When I created Lila Clare Jewelry, I was embracing a calling to get back in touch with nature, to work with my hands, to create, and to inspire. Over the past 6 years, I’ve learned so much of what it means to trust my creative pursuits and fall in love over and over again with jewelry making. Moreover, I’ve become increasingly encouraged by the countless individuals and small business owners I’ve met who are creating unique and remarkable handmade product. So, here are my Top 10 reasons why purchasing handmade product – be it jewelry, art, furniture, clothing, etc. – is the best way to show your support of a greater, more impassioned and holistic, good.
Reason #1: Handmade is Thoughtful
Each time you give or receive a handmade gift, you can rest assured that someone has put honest and genuine thought into it. Not simply the artist, who undoubtedly put thought and concerted effort into creating something original and from scratch but also the buyer and recipient, who clearly value the art of the craft.
Reason #2: Handmade is High Quality
Speaking of value, those who create handmade product understand the value of making that product the highest of quality. While it is tempting to get a deal rather than pay a higher price, it’s important to remember that spending less typically means you’re getting less; less integrity of the product, less trust in where it came from, and a lesser quality of material.
Reason #3: Handmade is Unique
Every nick in the wood, each wire-wrapped gemstone, and every brushstroke on the canvas of a handmade item makes it uniquely its own. When you buy handmade, you are paying for a commitment to authenticity and a guarantee that no two pieces will ever be exactly alike; and that is pretty priceless.
Reason #4: Handmade is Green
Buying handmade means that the number of hands your item passes through is far fewer than those of big biz manufacturers (and even then it is debatable whether real hands are ever involved). Keeping the process small ensures that the footprint of a handmade good is tiny. And, in a world where footprints seem to be getting bigger and bigger, there is certainly nothing wrong with each of us sporting a smaller proverbial shoe.
Reason #5: Handmade is Sustainable
The over-production of many products – especially those that require natural materials, metals and minerals – amplifies the potential for the unethical sourcing of goods. More often than not, artisans who specialize in handmade goods care greatly about where their materials come from and will pay more for that quality and subsequent peace of mind. Simply put, handmade items offer a more sustainable alternative to their “bulkier” counterparts. For example, I’ve put a great deal of time and effort into sourcing my eco-friendly sterling silver jewelry, buying my gemstones from a family-owned gem cutting business, and sourcing recycled packaging materials.
Reason #6: Handmade is Supportive
“Support your local economy.” It is a topic that is often discussed but not always upheld. The quickest, most effective way to keep small businesses open and keep the money you spend feeding into and through your community, is to support local endeavors. Buying local and handmade is a big step in the right direction.
Reason #7: Handmade is Human
I alluded to it in #4 but it is important enough to mention twice. No product made in a factory, on a machine, moved down a conveyor belt, packaged with mechanical arms, and shipped out via a flatbed truck receives the same attention to detail and consideration that a handmade item does. Handmade is not a buzzword, it is a genuine and authentic representation of the good you are investing in - made by hand.
Reason #8: Handmade is Customizable
Buying mass-produced products can feel cold and impersonal but the beauty of handmade is that many times, it can be made just for you. Personalizing your piece is something to take pride in. Just as you can select your preferred metal and color of stone in the Lila Clare Jewelry Joy Collection, so can you often request a customized piece from the artisans who specialize in crafting handmade goods.
Reason #9: Handmade is Here, There, & Everywhere
These days, there are no shortages of artists, tastemakers, crafts(wo)men, and the like making the most exquisite of handmade items. Whether exploring your local market, art festival, boutique, or doing a basic online search for “handmade (insert desired item here)”, odds are handmade is an arm’s reach away.
Reason #10: Handmade is Soup to Nuts
Last but certainly not least, handmade is a “soup to nuts” endeavor. From conception to creation, handmade goods often stay under one small, mighty, and proud roof. And when you buy handmade, you’ll likely shake the hands that made your item. Is there anything better than that?
At Lila Clare Jewelry, I am so grateful for the opportunity to create 100% handmade, nature-inspired jewelry. The only thing more gratifying than knowing where my materials are coming from, being fully invested in the vision of my collections, and using my own two hands to bring that vision to life, is knowing that someone like you appreciates the holistic process and end product.