In the lead up to Christmas, I am making a commitment to buy gifts locally, or make them myself.
Here is why I think it’s a great idea to shop locally or buy hand-made items directly from the artist, either online or through markets.
Ten reasons to shop locally
- It’s likely to be well-made and ethically-made.
- You will get excellent service from a person who knows (or maybe has even made) their stock.
- Small shops produce much less waste than large shops – they buy and make in smaller quantities. They have reduced transport needs. So they have a lesser impact on the environment.
- Local shops tend to support the local community – lending their sponsorship to schools, kindies and local charities. By support them, you allow them to continue supporting your community.
- You can buy something unique, rather than the generic gifts offered by the mall.
- I love having little shops and hidden gems in our neighbourhood – it adds character and joy. But those shops cannot live on ambience and good will alone – supporting them means that they can stay.
- You are keeping money within your local community – which benefits everyone.
- You are helping someone achieve their dream. It takes guts to go out on your own and run a small business. I think it’s important to celebrate and support those that do. And when you support someone’s dream, I think the universe recognises it and will send some love your way when it comes to realising your own dreams.
- Local, small shops often support local, small artists – so you are actually helping two lots of people realise their dreams and live creative lives.
- It’s so much more relaxing/lovely/fun shopping within a beautifully curated boutique than underneath the fluro lights and the stressful environment of a crowded shopping mall.
Ten reasons to buy hand-made gifts online or from a market
- You will get something gorgeously unique – perhaps even bespoke – made just for you.
- You will completely make the makers day (maybe even their month) – trust me, from personal experience
- The prices are VERY reasonable – a lot of people create for the love of it. If you think an item is too expensive, then you might not be the right person for that item. But please don’t devalue the artist’s work by telling them you think they are charging too much.
- If it’s bought online – you get mail!
- You know the item has been made with love by an artist – not by a child forced to work within a factory.
- You are dealing directly with the maker of the item – there is soul in the exchange.
- People making small quantities of quality things is a much more sustainable model that companies making masses of things.
- How lovely is it to shop at a market? It’s one of my favourite things.
- The internet has enabled the makers to meet the buyers directly – that’s an exciting thing when you think about it – it allows us to return to the days of trading directly with one another, without a middle-man.
- Buying art means more art can be created. And I think that’s a lovely thing.