May 17, 2011

Business Tip Tuesday - Why Buy Handmade?

I often think that perhaps people are always a little shocked buy the price of handmade items. Take handmade soap for example; who wouldn’t love to buy scads of handmade soap because it’s obviously beautiful to the eye, it’s made of gorgeous (and often more natural) ingredients, it feels fantastic on your skin – and the aromas are more than a vast departure from everyday commercial soap- but then potential customer's are sometimes stopped dead in their tracks by a $6.00 a bar price point they see as exorbitant. I think that perhaps it is more important than ever for artisans to educate and speak out about why handmade is important and even though the price point may be a bit higher than Wal-Mart – handmade is a great place to put your money. It’s just not enough to throw around the “Buy Handmade” motto – we (the artisans) need to have a true grasp as to why it is a good thing from an economical standpoint as well as a quality, and personal connection standpoint so that it is reflected to the customer.

I thought that this week it would be great to come up with a comprehensive list of Reasons to Buy Handmade. I will begin the list and hope that the soapmaking /artisan community will add your contributions freely. This list is intended for you to copy and use on your blogs, marketing materials etc. so let’s see what kind of list we can come up with.  I will start with five Reasons to Buy Handmade

  • You’re supporting a small local business; perhaps allowing a work at home parent to stay home with a child while still contributing to the household income.
  • Buying handmade is a direct investment into the artisan’s passion.
  • Giving handmade is like sending a handwritten letter rather than an e-mail.
  • The customer and artisan build a personal connection that is a rarity in the corporate world.
  • Isn’t it nice to know where, by whom and how your prized item was made?
  • I think the artists love or passion comes through into what they do as well... so that love and passion come through in using the soap. by Jen of Naturalmente Mediterraneo
  • Buying handmade rewards,passion,creativity and endorses the artisan.
  • Many of todays' artisans are utilizing recycled materials in their upcycled, repurposed works - upping the level of creativity and reducing waste going to the landfill.
  • Supporting handmade helps keep traditional handcrafts alive.
  • Buying handmade locally puts money back into the local community.
  • In more global terms- buying handmade puts money into the pockets of the artisans' suppliers (often these are small business owners as well.)
  • You've already listed all my favorite reasons! Especially the relationships you can build with customers, and the uniqueness of the product.by Amy of Great Cakes Soapworks 
  • I have a few reasons I like to buy handmade. I like to know the name, sometimes even the face, of the person who made the item. I like to know the ingredients or the materials that were used to make the item. I also like the sense that I am buying something unique, something that can not necessarily be bought at the department or big box store. Buying handmade makes for a unique shopping experience overall. by Tara of  On a Branch
  •  I think we should support local artisans just as I think we should support local farmers. I value knowing where my food comes from. Most of us have become accustomed to going to the grocery store or big box store for the convenience of one-stop shopping. I appreciate convenience and a good bargain, but more than that, I appreciate value. I like knowing as much as I possibly can that what I’m eating and using is good quality, grown, harvested, crafted, and created with care. The other benefit is getting to know my neighbors. Buying local helps us to build and make connections in our community.by Leslie of Joyful Soaps
  •  the most important reasons,like¨-I love Natural and Simplicity, a lot !-I adore to FELL anything ,send me some feelings to ´´talk to me´´,to tell me:pick me,pick me...-And last, I like Originality, a lot ! I hate everything that is in series and repetitive!I am an imaginative person who finds inspiration in Nature(almost) and very few (unfortunately)handmade things truly original which deserve to be bought.Being Vegetarian , i eat only Natural and Handmade products(only) ,being an Artesan Soap I use only Handmade products(mine),so I can say I am a´´consumer´´only by Handmade products!Is not easy but I can handle because for me is My Lifestyle!I believe in him and I feel so good in there!by Claudia of Allegria Meditteraneo 
  • All handmade items, whether they are clothes, soaps or food stuff are made by someone who has passion for their craft/skill.                                                                                                            Many of these skills have been lost due to industrialisation and other factors and it really is a shame that we are so reliable on machines.. for almost 90% of our daily task. machines are taking over everything...i love handwritten letters...i dont get them anymore, all of these little handmade items and gestures are personal!! by Bobbins and Balms -   
  • I'd just like to say that buying handmade makes me feel good knowing that I am buying something of quality and almost always made with love. It feels more like a gift than an everyday purchase. by Bianca of  Soap is Beautiful

                9 comments:

                Jennifer Young said...

                I think the artists love or passion comes through into what they do as well... so that love and passion come through in using the soap. As you have such a way with writing... maybe you can find a way to word it better? Great post!! xo Jen

                Tierra Verde Handmade Soap said...

                Jen, so true.Passion is definitely a contagious quality that comes across in artisan,handcrafted.Buying handmade rewards,passion,creativity and endorses the artisan.

                Amy Warden said...

                You've already listed all my favorite reasons! Especially the relationships you can build with customers, and the uniqueness of the product.

                Tara said...

                I have a few reasons I like to buy handmade. I like to know the name, sometimes even the face, of the person who made the item. I like to know the ingredients or the materials that were used to make the item. I also like the sense that I am buying something unique, something that can not necessarily be bought at the department or big box store. Buying handmade makes for a unique shopping experience overall.

                Leslie said...

                I think we should support local artisans just as I think we should support local farmers. I value knowing where my food comes from. Most of us have become accustomed to going to the grocery store or big box store for the convenience of one-stop shopping. I appreciate convenience and a good bargain, but more than that, I appreciate value. I like knowing as much as I possibly can that what I’m eating and using is good quality, grown, harvested, crafted, and created with care. The other benefit is getting to know my neighbors. Buying local helps us to build and make connections in our community.

                Alegria Mediterráneo Natura said...

                Hola !
                Well......for many reasons!
                Talking about my, i will give you the most important reasons,like¨:
                -I love Natural and Simplicity, a lot !
                -I adore to FELL anything ,send me some feelings to ´´talk to me´´,to tell me:pick me,pick me...
                -And last, I like Originality, a lot ! I hate everything that is in series and repetitive!
                I am an imaginative person who finds inspiration in Nature(almost) and very few (unfortunately)handmade things truly original which deserve to be bought.
                Being Vegetarian , i eat only Natural and Handmade products(only) ,being an Artesan Soap I use only Handmade products(mine),so I can say I am a
                ´´consumer´´only by Handmade products!Is not easy but I can handle because for me is My Lifestyle!I believe in him and I feel so good in there!
                Then,Vivo HANDMADE!
                A pleasure this article!
                Have a nice and bless day!Besos,
                Claudia

                Bobbins and Balms said...

                All handmade items, whether they are clothes, soaps or food stuff are made by someone who has passion for their craft/skill.

                Many of these skills have been lost due to industrialisation and other factors and it really is a shame that we are so reliable on machines.. for almost 90% of our daily task. machines are taking over everything...i love handwritten letters...i dont get them anymore, all of these little handmade items and gestures are personal!!

                Tierra Verde Handmade Soap said...

                Thanks so much to everyone for the brilliant input - it's a wonderful glimpse into the passion,creativity handcrafted artisans feel for their work as well as the handmade indie community.

                bianca said...

                I think your post and all the comments left have covered many of the reasons why I buy handmade. I'd just like to say that buying handmade makes me feel good knowing that I am buying something of quality and almost always made with love. It feels more like a gift than an everyday purchase.