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10 Reasons to Buy Artisan Products

Posted on 10 July 2015

by Carrie

Over the past few years the word "artisan" has become a buzz word for many products and companies.  In an effort to make their goods or services more enticing to the public, the overuse and misuse of the word has cheapened its perceived meaning and removed it from the original, intended meaning. 

What, then, does artisan actually mean?  According to www.merriam-webster.com

ARTISAN:  1. a worker who practices a trade or handicraft: craftsperson;  2. one that produces something (as cheese or wine) in limited quantities often using traditional methods

And www.macmillandictionary.com gives us a definition of the adjectival form of the word:

ARTISAN: made by hand and with skill, using traditional methods

True artisan (or artisanal) products stand apart from their mass-produced counterparts, usually in looks, quality, and/or price.  But the main (and most important) difference is this:  The personal touch.  
 

10 Reasons to Buy Artisan Products:

  1. Connection.  Purchasing an item from the same person (or family member) who made it can create a unique bond between the buyer and the seller that goes beyond a financial exchange.  In an era when relationships are harder to come by, this is a huge plus on both sides of the table.
  2. Investment (professional).  Your money is an investment in the artisan's professional life and a vehicle by which they can continue to hone and perfect their craft.  
  3. Investment (personal).  Your money is also an investment in the artisan's personal life, allowing them to make an honest living for themselves and, many times, support a family.
  4. Quality.  Most artisan products are not cheap to purchase and neither are they cheap to make.  The investment of high-quality materials coupled with good, old-fashioned Time and Attention lay the foundation for a product of excellence.
  5. Details.  Due to the fact that a person (not a mechanized assembly line) is creating the products either by hand or by traditional methods, there will be variances (some intentional, some unintentional) between individual items or batches.  These details are celebrated reminders of the origins of each piece of art.
  6. Customization.  Some (though not all) artisans allow for customization or personalization of their products.  For example, an artisan jewelry maker may be willing to use stones from your grandmother's necklace to create a set of earrings for you.  A personalized piece can contain a lifetime of memories. 
  7. Uniqueness.  Even when an artisan product is not made specifically "for you", it's still an item that does not have an exact match in the world.  The opportunity to have a handmade, one-of-a-kind item is pretty remarkable.
  8. Economics.  Buying a handcrafted item supports our nation's economy, especially since most artisans are themselves a small business (or part of one).  When you are able to take that a step further and buy local, it's a winning situation for not only the artisan and the community, but for you as well.  
  9. Encouragement.  Sometimes it's just good and worthwhile to buy from someone, just for the sake of encouraging them.  Your vote of confidence (via your wallet) may be just the thing that spurs them on that particular day.
  10. People.  An artisan product is an artisan product because of people, plain and simple.  The people who make them and the people who buy them.  Without this mutualistic relationship, true artisans and artisan products would be a thing of the past.

 What types of artisan products do you purchase?  Do you have additional reasons to add to our list?  Tell us!

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