Amazing things happen when you buy handmade.
The effects are felt more because there are fewer layers - It's often only the people who make things, and people who bring them to market. Within those two groups, there's not a lot of room for focus groups, marketing analysis, and complex distribution systems. What results is a completely different shopping experience and a completely different kind of gift.
First, when you shop handmade you're are treated like someone who appreciates the things you're looking at. Just by walking into 16 Hands we assume you have an interest in handmade things - the stuff people make who love their craft and are happy to express that creative spirit. With that in mind, the 16 Hands staff are always happy to talk with you about the stories behind the work you see, an unusual technique or surprising use of material that went into the item you've choosen. If you decide to purchase that item, we will always try to include that artist information with your purchase. It's important because it tells the story of the gift you're giving. For the recipient it tells them a lot about the care you took to find something special, and spreads the word about functional craft. And if the item is for you, it acts as a reminder of who made it and what made you fall in love with it in the first place.
The artists and craftspeople we represent feel the impact of your purchase as well. Contacting an artist to tell them that their work has all sold and we need MORE is pure joy! There are so few layers in this kind of business model, that we sometimes hear the craftsperson's voice on the other end of that phone call. Handmade also changes the design process that's behind making the object. Whereas a mass-produced item may need to appeal to the widest audience possible, the artist or craftsperson is often following their own creative instinct. This is why things you'll find at 16 Hands have a look and feel of something you'd find at an art fair, many of the artists and craftspeople we represent are art fair exhibitors themselves. Through a combination of creative spirit and business savvy the community of designers, makers and artists we show are the heart of what we do.
We do what we do here at 16 Hands for the same reasons the people we represent make what they make - for the love of it. The next time you have a gift to buy, we hope you will consider our slogan - Handcrafted & Heartfelt.