1. Uniqueness – locally crafted work is unique. Unlike items made in a far off factory; local crafts people make work that is individual and one-of-a-kind. This does not just apply to a magnificent vase or a glass bowl. Even with a humble coffee mug, every one has a very slight difference.
When just one person or a husband & wife team make an item the numbers are by the nature of the process – small. It’s great to have or give as a gift something that is genuinely unique.
2. Quality – artists always take a personal pride in their hand-made work. I have yet to meet an artist who was not passionate about their work. From potters to glass artists to textile makers – this is their life and they are justly proud of their work. If treated well much of this work can last a lifetime. How many things can you say that about in our society today?
3. Value for money – Contrary to what many people still believe, buying directly from the artist or their local retailer can most often cost less than buying some mass produced item from a department store. Reduced transportation costs, no middle men and low advertising helps to keep costs down.
4. Excellent after purchase service. The artists really do care about their work! Artists are available to repair, alter, clean or replace your purchase. They are interested to help if there is ever a problem. You never need to speak with some remote Customer Service line.
5. Personal service – many artists will custom -make work to your specification. If you need a gift for a special occasion then very often, provided that you allow enough time, the artist will make to your requirements.
6. Availability – Most ranges are always available so that you can add to your range or just collect individual pieces over time. Not just for pottery but jewellery or even glass.
7. Help your local economy! Shopping locally helps your local economy, by supporting local artists it keeps money in the community and ensures that hard learned skills are alive for future generations.
8. Help the environment! Local arts & crafts produce a minimal carbon footprint – little transportation is involved. Conservation is important to all of us. Much of what local artists use is recycled – including what little packaging is ever used!
9. Fun and Learning. It really can be a fun shopping experience – you get to meet the artist and find out about their skills, how they make their work, the huge time and effort that goes into a single piece.
10. Support you local Community. A locally handmade gift reflects the community and region in which it was created. It has greater relevance for the person who purchased it or the person to whom the gift is given.
Side Street Studio has been supporting local artists for over 26 years. More than 300 local artists from pottery, jewellery, textiles, glass art, wood turnings, aromatherpy, cards, books, and lots more. Shipping is world wide with FedEx and Canada Post. www.sidestreetstudio.com