Trying to come up with a gift idea for your friends and family can sometimes be hard especially when it’s for someone who already has everything. Whether you make it yourself as a DIY project or buy it from a Handmade Shop, handmade gifts are better because they are customized, personalized, and higher quality than store-bought items. These types of gifts will be appreciated because you put some effort into choosing the right gift to give.
Handcrafted gifts will be treasured by the gift recipient since they know it was made just for them. It lets them know that they are special to you because you actually put some thought into it rather than just grabbing a generic product from the retail store shelves. Handmade gifts are one of a kind and unique, just like the gift receiver.
HANDMADE VS MASS-PRODUCED PRODUCTS
When you have a choice of either giving a handmade gift or buying a mass produced gift from a retail store, you will notice a few major differences. The overall price and craftsmanship quality will be the major difference between handmade and mass produced gifts.
1. Worth the price
If you decide to give a DIY gift, material costs depends on what type of project you’re doing. You may be the resourceful one who can upcycle materials you can find in your home already or go to the local arts and crafts store to get your materials. The labor cost is negligible sine you’ll be making it yourself.
Products from the Handmade Shops can be more expensive than what you can find at your local retail stores. Remember that most things you find at your local stores are made in a large factory, often from China or another country, with full time workers who make less than $100 per week. That boils down to $2.50 US Dollars per hour. So if a company pays their employees that much, they can afford to also charge less for their products.
If you buy a product from a handmade shop based in the United States, chances are, their prices will be more than double the price as compared to those products made in China. This is because of higher labor cost, higher material cost, and let’s not forget the other costs associated with running a business (liability insurance, equipment, taxes, permits, etc).
Since handmade items are not mass produced, the cost of the materials are higher because the handmade seller may not buy their materials by the thousands so they do not qualify for bulk pricing. Bigger manufacturing companies who purchase their materials in larger quantity (by the truckload) get bulk pricing. So small batch handmade shops will tend to have higher prices.
2. Better Quality
You will definitely notice that the quality of handcrafted gifts are far superior than those ones that are mass-produced in a manufacturing warehouse. This is because the artisans who make your handmade gifts will only send out things that they are proud of and put their reputation behind it. Each order gets their personal attention from start to finish. Quality matters.
Products that are made in large manufacturing warehouses have factory workers who are there not because of choice, but because of necessity. They have to be productive and usually have a quota to meet. Factories make items in a line assembly by many people whose only goal is to just finish the product so they can meet their quota, get paid, and keep their job. Quality suffers and quantity matters to them.
WHY GIVE HANDMADE GIFTS:
Handcrafted gifts can either be from a Handmade Shop or they can also be made by you, using your own hands and skills. They are more special because they are gifts that you cannot find at your retail stores. There may be similarities but the uniqueness of handmade gifts will be apparent. Handcrafted gifts can be customized, personalized, and the artisans craftsmanship will show.
When you make a gift or buy a handmade gift for someone, you will have their likes and dislikes in mind. You can tailor it to what you think they will love or to what will fit their home decor style. Let’s face it, you cannot go to your local retail store and ask their workers to change the font on a shirt because your friend prefers a skinny font over a cursive one. They would probably just look at you like you have two heads. With handmade, customization is possible.
Personalized gifts are one-of-a-kind gifts. No one else will have that exact gift (maybe a few others) so they are more special to the gift receivers. You may find some items at the store with a first name but it will never have any personalization beyond that. A few examples include buying a keychain with their monogram, a home sweet home with the person’s exact coordinates, or a luggage tag with the traveler’s name and contact information already printed on it. Options for personalization are never ending when you buy from a Handcrafted Shop.
Handcrafted gifts will have an apparent craftsmanship that cannot be recreated by a machine. An artisan’s skill to make something good enough to sell that they can be proud of can take years of research and trial and error. These handcrafted products from small businesses are often copied by large manufacturing companies only to sell them for a lower price than the one originally handmade by an artisan. But you will definitely notice that the one from the handmade shop is built better and designed to last. Craftsmanship will show.
Handmade gifts are unique because they are not mass produced by the millions in a warehouse. When you support a Handcrafted Shop, their products are made in small batches with a design the Artisan created. And when you make the gift yourself, with your own hands, you know it’s unique; you created it with your own hands and your own skills that no one else can copy.
BENEFITS OF GIVING HANDMADE GIFTS:
1. Quality Time And Bonding
When Grandma needs a Christmas Gift from the grandkids, this crafting time is quality time. We all have a busy lifestyle so the downtime we have has to be productive, fun, and special. Having the kids choose the DIY gift to make grandma will make them feel involved. Making the gift can be a memorable experience for them because they can take ownership of the project. And when grandma gets that DIY handmade gift from the grandkids, you can be sure that it will melt her heart. It will be a gift that she will cherish for years to come.
You can also get your friends together to work on a group gift to another friend. Look at it as a group activity working for a common goal which can help with strengthening your friendship. This crafting time can be a fun get together where you can catch up, laugh, and bond.
2. Supporting Small Businesses
When you buy from a handmade shop, you are more than likely supporting a micro business run by one, two and sometimes with the help of very few employees. Small Handcrafted Shops are often an entrepreneurial dream of these crafty artisans who are competing with the big boys of the business, the large manufacturing businesses who have thousands of workers. So when you buy from a small handmade shop, you are supporting their small business and their dreams of business ownership.
SOURCES OF HANDMADE GIFTS:
The popularity of handcrafted gifts has taken off in recent years. More and more shoppers have discovered that they are just better in so many ways…especially the quality, ability to customize it, and personalize it. And if you want to make it with our own hands, you can find inspiration and ideas from everyday life. There are also DIY instructions if you need something to guide you on what you need and how to make it.
Handmade Shops give their shoppers a boutique experience. This exclusive shopping experience includes an actual conversation with the artisan who will be making your order. It’s a personalized shopping experience that you will rarely get from big box stores.
If you are not interested in making a DIY Gift, there are a few places to get these handmade gifts.
1. Make it with your own hands
Check out our section on making DIY gifts yourself. We have DIY projects that are easy enough for even the non-crafty person can make by following the easy step-by-step instructions. So having some crafty skills is not necessary to make handmade gifts and gift them to your friends and family.
2. Buy it from a handmade seller
You can also buy handcrafted gifts from handmade sellers if you do not have the time, interest, or resources to make it yourself. These handmade products are made by talented artisans and makers who have spent a lot of time honing their skills. You may find handmade gifts from various sources including:
a. Local Fairs And Marketplaces
Some towns and cities host vendor events where you can find local artisans who rent a booth or space to sell their handmade goods. These are often advertised in your local newspapers, City Announcements, and local Facebook pages.
Etsy was founded in 2005 by Rob Kalin, Jared Tarbell, and Haim Schoppik in a small Brooklyn NY apartment. It’s an online community where crafty people and artisans can open their own “online” shop to sell their handcrafted goods and vintage products. According to Etsy, as of 2020, there are 4.7 million handmade artisans worldwide selling their goods through this platform. It has 90.7 million active buyers of the 90+ million items for sale from the handmade sellers.
c. Amazon Handmade
Amazon also has their own Handmade Marketplace. It started in 2015 where carefully vetted handmade artisans can offer their handmade goods to the billions of Amazon shoppers. In order to sell in their handmade department, the sellers have to apply and even have to include photographs of their process of how they make their products. The handmade department’s listings are mixed in with the rest of the marketplace listings from Amazon and their third party sellers.
Goimagine is the newest online marketplace platform where artisans can sell their handmade goods. Jon Lincoln, Goimagine founder, is following the Newman’s Own Foundation’s model of giving their profits to various charities. As of now, 100% of their profits go to charity while the company’s operating expenses come from the maker membership fees who sell on their platform.
The Goimagine platform officially launched on August 18th, 2020 and currently has 2,000 active handmade shops. It is open to handmade shoppers in the USA and is considering opening to Canada too. As of July 2021, they have donated $10,000 to two charities who help children in need: Horizons for Homeless Children in Massachusetts and Relief Nursery in Oregon.
So when you purchase a handmade gift from Goimagine, you’re actually helping children in need!
- Do you prefer to make or buy your handmade gifts to give to your friends and family?
- What is your favorite handmade gift that you’ve received?