Saturday, August 23, 2008

Consider handmade for your gift-giving this year

Okay, so it may seem just completely self-serving for me to make a request like that; obviously I sell my handmade goods. Yes, I'll admit it, I'd be delighted if I had a giant rush on my items for gift-giving--but that's really not why I'm writing this post (Okay, maybe 5% of why--but not my main reason. Just hear me out).

Why am I suggesting buying handmade then? And why blog about it now, several months before the biggest shopping months of the year? Honestly, it's because as I was randomly dropping in on blogs today I noticed one that was telling people about a site to find all the "Black Friday" deals before Christmas, and it just made me sad. I used to work retail, and I worked on so called Black Friday. I can't count the number of desperate women, dragging upset children and disgruntled relatives, I encountered on this busiest shopping day of the year. Their faces were always drained and creased with the effort of getting up early (just after a day they probably spent slaving over food and visiting family, no less) to try to catch all the best deals in the stores for their holiday shopping.

I understand the need for a deal (believe me--I'm living primarily on a grad student stipend right now), so I'm not just suggesting everyone abandon their holiday budgets and buy the most expensive specialty handmade items they can find. But prior to finding etsy, I never realized it was possible to find quality hand-crafted items for so frickin CHEAP. Yes, it requires a little looking--finding the stores with sales, or introductory low offers, or things like that. But i find looking through lovely pictures online whenever I want to sooo much more enjoyable than marching around through Target and the mall and Sears and ever other Black Friday special store the day after Thanksgiving.

And when I buy handmade, I get the added benefit of knowing the actual person my purchase is helping out, even if it's just through a brief emailed exchange. I get to give my family and friends something really special, something they couldn't have likely found on their own just by showing up at the same box store I did.

But anyway, enough with my soapbox. I've decided all my gifts this year will be handmade, either by me or someone else whose work I admire. Care to join me?
I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

3 bits of commenty goodness:

Nothinglikeit said... 8/23/08, 10:14 AM

I'll support that effort! I'm old fashioned about gift giving - I like to choose the gift, not have someone tell me what they want!
I'm also thinking about doing something I saw another ETSY buyer talk about: Grab some interesting info from the Artist's Bio and include it with the gift.
Guess I better go polish up my ETSY bio...
Robin

Cats said... 8/24/08, 4:17 AM

I've always preferred handmade items myself ~ they are always better than factory products for some reason!

Christy said... 8/24/08, 8:33 PM

I think that's a great idea! I probably won't give all handmade gifts this year, but I think giving more of them would work for all involved! Less money spent on my part, more personalized/meaningful gifts for the recipients and support for the small craftsperson.
Such a great idea!

Christy @ Motherhood-unscripted.com