Why it's important to buy handmade from American artists

     With the internet at our fingertips, many of us don't even leave the house to do our shopping. We have access to millions of sites, and more products available than we can wrap our heads around. And when we do leave the house, why not just go to the big box stores to do all our shopping in one place? A wonderland to find everything from clothing to groceries, garden products and the two month too early holiday goodies. Well, because we save time and money, Hooray!

This country has become spoiled by convenience and oh boy, do we love deals! It's time to be more discerning about the quality of the products we purchase and where they come from. 

     While shopping online it can be difficult to even know where products come from. You aren't going to see a big label stating "Proudly Made in China." It's nothing to brag about. Outsourcing to other countries has put many Americans out of business, and our money is stimulating other economies, rather than our own. While it is hard to resist lower prices, taking the extra step to find USA made items and maybe spending a little extra money can make a big difference for your fellow neighbors, friends, and yourself. Contributing to one American's business endeavor will lift us all as a society.

          It may seem obvious but it needs to be said. You get what you pay for. Often, quality is inferior when you buy the cheaper products from other countries. The labor is cheaper, thus the time isn't put in for great workmanship. The materials are cheaper, thus a lower quality. A simple equation with the end result of a less valuable product. 

Now lets take it a step further. Why handmade in the USA? We have so many talented artists in this country, and we aren't just talking about painters, and sculptors. Art comes in many forms including cooking, jewelry making, gardening, architecture, fashion, and much more. There is something to be said that working with our hands and interacting directly with our work brings out the best in what we create. Factory work may have calculated production, but handmade creations come with passion, pride and dedication. 

How do we make a difference? Shop local. Visit the town's arts and crafts fairs, stop by local farmer's markets, and boutiques. Strike up a conversation with local shop owners, and get inspired by their stories. When online, weeding through the endless options can be overwhelming. To narrow it down, visit websites for handmade work such as Etsy, and ArtFire, and soon to launch Amazon Handmade. Or just add the keywords "Handmade in the USA" to your online searches. You'll be surprised what beautiful, unique, and high quality items are out there that you can be proud to purchase knowing you are making a positive contribution. 


 #handcrafted  #makersmovement  #handmade  #etsy  #USAmade  #handmadeintheusa #keepartalive