Why you should buy from makers and microbusinesses

Whether you’re looking for interesting homewares, personalised gifts, handmade fashion or unique art, the best way to find something special is by buying from makers, artists and microbusinesses. Want to know where to find such creative folk? Read on to find out where and why to buy from the people who dedicate their lives to making…

image by @SuffolkMakersMarket on Instagram

I’m a big advocate for buying local and buying handmade. In fact, the only time that I do any “shopping” these days is when I’m at makers markets and am buying direct from printmakers, artists, ceramacists, soap-makers and candle-makers. I was following the #JustACard campaign on Instagram recently and it was wonderful to see so many makers taking part. They were sharing just how much it means to them when they sell an item that they’ve handmade – the “happy dance” prompt showed just how excited a microbusiness owner can get when they receive an order!

image by printmaker & illustrator HannahFarthing.com

I read some research by Seareach on the reasons why shoppers buy from Etsy businesses, and 58% of people said it was their favourite place to find unique or personalised gift. Considering that 97% of Etsy sellers run their business from home it’s safe to say that shopping on platforms like this are Another statistic that I found interested is that 87% of all Etsy sellers are women and, as a female microbusiness owner myself, this made me want to support those kitchen-table makers even more. 

Printmaker Unruly Print helped me to make this step-by-step printed napkins tutorial

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY FROM MAKERS AND MICROBUSINESSES

  • The money you spend with a local maker stays in the area and is recirculated to other local businesses.
  • You’re helping a creative person to pay their bills and feed their family.
  • You’ll find unique products and personalised items that you just can’t get anywhere else.
  • You’re keeping town centre shops filled with small businesses rather than generic stores.
  • The items you buy are genuine handmade art rather than mass-produced throw-away products.

image by @HelenTJewellery_Home on Instagram

WHERE YOU CAN SHOP WITH MAKERS AND MICROBUSINESSES

  • Online marketplaces such as Etsy and Folksy.
  • Look out for makers markets advertised in your local area.
  • Head off the high street and onto the side streets, you’ll be more likely to find small business occupying shops there.
  • Browse instagram to find designers you like and follow the link in their bio to visit their online shop.
  • Don’t be afraid to go into independent galleries – might be surprised what you can find within your budget.
  • If you need to send a greetings card, try Thortful where the cards are uploaded by designers and they receive a 50p royalty for every card sold.

With those great reasons, the increase of kitchen table microbusiness and these handy places to shop, it’s no wonder that so many people are searching online on Etsy and through Instagram to find unique gifts by independent sellers.

Photo by @Unruly_Print on Instagram

What do you think? Will you be shopping local and handmade in the future? Do you already buy from makers or shop on Etsy? Let me know in the comments below And if you’re a microbusiness or artist yourself, feel free to share what it means to you when someone buys from you!



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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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