I get a million ads on social media, I mean we all do. Sometimes I fall down the rabbit hole and end up watching some weird TikTok, wondering how I got there. So, of course, this happened to me yesterday. Someone was talking about handmade items and the value that is placed on them, or not. This got me thinking. What IS the value of handmade items and why do we value them? Is grandma’s handmade sweater better than one from the Mall?
Handmade items and me
In my thought process I reflected on myself. Growing up, my Depression Era parents were all about saving money everywhere. As a kid, my mom either made my clothes or bought them at a secondhand shop. I remember going with her to pick out fabric, listening to the whir of the sewing machine. And then, like magic, I had new pants or a new dress. My dad spent 6 months making me a Victorian dollhouse and furniture. Mom even made rugs and curtains for my house. I loved that house and still have it. That was the exception because, I have to admit I hated most of the handmade things.
The Human Touch of Mass Production
Thinking even more, as I do, I thought well, mass produced items are still not without a person’s work. Who designed that shirt from the big box store? What person sewed the edges on that mattress? Who packed that box from my favorite website? Our world is so interconnected with technology, I think I forget sometimes about the human element inside of everything we do. This is probably why handmade items are more precious, more wonderful now. It’s the thought and care going into every step of creation.
You probably know, just as I do, that jewelry is an interesting place to think of totally handmade items. We can think of Avant Garde pieces from design houses; eclectic, over the top pieces, pricing out at millions of dollars. Then, all the way to the small business making pieces from home that can be humbly priced as well as more expensive. Each of these bring a special something to everyday life. Art, coming from the mind of an everyday person. Perhaps even becoming treasured heirlooms like my dollhouse./
In a world of mass produced everything I think young me needed a better appreciation for the lovely or quirky handmade pieces given to me in love. Those things were made with my mom’s or dad’s hands as a lasting testament of their love for me. This more than anything makes handmade items extra wonderful, the love behind the creation.
So, I guarantee that when I make my pieces, I think a lot about who will receive it; what they will do and where they will go in their jewelry. As I pack each purchase and write the notes, I send wishes of happiness and joy to go with the shipment. Loving handmade things is definitely something I have integrated into my life. I hope you will also!
“Lang may yer lum reek”. ( “I wish you good luck and good fortune for the future”.)
Some of my favorites!