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FOCUS: Indulge In Handmade by Anna Ryan of www.funkydivadesigns.com


In the last few years, the handmade marketplace in the UK has become a prominent feature of the retail landscape. An abundance of online retail outlets have introduced talented UK designers and makers to more shoppers than ever before. With all the shopping opportunities available to you from the comfort of your own home, why should you indulge in handmade?


Handmade used to be a term associated with ‘homemade’ items knitted by your granny. In recent times the term has become synonymous with high quality, individually crafted items. Each item provides a link with the person who made it in a way that mass produced items simply cannot. This link with the person who made your gorgeous


106 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2012


new purchase is unique because each creation is a one-of-a-kind. This connection between maker and customer is something you will never get with an item made in a huge factory either here or abroad. Each handmade item carries a story waiting to be told and each designer has a path they have followed to make the item you purchase. This connection between people is not only important in ensuring a more satisfying purchasing experience but also fundamentally important in building communities.


At first buying handmade may seem like an expensive option, but in the same way that you buy the slightly more expensive meat from your local butchers or fruit and vegetable from the organic farm down the road, the extra investment is worth


it. Supporting UK designer-makers means that, not only do you know exactly where an item has come from and its history, but the money you are investing is kept within your local economy. It isn’t disappearing into a global black hole, but will help to support small businesses in this country which is more important than ever in this economic climate.


Designer-makers take great pride in their work; they want to be the best they can be in their field. When you make the decision to buy from them you can be sure that they will have made everything to the highest standard because it is their personal reputation on the line. The quality of work you are investing in will surpass anything mass produced because it is made with passion and pride. It will become part of your household


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