I admit I have been really bad in the past at supporting local artists and crafters. I am kind of cheap when it comes to spending money and I tend to only buy things that I need or that I am specifically wanting or looking for. This makes shopping the clearance racks at really junky stores my usual go-to.
What’s silly is that I end up spending a similar amount on items that are pretty worthless both monetarily and in meaning. Plus they are contributing to the sort of consumerist society and abuse that I often get so riled up about. I am not speaking my values with my money.
You’ll be happy to know I am turning over a new leaf. I have been striving to be more intentional in my spending in all things, but especially in the avenue of crafty things. Etsy as you know is a haven for this sort of thing, but there are also smaller sites such as artfire or handmade craft show. Local markets and craft shows are even better as you can often meet and chat with the artist as well as look at their pieces more closely before purchasing. This site is a great place to search for upcoming events, especially if you’re wanting to find something when you are on vacation somewhere.
Another problem is that it’s easy to balk at the prices sometimes and say, “Oh, I can make that myself” but the truth is we should support other crafters in the things they are best at and stick to making things we enjoy and are good at ourselves. Isn’t that more fun anyway?!? Plus the prices reflected on handmade items are usually a much more accurate reflection of what we should be paying for good quality, sustainability and proper working conditions on all things we buy. We’ve just gotten used to cheap junk made on the backs of others. (At least I have, I guess.)
Well, now that I’ve given you an earful about how I feel and how I struggle….I’d love to hear your feedback. How do you deal with consumerism and fight the urge for cheap stuff? What local or handmade artists do you love to support? Any suggestions for shops we should check out (or maybe even feature here!)??
**We bought the bracelet and crayon case at a booth to raise money for the local children’s hospital. There was an assortment of items from various local crafters and I fortunately had a bit of cash in my pocket! Crayon cases were on my list of things to make before our upcoming car trip to Oregon, so this was a perfect find for us! The bracelet was just too pretty to pass up.**