About the Author:
Ah. It’s that time of year again in Vermont when I feel so grateful to live in such a beautiful, amazing place. Being surrounded by such breathtaking beauty makes me appreciate the other beautiful things in my life: my children, my family, my friends, treasured objects in my home, my new career path I love, and everything else that is wonderful about being alive.
On that note, I want to take a moment to celebrate items of beauty that I treasure, appreciate for their craftsmanship, and celebrate the beauty artisans bring to my world. In my home and in my business, I love to surround myself with products that are lovingly made by artisans, crafters, hobbyists, and independent small businesses. It is these people and busineses, in my opinion, who make our world a more beautiful place.
In our disposable world where mass produced items are the norm and the mindset “cheaper is better” is often heralded as the way to go, I am making a two pledges for this upcoming holiday season:
1. Buy local as much as possible.
2. Buy handmade gifts as much as possible.
And ideally, buy all local, handmade gifts!
Now I already do both on a regular basis but I am upping the ante for myself this year. Not only do I want to continue to support artisans who make children’s products at Polkadot Patch Boutique, my small business selling unique baby clothes, but I also am choosing to shop local as much as I can for handmade products. I do admit that I love to shop on Etsy and other stores that feature handmade products, but this year I want to promote the 3-50 project in Central Vermont. Although Polkadot Patch is not a brick and mortar store, it is my hope that by paying it forward with local, VT businesses, we too, will be rewarded with local business for baby products, baby gifts, and childrens clothing. *We ALWAYS ship free within Vermont*
In Vermont, we are known for our selection of AMAZING products from maple syrup, to wool sweaters, fine pewter, and great beer. Our state happens to be great are marketing the shop local mentality and I love to visit the nearby farmers markets, holiday bazaars and craft shows, as well as smaller, independent stores for my shopping needs. I am fortunate that the big box stores can’t lure me with powerful marketing because most of them are over 45 minutes away (with Walmart and TJ Maxx as exceptions).
I love being able to talk to the farmers who grow my food, the Moms who make my children clothing, dine at restaurants that serve only locally raised chicken, and ask tons of questions to the artists whose items I give as gifts. It is very gratifying to me to support other small businesses — not only by selling products of many independent crafters through Polkadot Patch, but also showing my children what true quality, craftsmanship, and creativity really is.
Buying locally produced food, goods, and services supports our local economy and keeps people employed. It keeps the mass marketed, poorly made knockoffs and crap out of the stores and keeps bringing more beauty back into our lives.
Do you agree? If so, please pledge to shop local and handmade this year too. One of our favorite organizations is asking for pledges from consumers to buy handmade this year. The Handmade Toy Alliance works to not only keep children playing toys made by artisans….but supports all products and retailers who share this belief. Even at Polkadot Patch Boutique, we celebrate our Made In the USA brands and hope this holiday season that if you shop online, please shop with your small, independent retailers who offer excellent customer service, unique products, and very often support other small manufacturers.
Can you make the pledge to buy local and buy handmade? I will be. I hope you will join me.
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