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Handmade Revolution

March 4, 2009

Hey Guys, I went on a rant on my blog about something that I’ve been thinking about and I want to share it with you because I think you’ll appreciate it.

handmade-revolution-poster-copyThis is something that I’ve been thinking about for a while, and I’m probably going to struggle to put it into words but I hope you’ll bear with me here because it’s something I think is very important.

The economy has taken a nosedive, people’s lives are filled with uncertainty, international relations are threatened, and it seems like there’s very little good news.  Despite all of the adversity, I think that we’ve been given a real opportunity to change the way that we interact with the world.

Despite a few high-paid examples, artists have become undervalued in our society.  I think that’s a shame, because art is what defined our humanity from the beginning on.  They don’t find complex financial calculations carved into cave walls, they find paintings.  School budgets are forcing cuts, and the art and music departments are always the first programs to go.  Though there are a few shining examples, overall the importance of art to our society has decreased significantly.

Now there’s less money, and more people are turning wway from their high-paying jobs from which they were laid off, and they are re-discovereing the things that they love, like art and music.  They’re learning what the rest of us have known for quite a long time – it’s a hard road, with little to no promise for success, but you can’t put a price on being able to do what you love and what you’re passionate about.

And there’s where the opportunity is.  I say when you can, buy handmade!  Instead of buying something cheap at a big-box store that’s going to fall apart in a matter of months, see if you can find it handmade or used.  Instead of going towards paying factory workers in some underdeveloped country pennies while systematically destroying the environment in other places, instead of going towards the bonus of an overpaid corporate honcho, your money will stay in your community or at least someone else’s.  You’ll be directly impacting the life of the person you bought from.  And odds are, the person who is hand making these items cares too.  They care enough to source their materials in sustainable ways, and to try to buy used when they can.  They probably shop at the farmer’s market, because they appreciate hard work and what goes into creating something from hand.  And you can go about your day that way too.  Sure, shopping at a farmer’s market might be a little more expensive, but in many ways that’s a myth.  Buying locally grown food means you get what’s fresh, what’s in season, and what’s also cheap (those strawberries didn’t have to fly all the way from Columbia!).  Plus you know that the money is staying in your community and supporting the people who are just trying to live their lives in the best way that they know how.

Obviously this isn’t the answer for everything.  You probably can’t buy a washing machine at the neighborhood co-op.  And it’s not always convenient and not always easy.  But I really think that it’s worth the effort.  You can support art, you can support your neighbors and friends.  You’ll be amazed at the interesting and wonderful people you meet.  You’ll know where you food comes from, and the life story behind your awesome handmade organic bamboo shirt.  It might mean living with less, but that’s not always a bad thing, now is it?  I think we have an opportunity to shift the way that our world thinks.  Instead of showing your status with a $900 handbag and fancy car, perhaps handmade, sustainable and locally produced is the new hot thing!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. stacysdesigns88 permalink*
    March 5, 2009 4:28 pm

    Here Here! I’m with you totally on this. You’ve hit the nail on the head. Instead of buying foreign made items, we need to stick close to “home” by buying locally and supporting the local businesses. I wish there were more “commercial” items made in America also.

  2. April 13, 2009 12:08 am

    I lose sleep about this topic very often. Thank you for this post — the words you wrote are my exact thoughts.

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