Resolve to Buy Handmade
Many, many years ago, I would come into the new year with a stack full of resolutions. I would resolve to loose weight, go to the gym, and get healthy by eating less, and drinking less. They were all resolutions meant to “fix” something. It was about becoming smaller. They were about taking something away. “Loosing” something, and doing it “less.”
Inevitably, after about a month of trying to subtract from my life, I would fail at whatever it was I had resolved to do. So I stopped making resolutions. I didn’t see the point as I wasn’t being successful in taking things away. I know now these resolutions failed because they were about subtraction and not addition. I had always framed them in a negative light.
I still don’t set resolutions, probably because I have a negative association with them. I do however reflect on the past year, make plans and set goals and intentions and think through what I want to change, but in a way that is additive and positive and definitely not about making myself small.
This year, I’ve planned out what I want to accomplish each quarter and I’m setting goals for the year and beyond (because you can set goals anytime!) And one of the things I plan on doing this year is to continue to seek out and support independent small business owners.
So what does that look like?
This means I’m going to add beautiful, quality items to my and other’s lives. When giving gifts, I’ll look for something from a maker, including cards. It means when I’m in the market for new jewelry, I’ll seek out jewelry makers or buy from an artist I’ve been coveting. It means looking for quality and well-made goods. It means when I travel, to make a point to seek out small independent shops and actually buy something from them. It doesn’t have to be much, just a card. The intention is to find and purposefully support makers as the goal. It’s about being mindful and intentional with the money I spend.
This may mean I don’t spend a lot. But it does mean my money will go farther. Because when you spend your money locally with independent retailers, more of your money is returned to the local economy. It’s called the multiplier effect and it helps to keep local economies thriving.
It’s in the numbers
Right, let’s put some numbers to it! One of my goals for 2019, is to buy 12 items from independent artisans, makers, and locally owned shops (I’m going to add in book stores, music shops, and other independently owned small businesses here, too). That’s one a month. I’ll keep track and report back periodically. I think 12 is totally doable and it may come out to be more, but we’ll see, as I’ve actually never tracked this before!
So what about you? Want to join me? Can you swap one purchase every other month for something from an artisan, maker, or small business owner? Can you pledge to add more handmade to your life? That’s six purchases throughout the year. It is totally doable! What say you?