big boys” which may be more palatable if the news stories have been bothering you.
10 – Buying more than the item…
When you buy handmade you are buying more than just the physical item. You are buying a bit of the artist or crafter who created it. You are getting a piece of the years of their developing their skills and practicing their art. The many frustrating mistakes they made on the way. Their inspiration, imagination and enthusiasm. Their passion, attention to details and love. All are wrapped up in that handmade item you just bought.
Give someone you love an amazing handmade gift this Christmas!
Images of beautiful handmade items are used with permission of the shop owners, who retain the full copyright to them.
Thank you to: