Buying local, living within our means, supporting small business and the US economy – these are all things that many of us are doing more and more often these days. With money being so tight, we are all living with less, and putting more thought into the purchases we do make.
So, this lends the question, what are we doing to improve all of our situations, build up American businesses and put our money where our mouth is (literally)? What can each of us do to help charge up the economy and support each other? We certainly have less than we did this time last year, so how can we look ahead to the future and still buy, well, things?
Buy handmade – it’s as simple as that. We can’t afford to buy as much as we used to, but we can make conscious choices to support specific businesses. We can go to the local mom and pop toy shop, rather than the big box store. Sure, we might only get 2 items, rather than 4, but those products will generally be better made, more thoughtful items. And, a local company will benefit from your choice, rather than a large corporation. We can choose to frequent farmers markets and craft shows. These events allow us to meet the maker and hear the story behind the product. It instills the value of American craftsmanship in our families and our children. We can choose to look to Etsy and the Handmade Toy Alliance for gift items. Our product options and the sheer beauty of the items we find will be multiplied ten fold to what we find in large department stores.
If everyone made the pledge to buy just one hand crafted product for someone on their gift list this year, think of the thousands of businesses that will grow and nourish our communities. It may mean reframing how we go about our purchases, taking a little more time to choose what we need, or want, going back to a simpler way of life. But, it will be so worth it.
Join the business members of the Handmade Toy Alliance and pledge to buy handmade. It will be the easiest choice you made yet!