Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The New Economy

The term “handmade” conjured up images of little crocheted doilies and baked goods that were sold at our local craft fair each summer. Sweet little old men fashioned quacking ducks out of wood on long dowels and the beer drinkers’ wives made whirlygigs out of the empty beer cans. We looked forward to the summer craft fair and I think we may have made one beer can purchase throughout the years. But did people really make major purchases here? “Handmade” was for hobbyists, right?


In a world of mass production and super Wal-Marts, we are yearning for the craftsmanship and human touch of “handmade.” In a world seeking to find sustainability after we have learned some very hard lessons about excess, we are tired of seeing the tags saying “Made in Sri Lanka” in our mass-produced, oh-so-expensive designer clothing, “Made in China” stamped on our toys, and tired of talking to “Tommy” in India about the charge on our credit card that isn’t ours.

There is a yearning, running quiet and deep in the American soul, for something we have lost. Our great-grandparents knew it, maybe even our grandparents. But somewhere along the way, industrialized economy became our battle cry and the lifeblood of our system. Bigger, better, more, faster. And now, if we haven’t succumbed to Prozac-ing ourselves into artifically induced happiness, we may feel something tugging at our sleeves.

Shhh! There is a movement out there and if you are very quiet, you may just begin to hear it on the wind behind the noise we’ve become anesthetized to. You may pick up a word here or there. “Handmade.” “Locally grown.” “Community.” Look closely. Greenmarkets, WholeFoods, craft fairs, artists’ co-ops. And, the Web. Yes, the big WWW has gotten in on it, too. Because “community” has gone global. Real, honest-to-goodness people creating a real honest-to-goodness economy of the new “handmade.”

Learn more about my handmade soaps, soy candles and pottery.


PamperingBeki said...

Well said!

Ang @ Purple Sage Designz Hippie Crafting said...

Very good post and I second every bit of it.

benstark said...

Excellent post! Now, if we can just get everyone to buy handmade wherever possible!