why i pursue handmade

I've been thinking a lot about this post. 

And before you think that it's going to all confession-style, like tears in the limo after the Bachelor kind of post, don't worry, I'm not quite there. 

It's just I've been thinking about handmade, about Etsy, about the handmade community and why I have decided -- for nearly a year -- to spend my time pursuing handmade.

There are some people in the world that are creative souls. They need -- I need -- an outlet of some sorts. Whether it's graphic design, painting or sewing -- they have the desire to purse a creative life. Sometimes they get it in their day job-- sometimes they get it in hobbies, or they're like me and have a hybrid of real job and dream job. 

Often the things they make are gorgeous, one-of-a-kind expressions of themselves. Things that take them too much time and sweat and tears and planning and inspiration and desperation and creativity and spark and so much more. And when they sell an item, they're selling a little bit of this dream and a little bit --in a good way -- of themselves. 

And that's those that support and respect handmade are contributing to those dreams. Buying things from stores like Target and Forever 21 aren't bad -- I do it too -- but making a choice to support something a little different is so good. 

And it's also why that when I put my purses out there or someone sells their graphic prints, it's such a big deal for us -- the artist, the sewer, the fashion designer, the business woman -- to have others understand the process behind it all and the dream behind it all. 

Handmade is not a mass-produced item, handmade is not something that was made quickly without thought. Handmade is original; it comes from someone who designed and planned and dreamed and toiled and is so proud of what they put forth. They are excited to share what they make with you.

Sometimes I'm embarrassed by people knowing that I have a shop on Etsy. 

I take that back. I get embarrassed more than sometimes. Not by you, my blog people, (which is a funny thing to call you guys, but you get it,) but real life people -- like the coworker in the elevator who asks about my purse or the friend from high school that finds my blog. Although I believe all that this blog and my shop is an extension of myself, an expression of myself, sometimes it's so personal and I worry that people won't understand why I do what I do. 

But maybe next time people ask, I'll point them to this post in an attempt to put words behind a passion -- a passion that sometimes keeps me up late, sometimes gets me so excited and sometimes gets me so frustrated -- but a passion that keeps me going nonetheless.

I'm sorry for the word vomit. If you made it this far, kudos. I owe you big.

Happy Thursday. It's almost Friday. 

xo, erika


  1. I get it! I totally understand. I am more and more starting to love things that are handmade. There's a story behind every item and that's what makes them special.

  2. I'm not quite creative enough to make handmade things but I do support the handmade community by buying handmade. And it is SO fun when someone asks, "Where did you get ________" and I can tell them it's handmade. I always feel like I have something special, on of a kind.

  3. I 100% get what you are saying girl!!
    I always tell people about Etsy and most of the time folks have never even heard of it!!
    It always feels odd promoting myself and telling others about my craft. Most look at me a bit odd, which makes me feel a mite awkward.
    I wish that there were more people like you + my bloggy friends who understand our love + drive!!

  4. Fantastic post! My handmade business is my full time job and I always find myself being a lil sheepish when people ask what I do...I don't know why.


  5. Such a great post!! I support handmade too. And girl, you should be PROUD of what you do! Like you I have a day job that's not very creative but unlike you my creative outlet has not yet turned into a dream job BUT when people talk about my projects or blog, they always say they wish they had that talent or that passion or were a creative person. So I always feel really lucky and blessed that I get to do this!

  6. Totally. Totally agree with this. I wish everyone bought handmade & understood all of the hard work that goes into it.

  7. Amen friend! Excellent perspective and heart! Xoxox

  8. I LOVE that quote at the end. I am all for following your dream. You are doing so well girl! SO proud of all you've accomplished!

  9. I loved reading this post, and I can relate to it so much. I have just launched my online boutique, Ginger Pickle which sells handmade items made by British designers, and totally agree that each time a customer buys from my boutique it reassures me that yes people actually care, people actually really like your products and want to support me and the designers on my site. It's a wonderful feeling and I want to hug all my customers and supporters.

    I particularly loved this quote from you-

    "Handmade is not a mass-produced item, handmade is not something that was made quickly without thought. Handmade is original; it comes from someone who designed and planned and dreamed and toiled and is so proud of what they put forth. They are excited to share what they make with you."

    Wonderfully said!

    Much love,

    Jade x

  10. I found this post on Hellocotton and I'm so glad that I clicked the link! I am a photographer and graphic designer myself selling my wares on Etsy. I completely understand what you mean about being embarrassed or (for me) I think sometimes afraid to let others offline know about what I do. I'd be embarrassed if they found my blog, but now I need to stop that. Thank you for sharing so passionately about buying handmade and being yourself! I too still shop at Target, but when I can I always choose handmade. :)

  11. Thanks for this post, at least I know I'm not the only one, only a few of my friends actually know I have a blog and make jewellery.
    I'm not completely sure why I don't shout it from the roof tops but I don't. I think it is something to do with peoples perception of blogs just being boring accounts of peoples days, and there are definitely some of them out there :p

  12. Fabulous quote.

    I think it's great to show off your handmade items.
    I think a lot of people want to express their creative side but are afraid of judgement or the fear that they aren't good enough.

    I don't spend as much time on Etsy as I used to but I am getting on there more frequently.

    I wish you the best with your Etsy shop. =)


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