We're sharing essays about creativity, conscious consumerism and crafting a beautiful life from our creative community. Today, BRIKA reader and customer Morgan Jacques shares her thoughts on why she purchases from BRIKA makers.
Buying from a maker means so much. It is a purchase that is empowering, ethical and exciting. In many cases, you can read about where your item is made, who the maker is and what inspires them. You not only receive a well-crafted, handmade product, you also get a sense of the story behind it. You're supporting this individual's creative spirit and passion. Items are often made in a studio of some sort, either within or near the maker's home, not in a warehouse with questionable conditions. It's a great way of being a conscious consumer - not only being conscious of the materials used, but that your item was made in an ethical environment.
When buying from a big box store there is no knowledge of where your item was made, the conditions of the factory it was made in, who was making it, where the materials were sourced from...well, you get the point. You may end up buying a very nice designer bag, but how much of what you spent actually goes to the person that made it? In addition, there's no emotional connection to your item, there's no story. It was likely one of thousands of others made that day, distributed to tons of stores around the world. Not very original, is it?
Small business owners, makers, artisans and farmers are truly the heart of the business community. They are living their dreams through their craft, and you can feel good in knowing that your purchase is going towards the maker themselves, not some large corporation. The benefits are felt in other ways as well. Think about the local fabric shop where the maker sources their swatches, the seamstresses hired to help sew that last stitch or the benefit of using recycled materials such as reclaimed wood, amongst others. Buying from a maker creates an amazing domino effect for the local economy and can even have a positive effect on the environment!
Personally, I love being asked where I got my (insert artisanal item here). It's so nice to respond with something along the lines of "Oh this? It's actually a local designer from Toronto. She decided she couldn't find the right bag for herself, so she started making her own out of her home!". And just like that, there's an instant connection to the talented maker who crafted your handbag.
So the next time you're looking for that unique piece of jewellery, hand-sewn baby blanket or that special, one of a kind gift, be sure to check out the maker's items that are available from BRIKA - there are too many reasons not to!
If you would like to submit an essay, please read our submission guidelines. We look forward to hearing from you!