All of the jewellery in my Etsy shop, Seri Marea Jewellery, is handmade, and that’s something I’m very proud of. But why? Handmade items are time consuming and often made on a very small scale, meaning that the prices will be higher than those of mass-produced items. So why is handmade still better?
First of all, there’s the ethical reasons. On a site like Etsy, you can buy beautiful jewellery, clothes and homewares without worrying about where they came from. You know that no sweatshop labour was involved, and that workers were paid fair wages- because in most cases, they picked those wages themselves. You don’t have to be an active campaigner for labour rights to appreciate that this is a very significant difference. Take the opportunity to make a little bit of a difference!
Then there’s more selfish reasons. When you buy from a small-scale, independent handmade producer, chances are that you’ll get better service. This person is really invested in everything they make, and that will probably come across in extra attention to detail. For example, all my jewellery is packaged in handmade boxes, with a little hand-written thank you note. How often would you get that from a large-scale retailer of mass-produced goods? With any half-decent handmade seller, you’ll also be able to contact them personally about any problems. All in all, it really shows when a product means more than just a way of making money.
Buying handmade goods also means that they will be unusual, special, and often completely unique. It’s not like buying a dress from a chain fashion store, where you know there’s a good chance one of your friends will have the same dress! There might even be the opportunity to customise the item, or have something designed for you completely from scratch- this is actually something I specialise in, with my personalised friendship bracelets. Buying handmade goods from independent retailers gives you a chance to show your own sense of style rather than just following high street trends!
Finally, there’s just something special about anything handmade. Each little lump and bump reflects all the love and care that went into making it. You know that the item in your hands was made by someone who really loves to create, and that it’s unique- something just for you.
Surely all that is worth a little extra money?