The importance of Shopping local/handmade/independent

Working Hands (Image comes from

I did a show this weekend on Belmont Street (the flier is listed below) and I did really well. It was a double day show and I sold nearly all of my best hits on Saturday evening. I guess that explains why when in my sweaty insomniatic state on Sunday morning, I decided to get out of bed and drive to the studio at 5:30, to make more jewelry for the sale that day. Whoa. That's really not like me. I'm usually barely getting out of bed on time to be on time for my first thing of the day. As the sun rose outside of my large studio window in my tiny little shop, I felt proud of myself and my calloused hands. Sunday night, however, I was really feelin' it, but not without a huge sense of relief, joy and strength. Hard work yields solid results. It might not happen immediately, but one day, if efforts are genuine, it will pay off. As I packed up my portable shop, counted my sales, and began the decompression process (which at this point in my career, only lasts a few hours in some cases until I gotta pack up and start all over again), I felt like I understood the concept of shopping local more than ever before. I mean, I get it. I've always understood how it's a good idea and the "healthier" way to live and so on; but I feel that it wasn't until I was swimming in the pool of money and credit card merchant copy receipts I had just thrown on my bed, when I really got it. That sounds shallow, I know. Really though, it goes much deeper. The fact that all of these beautiful people shopped with me and made me feel great about what I'm doing--besides just paying for something I'd made that they own now--helps me have more money to put back into this community. How cool, right? I feel like I get it now like never before. It's so grass roots: I think of something that I like and think you might like too. I design it. I build it. I try to sell it. You see it. You touch it. You do like it. You buy it. I take your trade (slash: money) and I use it for something I might like or need, hopefully made by another independent, or sold by a local boutique or local grocery store. Seriously, this concept almost makes me feel like crying. That's how much I get it now. I also think the more you buy handmade and independent, even if it's on, but in a completely different city, you're still contributing to the regrowth of our society in a healthy, "organic" kind of way. I mean, you KNOW where your product comes from. You know the process, more or less. You know, for example, that Betsy Cross is the designer and that she or people close to her (not in china) are making the things that she's selling and you're buying. (In the same breath, I also understand the concept of being poor. The big box stores cater to the poor better than any of the rest of us sometimes; and I even have to subject myself to them for certain things. BUT if you take the time and do a little extra research, you should be able to find pretty awesome deals independently and/or locally. It just takes a little bit of patience and adjusting. Also, it doesn't hurt to check out second-hand stores for more boring things you need before you head to buy something new at IKEA (and believe me, I love's a really deep love)). In conclusion, then, I would like to send a little tap to the booties out there-- just a little encouragement to try something new (if you're not already), with independent designers and buying locally in your own community. Mostly though, I would like to say a HUGE thanks to all of the people who have supported me and continue to support me through this independent endeavor. I feel so grateful and in awe of the kindness and love that abounds around me. My heart is warm and full and glowing because of you. ***Song of the Moment: Clouds Will Clear, by Aislers Set*** (can't find it on itunes, sorry dudes)

Group 7