A writer from the Anchorage Press called us last week to ask what we thought about this new ‘handmade movement.’ And boy did we have a lot to say. This is the article that came from the conversation, but there is so much more that wasn’t said that is so very important.

  • Not only is buying local far more than a hippy-dippy sentiment for those who don’t want a shirt made by a 4 year old, it’s for people who don’t want to have the same exact cookie cutter copy as everyone else (and we salute you!).
  • Supporting your local businesses actually strengthens the national economy, by starting locally (lots of little pieces make up the big one). A minimum of $68 of every $100 spent in a locally owned small business stays in the local community, while less than $43 stays here when you spend it with the big chains.
  • So far this season shoppers are not only doing the ‘one for you, one for me’ buying strategy (which by the way shows confidence in one’s financial situation and is a sign of a healthy local economy), but are paying with cash or debit, more often than reaching for the plastic. This shows financial responsibility…it’s a giant snowball effect of epically awesome proportions! Less on credit, less pinch later in the year, more actual cash going back into the local market.
  • Oh, and craft bazaars can actually be super cool.
  • And calling it a ‘movement’? Oh honey, it’s a way of life! Before we had barges full of plastic and pre-packaged stuff coming from other countries, things were made by hand. And they lasted. And they were awesome. So not only are you getting something that an actual human hand touched, formed and sent out to the world (with a little hippy-dippy love thrown in for good measure), you are getting a piece of human history – the use of tools to make something by ones own hand. If it’s a movement it has some serious momentum dating back to the first caveman who picked up his first rock to make a tool. Now that’s a movement I can get behind!

In short get out there and support your local little guy. Whether you think it’s the cool thing to do, or you want to be part of something bigger, or you just want something one of a kind and awesome, small business is the place to start, and hopefully, stay. But they were right that it is epic when you buy local & handmade at the same time.