We live in a world where many things are mass-produced. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with that. It’s great that some things are manufactured in massive quantities to fill a worldwide demand for them.
But it’s also wonderful that more people everywhere are beginning to embrace things that are made by hand in small quantities. In case you hadn’t heard, here is why handmade matters.
The past few decades have seen a consistent decline in traditional American manufacturing. It’s sad on one hand. On the other, it has paved the way for a new type of American manufacturing … one that embraces human potential and gives individuals a voice they might not otherwise have. To buy a handmade product is to affirm and give continuous life to that human voice. When done throughout a community, multiple times over, an entire city can find new life. We see it happening all across the nation today and it’s making our nation a better place, one community at a time.
When you make something, you leave a part of yourself in it. When you are finished creating, you take pride in the work partly because you see yourself in it. When you buy something someone else made, you are reflected in that purchase. Whether it’s the color, the texture, the shape, or just the mood you happen to be in, an item that has been crafted as an expression of the creative spirit person who made it is treasured and valued far beyond an item that was made for worldly mass consumption.
Have you ever studied the workspace of a person who creates for a living? Their creations are almost always made in a space of joy, honor, and respect. Those same values somehow find their way into the very fiber of a handmade item. For example, consider that every inch of the yarn that forms a hand-knit garment once flowed through the fingers of the Maker who knit the garment with intention and purpose. Who wouldn’t take extra special care of such an item?
No two handmade items are exactly alike. Variations in color, shading, texture, shape, and grain are inherent in a handmade item. No two items are alike so that every single one is one-of-a-kind. This means that every handmade item you purchase is also one-of-a-kind. What’s not to like about that?
You can serve your guests a frozen, mass-produced pound cake or you can treat them to the one your mom made. The frozen one will do in a pinch, but only the one your mom made will touch the very heart of every one of your guests.
A consumer shift is happening. A movement if you will. More and more, people are willing to be educated about the value of an item that is made by hand. People are starting to dream about things that don’t exist but should, and then making them come to life. This is why handmade matters. Surely everyone can understand that.