On the radar

We assume people like shopping at Walmart or Target and so don’t offer an alternative. We assume people like showing up at a party wearing the same thing as three other people and so we don’t offer to help them shop for some vintage clothes. We assume people don’t mind having the same coffee table from Ikea as 20,000 other people and so we don’t tell them about the woman down the street who makes coffee tables from recycled wood.

-'don't write them off', by Tara Gentile (scoutiegirl)

I'm still quite sick today, but when I read that article from Tara Gentile (scoutiegirl) this morning, I knew I had to step up and start promoting the world of handmade more than I have been. There's a whole argument about why handmade should be the preferred choice, but getting that through to the vast majority of the public is an impossible challenge for one person, never mind a small handful of vocal handmade 'activists'.

So here's what I plan on doing. I plan on encouraging my friends and family to look to handmade and small independent artisans for their Christmas gifts this year. I plan on only giving handmade gifts, even if they are my own. I plan on promoting the world - and the benefits - of handmade products to everyone who visits my table at the craft sale next week. I plan on trying to purchase more independent and handmade products, including visiting more farmer's markets. I live in a very Wal-mart-based city, so finding a wide variety of handmade/independent work can be a problem, but there has been a massive influx of immigrants from around the world to our city in the last few years; their influence continues to grow in the community, from restaurants to a monthly women's fair.

I want to be able to have a viable alternative to purchasing everything at a big box store with underpaid (and underappreciated) staff. I would much rather pay a few dollars extra, knowing that money would go into the pocket of the artisan who took the time to put their own effort into creating something I would enjoy.

And now I'm going to go back to my embroidery and attempt to get better.

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