“By supporting a small business, you’re supporting someone’s dream.”
This quote is for me, owner of Arty Lemons, a quote that is very close to my heart.
You can probably think of a few reasons why shopping from small, handmade businesses is good and why shopping from big mass-production corporations is not always the better option. Everyone has their own reasons for shopping from big or small corporations. Maybe you are willing to spend a little extra time and money getting things from smaller retailers or you just find shopping at big box stores convenient. Whatever your reasoning is, I would like to give you my perspective through the eyes of a small business owner, on 5 reasons to shop small and handmade this Christmas.
1. Find unique and creative gifts
It can be a challenge to find unique and meaningful gifts in big stores. The chance is really high you end up buying something your loved one already has. In big box stores, you’re influenced by what the department buyer decides is hot right now.
When you buy from a small business, you’re guaranteed to end up with an original gift. You’ll find things you can’t buy anywhere else. Maybe because only one of it exists. In my ceramics shop no two pieces are the same. It is even possible to customize ceramics or completely design your own ceramics!
2. Better shopping experience
Not everyone working in a big corporation is devoted to their job. Although they might be friendly, you aren’t likely to get the same level of commitment you’ll find when you talk to a small business owner. Their business is a huge part of their lives and as said before by supporting their business, you’re supporting their dream. You will most likely be provided with a personal level of customer service, coming directly from the artist.
3. Supporting the artist
Your purchase has an immediate effect on the business. You help to keep the business alive, so they can bring more products to more people. Over time their success inspires more small business owners to open their own shop and more people enjoy sustainable handmade products.
4. More sustainability
Handmade products are more sustainable for our planet. Artists spend a lot of time and thought in the process of making their products, making all their products in small batches. This means very few energy and mass-production machines are used in the production and tooling. We make sure to be as sparingly with materials as we can. Using mostly natural and non (environmentally) harmful materials and recycling as much as we can.
Besides you tend to hold on longer to handmade products, since they provide greater value than cheaper, disposable alternatives.
5. Your buying a piece of love
As a maker, I know that there’s so much that goes into the process of making a product. When you see the end result, you can’t see the hundreds of hours of dedication that go into making the piece. Before the product was ready, the artist spent hours on failed attempts and trials and errors. There were a lot of frustrations, happy moments, sometimes even tears before you are able to hold the final product.
I hope you find something special this holiday season, for your friends, loved one or for yourself! -Ryanne