Friday, February 15, 2013

Handmade = Human Made

I wanted to talk a little bit today about what I do and why I do it instead of something else. To begin, I'm an independent business owner. I am 100% in charge of my business even down to the smallest details. I design, I create (with my very own hands!), I photograph each item, size and fix and list the photographs, write descriptions, answer countless messages and questions, make informational materials to go with my orders, box items, package them and ship them out. I also have to research, market, share through social media and continue to learn how to find ways to get my work out there in the world.

When you order a $20 item to even a $200 item keep in mind that all these steps had to take place for you to get that item. Your item was not simply made on a factory line, then plucked off a warehouse shelf and put into a package the same day to get to you. What may seem like such a simple piece of jewelry was created almost like a symphony composition with many subtle layers.

When you buy handmade items you are buying human made items that have been touched by human hands and presented to you with lots of human heart and soul. To be honest sometimes it is a difficult job. When you invest yourself in your work not only through the sacrifice of many hours but an emotional investment as well it can be tough when you have a customer that isn't super nice, or someone who takes advantage of you, or someone who simply doesn't recognize the value of what you do. Luckily, more often than not the benefits outweigh the negatives. I've encountered people who greatly appreciate something made just for them or people who want to share art with others. I've been able to have the satisfaction of creating something real, something tangible and sitting back and saying..."I did that. I made that." Creating is empowering.

When you buy a truly handmade item you are buying from an actual person who most likely has invested a lot of time and emotion into the item you bought. The item that will become yours was once the dream and imagination of someone else. I admit, at times I struggle with the idea of feeding into a consumerist culture where we tend to buy too much and appreciate our extensive amount of stuff too little. However, I then remind myself that "things" are not necessarily bad when they allow us to express ourselves, or allow us to share something with others. When we place value on our objects and cherish them they become more than disposable, inanimate objects. They become extensions of who we are and expressions of our individuality as well as commonality. I like to think that when I create something I instill that object with meaning right off the bat when I create with purpose, with love, with respect to the environment and an appreciation of the customers who will buy it.

 My jewelry could give someone the self confidence they desperately need, or serve as a way for someone to share their love in a gift. It could allow someone to express their personality to others, or to help someone smile.

 Handmade = Human Made = items that connect you to something more meaningful
A ring shown on the hand that made it

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