Shop handmade this Holiday Season.

This holiday season, I am trying to buy as many gifts as possible from local and independent handmade artists. So I was thinking, why would someone buy handmade?  Here are my Top five reasons why I will buy handmade this holiday season.

1. SUPPORT - Buying handmade shows your support for local handmade artists. Most of us (including artists) are struggling with the economy the way it is, and by purchasing handmade gifts you may help a struggling artists pay for life’s necessities. I would much rather buy a handmade gift from a local artists rather than a supporting the big-box stores.

2. UNIQUE - Handmade artists make one-of-a-kind gifts, something truly unique. Just the other day I was wearing a handmade necklace from a local artist.  I got so many compliments and people asking "Where did you find that?"

3. QUALITY - Handmade artists pride themselves in providing quality with every item that they sell. For example, if I make a card and it's not perfect, I often discard the piece and start again. Another example is a handmade knitted hat that I recently purchased, you can feel the quality. Many handmade artists will ensure that every stitch, clasp or whatever is perfect. When I buy handmade I know I am getting a quality piece of work.

4. CUSTOM - I have purchased so many customizes pieces over the years. How many time have you been shopping and seen the perfect item and though "if only it was in another colour". When you buy handmade it's as simple as 'can you make this in pink!".

5. ECONOMICAL - Buying handmade is affordable (which I know is surprising to many). I would much rather spend $20 on a piece of jewellery that will last many years, then $5 on a piece that will tarnish or break in months.

So before you buy something that is in mass production, stop and think. So with the holidays right around the corner, and all the rush and fuss, don't forget about the little "gal" or "guy", the shops that are owned by local small business owners. There are so many reasons to shop handmade, I hope I have opened your eyes to just a few.

So this holiday season, shop with our fellow T.E.S.T members or view the list of over 150 handmade artists on my website; Let's shop and support local handmade shops this holiday season.

~ Jacqueline

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