Wednesday, November 13

One Very Angry Crafter!

I recently saw an online status that read 'Homemade presents are definitely a sign of a cheapskate!' I don't think I've ever been so angry at someone else's opinion... Of course the statement is massively untrue, the guy who wrote it has obviously never spent hours making a personal gift for someone and heaven forbid his loved ones ever take the time to do it for him, still it got my defenses up.
Homemade presents have become hugely appealing in recent years- they're a more affordable option showing a lot of thought despite shrinking budgets. People are spending time not money making their own presents(and cards & wrapping). Hobbycraft, which has 78 Stores in the UK and stocks materials for 250 different types of craft, has a huge range of customers, online giant Ebay has reported an increase in sewing machine sales and craft-lover Kirstie Allsopp has become a household name with Tv shows and books that encourage people to make there own. 
And not only are crafters saving money and giving presents with personality by indulging their creative side, they are enjoying themselves doing it. There's a vast number of art and craft workshops popping up everywhere for adults and children alike- even big retailers like Selfridges are getting in on the action! 
(Seasonal selection from Etsy - Picture from Lark Crafts)
And even if your not an embroidery expert or a pro with a glitter gun, the trend for buying handmade gifts and personalised presents is growing massively. Even in financially hard up times, a lot of people are preferring to spend their well-earned cash on a unique item that an individual has put heart into, than a mass produced one which can sometimes feel a little soulless. Little independent shops that stock unique and unusual products are popping up all over the UK. Just the other day I bought a friend a cute little something from amazing local Leamington Spa shop, Berylune (another place that does crafty workshops) that I think she'll absolutely treasure and it's a personal gift that I never would've got from a store where stock is generic and mass produced. Etsy, which allows individuals to sell their homemade and vintage products online all over the world, recorded over 4 million sales in the October period alone and the app is the top 50 of the 'Lifestyle app chart'. Meanwhile, UK based online 'marketplace' Not on the High Street, that stocks over 3000 small businesses (many selling personalised gifts), received more than 27 million visitors last year!

I also bought myself a cute gift from Berylune: One of these adorable Snowman stamps which I had to show off! Visit them Berylune on Facebook (Source of Photo)

So when you're Christmas shopping this year and the rows of factory manufactured stock doesn't jump out at you, why not try making your loved one a present (or card) or searching out an independent seller that's created something special by hand because however 'it's the thought that counts' may seem like a cliche, it is so desperately true.
Don't get me wrong I'd be grateful whether I received a homemade calendar or a toiletry set from Boots' 3 for 2... But there's something about getting a handmade gift (whatever the maker's skill level) that makes you feel like the most important person in the world! 

**My stats are all from Google searches so if any numbers are a little off- forgive me please :) **

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