What is the big deal with buying local and handmade?
Well…where do we start?
The differences between locally produced goods and mass-produced goods are immeasurable.
Take produce, for instance. Buying produce at a large chain store is a very different experience from buying produce at a local farmer’s market.
At a large grocery store, the customer is disconnected from where the produce originated and how it was grown.
Often the produce has traveled across the country and has been passed through numerous hands to get to the stands. The customer needs to become an expert in produce sticker reading to learn anything about the produce he or she is buying, and even that is very minimal. This takes extra time and effort for the already taxing job of grocery shopping.
In contrast, when buying produce from a farmer’s market, the customer gets to talk and interact with the farmers themselves. The customer knows exactly where and how the produce was grown, as well as when it was grown and harvested. We love shopping at our local farmer’s market and feel that there is something comforting about a little dirt or an occasional worm on our produce.
There is a similar experience when buying a handmade product. We enjoy buying items from local artists because they are original, inspired and artistic. It is nice to see where our money is actually going and who created the product.
Buying local has ecological benefits as well. Transporting goods takes gas and oil, packaging goods is wasteful and large stores and factories pollute the air we breathe.
Buying local is really all about connections. In our culture today we can easily choose to isolate ourselves from making face to face connections with people. Technology can be used as a main source of communication if one chooses to do so.
Citymade challenges you to buy local and handmade this holiday season. Giving a handmade gift to someone says, “You are unique and special and deserve better than the mass-produced, highly marketed, trendy gift of the season.”
Here are several wonderful opportunities to purchase local and/or handmade goods:
1) The Hot Shops Art Center has a winter open house December 3rd and 4th. This is such a fun experience as the artists open their studio and display what they are making. There are amazingly talented potters, glass blowers, jewelry makers, seamsters and more.
2) Area Craft Shows- keep an eye out for signs, they are all over the city
Citymade will be at another craft fair on November 10th and 11th at St. Matthews church in Bellevue
3) If you like to shop online check out Etsy-a place to buy and sell handmade. You can find just about ANYTHING on Etsy.
Visit citymade’s growing Etsy shop here.
Let’s support our artistic community this holiday season and choose local and handmade.