Why I Love Handmade Goods (& You Should Too)!

It’s no secret that I support handmade goods and shopping small. I like the thought of supporting a neighbor’s lifelong dream rather than helping a CEO take his sixth vacation to Fiji. I don’t mind spending a little more on a handmade good knowing where it came from and that whoever made it is probably so excited that someone appreciates their trade enough to support it. Here are some more reasons I love handmade items:

The quality is better.

This is another reason I don’t mind spending a little extra cash on handmade products. They always last WAY longer than the bargain, big-box store brands. Honestly, those cheaper, mass-produced items probably cost more in the long run from having to fix or replace them.

Plus, when I buy something handmade I truly appreciate the craftsmanship and creativeness of the maker. I mean, how do they do that?! Take my friend Dennis of Lorin Kinsel Furniture and Kinsel System for example. The furniture he creates is top-notch and he does it out of studio in an old tire factory in Eau Claire, WI. That is SO much cooler than going to Ikea.

Everyone and their mommas do not have the same thing.

Don’t get me totally wrong, I love a good Target run. I mean how cute are their clothes and home décor? Still, when you buy something from Target 1. your friends don’t even have to ask where you got it from (because they considered buying it too), and 2. you know at least two other people that have the same thing. I challenge you to look on Etsy the next time you’re shopping for home décor!   

With Etsy, I can find ANYTHING I’m looking for.

Speaking of Etsy, when I want something specific someone on Etsy is offering it. Not only can I find what I want, I have so many options I can’t easily make a decision!

Etsy made planning my wedding 100 times better. I bought everything I could from small makers in the US – from bridal party gifts to our return address stamp. It was the perfect way to customize our wedding and support small makers from around the country. I seriously found things like the belts my bridesmaids are wearing for LESS money (and a LOT less hassle) than I could in any store. Win. I’ll post a list of everything handmade I did for the wedding later this fall so I don’t ruin any surprises! 

Customization is an option.

When you buy directly from the maker, you can ask for customization that will make your new treasure even more special. Example – you know those socks that say, “if you can read this, bring me a glass of wine” on the bottoms? Well for Mother’s Day I wanted to get my mom something like that that said Kahlua and Cream because, well, my mom doesn’t like wine. Anyway, I knew I wasn’t going to find these socks at any store so I turned to Etsy. While all the socks pertained to wine, I simply messaged the seller and she made me a pair that said Kahlua and cream for no extra cost. My mom LOVED them.   

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve chosen handmade over not, and I’ve never been disappointed. With online marketplaces like Etsy or local shops like Red’s Mercantile, it’s super easy to know you’re getting quality handmade goods.  

Reggie’s Paper Co offers handmade greeting cards and donates 10% of profits to Beagle Freedom Project to help the fight against animal testing in laboratories.