I have found many lists for why people choose to buy handmade and most of them have the same general ideas. The following are a few quotes from the Buy Handmade Pledge website:
"Buying Handmade makes for better gift-giving.The giver of a handmade gift has avoided the parking lots and long lines of the big chain stores in favor of something more meaningful. If the giver has purchased the gift, s/he feels the satisfaction of supporting an artist or crafter directly. The recipient of the handmade gift receives something that is one-of-a-kind, and made with care and attention that can
be seen and touched. It is the result of skill and craftsmanship that is absent in the world of large-scale manufacturing.
Buying handmade is better for people. The ascendancy of chain store culture and global manufacturing has left us dressing, furnishing, and decorating alike. We are encouraged to be consumers, not producers, of our own culture. Our ties to the local and human sources of our goods have been lost. Buying handmade helps us reconnect.
Buying handmade is better for the environment. The accumulating environmental effects of mass production are a major cause of global warming and the poisoning of our air, water and soil. Every item you make or purchase from a small-scale independent artist or crafter strikes a small blow to the forces of mass production."
For me it really is a lifestyle. I can't say that I'm perfect. This weekend I had my 4 year old nephew's b-day sneak up on me and I didn't have time to find a handmade gift so he ended up with store bought plastic. But for the holidays my gift gifting was at least 75% handmade. In my daily life I work hard to incorporate handmade as much as possible. I'll be doing a series of posts the next few weeks on how well I have applied living handmade to the different aspects of my life. Some parts of my consumptive live are easier to support handmade than others but it is something I actively think about now.
For me the most important reason to live a handmade lifestyle is to support other's passions. I know that my buyers could easily find a $10 scarf at Wal-mart but instead they have chosen a handmade creation from my heart and energy. By doing so they are supporting my efforts and helping me to support my hobby. I am happy to support other sellers whether they are a hobbyist or professional because I know that they are doing it because they love what they are doing. I want to help them to keep the passion for art and craft alive in this world. There is so much mass produced crap that I love to feel like I'm buying something that was specially designed and brought into creation by someones hands. There is a connection that comes from knowing the name of the seller and possibly more if I have access to their blog. I have a tendency to isolate myself but this handmade lifestyle has opened me to up a whole world of fellow artisans that are keeping the dream alive.
The little copper tag above from Windshine is a great way to tell the world that you support handmade. You can attach it to a gift or use it as a keychain.