I bought this fabulous bow from an awesome shop called Cherry Cherry that used to be in Norwich. Sadly it closed down but you can find Dolly Knits online. Click the name for the shop!
When I started making my own products one of the first things I did was create an Etsy account and make a shop. This was a great place to start because I could easily see what other people from all over the world were making and it gave me a bar to work towards when it came to the quality of my work. It also meant I was massively inspired and tempted by all the wonderful handmade things. I will admit I did spend some of my hard earned pennies on goodies from Etsy.
The main reason I like to buy handmade is because you know the passion that has gone in to making each product. As creative people we want to be happy with what we make, we want it to be high quality and we want it to last, because if we aren't happy with it, if it isn't high quality or if it doesn't last we are solely to blame and we have let ourselves down. We are judged by our products in a way that big retailers like Topshop, Habitat etc aren't. You complain to a customer service assistant, or you complain to me, to my face.
You also know, when buying handmade, that you won't find that product on your high street (unless you're lucky enough to have awesome independent shops selling handmade items) You are in pretty good stead to own something none of your friends have, and lets admit, who doesn't love an "exclusive"? Sometimes you may own the only one of that kind if the maker won't make two items the same! My grey and mustard knitted necklace by Aeron Hall-Apps is just that. (Sorry guys she doesn't have a website or Etsy shop, but often takes a stall at our Handmade & Timeless markets so i'll keep you posted)
Lastly, buying artwork straight from the artist really does it for me. You get to chat to them about their work and get to know why they make the work they do. You also see a great range of what they make, it might not just be prints, paintings, collages or photographs. They may use those images for other products like notebooks, greetings cards or postcards. Katrine Macklin sells t-shirts, button badges, notebooks and artwork as well as the cards you see below.
Katrine's work can be found on her website. She promises she will be opening an Etsy shop soon. She had a stall at the last I Make Fun Stuff market too so hopefully she'll join us again soon.
So that's a little about why I love to buy handmade. Have you got any handmade treasures? Tell me your favourite makers in the comments below!