Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Support British Designers, Creators and Crafters...

When you give a handmade or personalised gift, it says so much: "you're a unique and special person, and so I am giving you a unique and original gift you won't get from anyone else..."

That's what I've got on the home page of my website - and I was prompted to write this piece today following a discussion taking place amongst members of UK Handmade on the Linked In site. The question posed was: "Do you think its important to support local designers and why?"

As a supporter of their "Buy Handmade" Campaign, I feel so strongly about the reasons why it is important to encourage everyone to buy from independent crafters, designers and creators. Why?

When you make a purchase from one of these talented and highly committed people, you are supporting their family and their talent - not a faceless corporation with shareholders and company Directors. You're not funding a new yacht, or another holiday home - you are making a difference to someone's day by buying their work and you are gaining a totally individual and unique item. When you think of the term "handmade" this doesn't mean knitted toilet roll holders or macrame pot hangers by the way - there is an extraordinary amount of British talent out there creating modern, contemporary (and traditional) work that you will love.

Not only that, but you'll probably receive amazing service and customer care too. So many of my own customers comment on the fact that it is me that answers their emails personally and that despite the fact that I'm a small business I look after them too - old fashioned good service is what I'm all about. And I know I'm not alone in this, there are thousands of us out there waiting to make or design something wonderful for you! Plus, you are also supporting the UK economy by buying from independent British designer-makers. It's a win-win!!

So what do you get when you "Buy Handmade"? Something that has been made with love and care, and probably created individually to order just for you. A truly bespoke item! It won't have been assembled on a production line in a factory, and you won't be buying into child labour or exploitation issues. And if you're buying the item as a gift, it will show the recipient how much care and thought you've put into the purchase.

So when you start your Christmas shopping this year, or next time you fancy something new for your home or need to find a great gift for someone - think "buy handmade"!

Sarah x

12 comments:

  1. Great article, Sarah! I think great customer service is a really important part of handmade shopping, and customers often seem to be surprised when they get it, so it's important to keep getting the message out.

    Alison x

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  2. Hi again Sarah,

    You are just soooo amazing ! Thank you for this positive blog! I will try and share it right away.

    My problem is that I love anything handmade and handmade handbags BUT.....I am an absolute cyber dunce ! Even using the Handmade Badge is a challenge and I often have to wait for my computer tutor before I can do things that seem quite ordinary to most people

    Happy making and blogging,

    Kiki x

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  3. Ooh Kiki, you've made me blush, thank you! :)

    Sarah x

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  4. Ha, ha, Sarah !

    Blue Forest, you are so right ! The personal connection is such a big part of buying handmade, that goes for me too. Wasn't it M&S who got such amazingly strong customer loyalty because of their unquestioning Returns/Complaints Policy ?

    Kiki x

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  5. oh sarah...this is just spot on!

    i promised to do all my christmas shopping on folksy last year...this year, im taking it a step further and only buying from local makers via folksy and fairs.

    i went to the high street once last christmas and nearly had a panic attack at the relentless bombardment of people and pressure...online with a glass of wine (or 2!) and a mince pie (or 3!!) is definitely the way to go ;o)

    and if youd like to support a yorkshire maker, im based in sheffield! :oD

    sophie
    x
    http://www.facebook.com/ImogensImaginationUK

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  6. Imogen, your hats are lovely - wonder if I could get away with wearing one for the school run! And shopping with a glass of wine and mince pie (or several) is definitely a more refined and tasteful way of shopping, I agree!!

    Sarah x

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  7. A fantastic blog piece, I shall share on my FB page and link to it on my blog if I can.
    Jax x
    Silverspiral

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  8. I completely agree with this and will be sharing it on my facebook! In our economic crisis it is more important then ever to support local designers and talented people. It not only helps small businesses but cuts down on large chains carbon footprint.

    And of course perhaps the most important thing, What is a 3 for 2 gift set from Boots compared to a lovingly hand-made piece from someone with true talent?

    Natali
    x

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  9. Love it! Great blog and so true, will be sharing.
    Linda

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  10. Love your post Sarah as dear to my heart as I've been hand wrapping chocolate bars for over 3 years which prompted me to create the directory and it is a labour of love! Pleasure to post this on the Business Plus baby Blog Carnival I am hosting this month :-) Emma

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  11. Thanks so much for those lovely words Emma!

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